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Black Greek Olives

POSTED August 30, 2018

Black Greek olives are one of Greece’s most popular table olive varieties. These olives are known for their purple to black hue, soft meaty texture, and tart, tangy, slightly acidic flavor reminiscent of red wine vinegar.

Growing Region and Harvesting

Black Greek olives are of the Conservolia variety, which grows mainly in Central and West Greece. Like other areas in the Mediterranean, Central and West Greece have ideal climates for growing olives, with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters.

Black Greek olives start out a rich, dark green hue and they turn deep cocoa brown or black as they mature. Once the fruits are ripened and dark in color, they are harvested, typically from late October through December.

Curing

Like other varieties of table olives, Black Greek olives must be harvested by hand in order to protect the delicate fruits from bruising or scarring. Black Greek olives are processed in a natural sea salt brine for several months before they develop a medium-soft texture and tangy and fruity flavor with hints of red wine.

Pairings

In Greece, Black Greek olives are often chopped and added to soups or stews. A popular table olive, this varietal tastes great alone or served alongside a spread of cheese and crusty bread. These olives also taste great when paired with other Greek flavors, such as hummus, marinated vegetables, or stuffed grape leaves. The tangy flavor pairs well with a glass of pinot noir.

In the Kitchen

  • Roasted Olives with Lemon Slices & Italian Herbs
  • Olive & Herb Roasted Potatoes
  • Greek Olive Flatbread with Feta and Roasted Red Peppers
  • Mediterranean Artichoke Salad

Quick Facts

  • Texture is semi-soft and yielding to the bite.
  • Conservolia olives are harvested when green to produce excellent extra virgin olive oil.

Did You Know…?

The red wine flavor of this olive is due to the natural yeast present on the olive’s skin.

Ideas For the Kitchen