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Where to buy fresh Castelvetrano Olives?

StephP May 30, 2008 01:20 PM

Anyone have a source (grocery, farm, etc anything) for fresh castelvetrano olives?

I'd like to marinate them myself, since the ones in stores have usually been soaking too long and are soggy, nothing like fresh.

  1. Robert Lauriston May 25, 2011 11:46 AM

    Bi-Rite had first-rate Castelvetranos the other day.

    1. l
      Lizpacini Jul 3, 2010 04:01 PM

      I bought an amazing jar of castelvetrano olives at Cost Plus and I can't stop eating them. Believe it or not they are Mezzetta brand, but imported from Italy--$4.99 for a jar. I'm going back for 4 or 5 jars more.

      1. m
        mdg Jan 6, 2010 12:57 PM

        I just got some at A.G. Ferrari to make Pesce spada a ghiotta and they were great! This was in Sunnyvale but I would expect they would be at other Bay Area stores too.


        1. wolfe Jan 5, 2010 05:10 PM

          "Anyone have a source (grocery, farm, etc anything) for fresh castelvetrano olives?"
          StephP, did you intend to cure your own if you can't find prepped olives to your taste?

          1. jupiter Jan 5, 2010 03:35 PM

            The olive bar in Bristol Farms in the westfield mall has them consistently and they are consistently good. firm, buttery, not too briny. I have gotten them at the Moliie Stone's on Portola and at the Whole Foods on 24th street, but they weren't as good.
            the problem with Whole Foods, you have to buy them prepackaged, so you are not sure of the firmness of each one, and then Mollie Stone's let's them sit in metal tins and too much brine, so they get sort of soggy and pick up the flavor of the metal.
            The Bristol farms serves them in plastic tubs, don't know how great that is, but they don't get flabby and darkened like the ones in the metal tubs do.

            and i just realized you wanted fresh ones, so this reply is sort of useless, sorry.
            but if you want decent already brined ones, you can get them at bristol farms.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jupiter
              Robert Lauriston Jan 5, 2010 04:42 PM

              I'm pretty sure the original poster meant fresh as in not old and mushy, not as in raw, which need a lot more than marinating before they're edible.

              1. re: jupiter
                walker Jan 5, 2010 11:17 PM

                WF on Rhode Island has an olive bar (near cheese counter) where you can find these olives and pick out what you like. Berkeley Bowl -- same.

                1. re: walker
                  Robert Lauriston Jan 6, 2010 08:56 AM

                  Berkeley Bowl's olives are inferior.

              2. m
                Missmoo Jan 5, 2010 03:24 PM

                I saw some at Fatted Calf in Napa, but I think they were marinated. However, they were still bright green.

                1. t
                  tomatoaday Jan 5, 2010 01:38 PM

                  I first tried them at Ratto's deli in Oakland and thought they were great. Encinal Market in Alameda had some good ones I bought a couple of times but overall do not seem to move their olives very quickly. I recently bought some of the red (!) ones at Safeway on Bay Farm in Alameda and was disappointed at the weak, almost watery flavor. Not that I expected a terrific olive from Safeway but the color made me curious.

                  1. k
                    kresge86 Jun 2, 2008 03:40 PM


                    Say Cheese
                    856 Cole St, San Francisco, CA

                    1. k
                      kresge86 Jun 2, 2008 03:39 PM

                      Say Cheese! in Cole Valley carries the nice, meaty, bright green version. I've also purchased them at Whole Foods, but they weren't quite as nice as the ones at Say Cheese!

                      1. y
                        YHL Jun 1, 2008 11:36 PM

                        They sell them at Whole Foods on California, but my favorite place to get them is Rainbow Grocery on Folsom. Theirs are superb.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: YHL
                          SteveG Jun 11, 2008 01:48 PM

                          Just picked some up at Rainbow grocery. They're plump, firm, green, and maybe 25% have the barest hint of purpling on one side of them. The ingredients said nothing about food coloring.

                          They taste good, not earth shattering. I don't have much of a baseline to compare to.

                          1. re: YHL
                            mariacarmen Jan 5, 2010 06:30 PM

                            I've had them from Lucca Ravioli Company in the Mission . . . very meaty, good texture, yes, green but not fluorescent . . .

                          2. Robert Lauriston Jun 1, 2008 07:30 AM

                            Castelvetrano isn't an olive cultivar, it's a place in Sicily. I don't think the Nocellara olives they use are grown here. In any case, olives are harvested in the fall.

                            The Cheese Board was carrying some fabulous Castelvetrano olives for a while, but they switched to an inferior brand after they found out the good ones had food coloring in them.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              StephP Jun 2, 2008 10:24 AM

                              thanks for the clarification. That explains a lot.

                              The Castelvetrano olives from Cheese Board were some of the ones I was disappointed with. They were almost purple, soggy and not the meaty texture and bright green that I like. Perhaps the Rainbow Grocery the other CHer suggested!

                              1. re: StephP
                                Robert Lauriston Jun 2, 2008 10:27 AM

                                Cheese Board's used to be bright green (from food coloring) and meaty. They were the best simple, fruity-style green olives I've had around here.

                                Next time I'm in there I'm going to ask for the name of their old brand.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                  StephP Jun 6, 2008 11:42 AM

                                  *laugh* i must like food coloring!

                                  in all seriousness, not necessarily. but since the "perfect" castelvetrano that i had, happened to be bright green, i've been associating "yummy" with "bright green". what impressed me was the texture and what it was marinated in made it flavorful and not just salty. suzette from aquerello (sp?) brought them in for a food-wine seminar and they were fab.

                                2. re: StephP
                                  Robert Lauriston Jun 11, 2008 11:42 AM

                                  I asked about the old brand, and all the guy could tell me was that the distributor was the Cheese Works. I called them and they said they never carried them. They suggested I check with the Olive Works (which has never carried them either) and that I check out what's available at the Pasta Shop.

                                3. re: Robert Lauriston
                                  Robert Lauriston Jan 5, 2010 01:04 PM

                                  We've gotten good ones from the Pasta Shop recently.

                                4. Olives101 May 31, 2008 09:37 PM


                                  You can try Savory Gourmet (310) 391-5422 they carry Italian Castelvetrano Olives

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