Pinterest • The world’s catalogue of ideas

A Beginner's Guide to Olives: 14 Varieties Worth Seeking Out

What makes a kalamata olive different from a Niçoise? Welcome to olives 101

A Beginner's Guide to Olives: 14 Varieties Worth Seeking Out

Olives have been a part of the human diet for thousands of years, long before the canning industry, grocery stores, and martinis came into play. But a few decades ago, your average American knew only a few varieties—some were green, some were black, some were pitted, and the best ones were pimento-stuffed...and that was that. Today, we dig a little deeper into the diverse and versatile world of olives.

A Beginner's Guide to Olives: 14 Varieties Worth Seeking Out

Picholine - These torpedo-shaped French green olives are wonderfully crisp and crunchy, with a tart, nutty, anise-y flavor. They're pretty and elegant enough to serve as hors d'oeuvres, and give a welcome punch to risotto or a hearty stew.

Cheese-Stuffed Garlic Parmesan Pretzels

A Beginner's Guide to Olives: 14 Varieties Worth Seeking Out

Gaeta | These small, purplish-brown, wrinkled olives from Puglia have soft, tender flesh and a tart, citrusy taste. Gaetas can be either dry-cured (shrivelly, chewy) or brine-cured (plump, juicy). I like them served over spaghetti with capers and pine nuts, or simple served out of bowl for snacking.

Three Olive Tapenade

Three Olive Tapenade is delicious, full of amazing flavors, very addictive, and a perfect appetizer for warm weather!

A Beginner's Guide to Olives: 14 Varieties Worth Seeking Out

Amfissa olives | From the hills by Delphi, the legendary home of the ancient Greek oracles, these hand-picked olives are prized for good reason.

A Beginner's Guide to Olives: 14 Varieties Worth Seeking Out

Castelvetrano olives are Italy's most ubiquitous snack olive. Bright green, they're often referred to as dolce (sweet), and come from Castelvetrano, Sicily, from the olive variety nocerella del belice. They have a Kermit-green hue, meaty, buttery flesh, and a mild flavor. Consider serving them with sheep's milk cheese and a crisp white wine.