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Halkidiki 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

Halkidiki olives are named for the Halkidiki Peninsula in Greece. These olives are native to the peninsula and some areas of Northern Greece, where the trees thrive in the mild Mediterranean climate.

The Halkidiki Peninsula is famous for its delicious table olives and quality olive oil. The table olives from this area have Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status to ensure that they are cultivated and processed on the Halkidiki Peninsula and in some surrounding areas. There are two major varieties of Halkidiki olives: green and black. The green olives are harvested early, typically starting in late September and continuing into October and November. The black olives are harvested later in the season when they have had time to fully ripen.

Curing

Green Halkidiki olives are commonly cured with a natural brine fermentation. This means the only ingredients used are water, sea salt, and sometimes the addition of lactic acid. This brine curing process gives the olives a meaty texture and bright, tart flavor. For some uses, the olives will be processed in lye before the natural brine fermentation is performed.

Pairings

Halkidiki is a popular table olive that is excellent when served alone. However, it also pairs well with other Mediterranean antipasti, including sundried tomatoes, almonds, and salty feta cheese. For an easy and elegant appetizer, try pitted and stuffed Halkidiki olives.

Quick Facts

  • A young green olive with hues ranging from straw-colored to light, golden green.
  • By volume, Halkidiki olives are the largest harvested variety of table olives in Greece.
  • Although not prominent, sizes can reach up to 80 olives per kilogram.

Did You Know…?

The Greek Halkidiki (Hal-KEE-dah-kee) olive is fun to say, but even better to eat! Originating in the region of its same name, this beloved olive shares its birthplace with famous philosopher, Aristotle. Halkidiki olives may also be identified as Chalkidiki depending on the translation.

Ideas for in the Kitchen

  • Sausage & Cheese Stuffed Olives in a Garlicky Tomato Sauce
  • Spicy Roasted Snapper with Olives & Chili Peppers
  • Greek-Style Flatbread with Olives, Feta & Roasted Red Peppers
  • Homemade Hummus Topped with Olive, Tomato & Balsamic Relish