There are so many types of olives out there, so this list won’t be exhaustive. However, I will share some of the best varieties to enjoy on a regular basis. They are simple to find at many grocery stores and don’t cost too much. Olives go great in many dishes, but I love to have a mixed olive salad as a small meal or snack. Try these types of olives and you’ll see why I love them so much.
1. Kalamata Olives
Kalamata olives are one of the types of olives that are really easy to find at olive bars in your grocery store deli section. They are black and have a tangy, but delicious flavor. I love to use them in salads. They also pair really well with feta cheese and give hummus an intriguing new flavor.
The olives are the star in Nicoise salad. They have a fun purplish color that really adds punch to a plate of greens. They have a pretty distinct flavor that you can pair wonderfully with a variety of cheeses and vegetables for meals you’ll never forget. Of course, they also work great in salads or, if you’re like me, nibbled on alone for a great snack.
3. Manzanilla Olive
If you’re a fan of martinis, this is the olive for you. Also called Spanish olives, these delicious green gems are usually stuffed with a small red pimento, which gives them a great flavor. Manzanilla olives have a pretty salty taste, so go easy on them when you cook or you risk a meal that is too salty to enjoy.
4. Picholine Olives
This type of olive is green in color with a longer shape than your average olive. They are brine cured, so they have a great texture and a taste that works well in salads or in tapenade. I love to crush these olives, combine them with a bit of oil and cheese and spread them on crusty bread or crackers for an appetizer. Try it – I think you’ll like it as much as I do.
5. Sicilian Olives
If you prefer a sour flavored olive, try Sicilian olives. They are brine cured, but their unique combination of herbs and spices gives them a less salty flavor than other types of olives. This olive is a beautiful green color and works great in spreads, dips and salads.
6. Moroccan Salt Cured Olives
These salt cured olives are wrinkly and look a bit like large raisins. They don’t taste sweet like a raisin though. You can enjoy the slightly bitter, but still delicious flavor of these olives as part of a cheese appetizer platter. They also work wonderfully in tagine and pair very well with chicken. For an ethnic meal you won’t soon forget, stock up on Moroccan salt cured olives.
7. Cerignola Olives
The name might be a bit off-putting, but Cerignola olives are actually a pretty common variety that you might be surprised is fairly easy to find. They can be either green or black and have a great, but intense flavor. They’re sort of meaty, so they will fill you up in no time. They work great with cheese as an appetizer, but you can also toss them into a salad or have them for a snack.
What’s your favorite way to eat olives? Most of my gatherings include olives in some form, but I’ve also been known to eat olive salad for dinner. Do you think you’ll try any of these great varieties?