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Favorite Kind of Olive

I've always been an olive lover. When I was a kid, I couldn't get enough of Lindsay black olives. Now that I'm older and have seen more of the world, I've discovered more olives to love. My current favorite is black cerignola olives. They're huge, meaty, and capture everything I like about olives--the right amount of saltiness and freshnesss. I also like green cerignola olives, which are buttery and subtle (compared to some green olives).

Do you have a favorite kind of olive? What do you like most about it and how do you usually eat them? I usually snack on cerignolas plain or put them in tomato and mozzarella caprese salads drizzled with olive oil. So delicious....

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  1. I have never liked olives, but while reading on a Chow board a few months ago, I saw where someones said they loved Castelvetrano olives. I bought some online and love them. The are the nega-olive as far as briny taste. They are smooth and buttery. I ate them straight from the jar and have used them in salads.

    8 Replies
    1. re: bookwormchef

      I have hated olives my whole life until about ten years ago when I had my first marinated Kalamata olive, now I love them...

      1. re: Sean

        Another vote for kalamata's. I served them tonight in individual antipastas with hearts of palm, goat cheese, asparagus tips, and lupini beans, on roasted sweet red peppers, with a drizzle of balsamic and OO. Empty plates tell the story.
        Caution: I included chopped kalamatas one time in chicken salad, and they overwhelmed all other flavors. Delicious as they are, use them sparingly when they are a bit player in dishes.

        1. re: Veggo

          Another for kalmata :) Although sometimes, just regular green olives that aren't too strong can add a nice tangy counterpart to bread and cheese

          1. re: Soop

            Me too on Kalamata's! (oil cured)
            I used to hate them as a kid - even though I loved other kinds of olives, but quite recently I have re-discovered them...I love the oily-ness of them..and the strong salty taste....which goes well with table water crackers.

            They are also very good when baked/broiled.
            I like to scatter them atop chicken cutlets or fish along with halved grape tomatoes - and just grill or bake....they become crunchy and nuttier - and great paired with the sweetness of the carmelized grape tomatoes.
            yummm

      2. re: bookwormchef

        Sounds like it's in the same family as picholine (which are a bit nutty), which is my favorite olive.

        1. re: bookwormchef

          I'm not a big olive fan myself (but I do like black olive tapenade) so I'll have to give the castelvetrano olives a try. Are they readily available at most grocers or do I need to look at a specialty grocer?

          1. re: lynnlato

            castelvetrano's are absolutely to die for.

            that being said of course like most underappreciated and relatively unknown food items, they are also quite difficult to find. gourmet markets or certain italian deli's may carry them.

            i've heard that they can be found at dean & deluca's

            1. re: currentlycraving

              I have to agree on the Castelvetranos. Unfortunately, the few times I've come across them in markets, they've been pretty sad, I think they just don't sell enough to keep the stock rotated. But when they're good, they are wonderful.

        2. Don't know the type of olive, but I love the green ones stuffed with pickled garlic. And those stuffed with anchovies. Really I haven't met an olive that I haven't liked. I'll eat jars of them if I am not careful. My favorite dish to cook them in is a Moroccan chicken w/lemon w/olive dish that I found on epicurious.

          2 Replies
          1. re: viperlush

            Oh! Bandarillos are great! Anchovies wrapped around olives... wow I miss them

            1. re: viperlush

              At my grocery store they have habanero-stuffed jumbo greens. Killer olives! Figuratively and literally.

              1. re: jaykayen

                me, too - picholine are just amazing!! I like kalamatas, too...

                1. re: jeanmarieok

                  Ditto here - picholine for green, kalamata for black.

                  1. re: BobB

                    I can't get just picholines at the olive bar, so I am one of those people who pick thru the mixed olives to the get the ones I want.

                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                      Whole Foods usually has excellent picholines.

                      1. re: BobB

                        Picholine, hands down. I love all olives, but I can eat the small, little green picholine by the bucketful...

                1. re: sedimental

                  Especially the ones stuffed with pickled lemon.

                2. Of the easily obtainable ones, I like kalamata - but my all-time favourite ones are the very bitter cracked ones you get in markets in Mallorca