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Mar 21, 2012 08:58 AM

ISO olives - preferably Kalamata - Kosher for Passover

I consider Kalamata olives that are Kosher for Passover the Holy Grail. :-) Searched for them for years, but only have ever been able to find (tasteless) canned olives for Passover. I would like them not only for my pesedik bagels and lox, but also for some chicken recipes in which they are an important ingredient. I'd also love to make a feta and olive spread. I'm hoping that one of you has a source that you would share. I live in NYC, but there's always UPS.


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  1. I've never seen them (although I still keep looking). This falls into the vast void of the "no reason they can't be [Passover certified]" it just appears that nobody's considered it to be a cost-effective endeavor.

    16 Replies
    1. re: ferret

      Right. And I find it especially ironic given that I can purchase kosher EVOO before Pesach, which obviously has gone through significant processing and use that for Pesach - but can't find edible olives. That's why I'm thinking that it must be out there, but I just haven't found it.

      1. re: iris

        Yeah, since evoo with a good hecscher is kfp so shouldn't packed olives be too?

        1. re: DeisCane

          According to the CRC Extra Virgin olive oils (with no flavorings) don't require special passover certification. Extra virgin/virgin oil is minimally "processed" (by mechanical pressing only), anything else may have been chemically extracted or mixed with other oils.

          Cured olives introduce one of three questionable steps, salting, vinegar brining or oil curing. Any of those have potential for chametz (and sometimes wine vinegar is used, raising other issues). So unless you have a dedicated processor or have supervision throughout the process, it's problematic.

          At least the Israeli olives exist (not the greatest, but better than nothing) .

            1. re: DeisCane

              I did notice that the Kvuzat Yavne website has a marinated cut black (purple) olive in wine vinegar. Not Kalamata but a little closer.

              1. re: ferret

                Pretty sure I saw those at Shop Rite in Livingston.

                1. re: DeisCane

                  I've had those. You're right, they seem like they should be edible, but in terms of taste, don't bother.

                  1. re: iris

                    The Kvutzat Yavneh pickles are similarly disappointing. Seems odd that their 2 signature products (which don't involve rocket science in their preparation) should be so -- mediocre.

                    1. re: iris

                      I find "standard" jarred green olives far preferable to those tasteless black canned ones, and they are readily available for Pesach. Iris, would you consider using green instead of kalamata?

                      1. re: queenscook

                        I'm not totally certain if I've had them. I seem to think that I did and they tasted a bit more cured, i.e. more vinegar, but no more olive-y than the dreaded canned black ones. I would prefer Kalamata, but it would be great if I could at least get good olives.

                        1. re: iris

                          Oxygen brand has cracked green olives in a jar. Wicked expensive but maybe worth a try.

                          1. re: ferret

                            Thanks. I see them on line. Have you seen them in a store somewhere? Are they in fact KLP?

                            1. re: iris

                              They're in my local Jewel in Chicago (Evanston, actually), in one of the Passover aisles. However, some of the other Oxygen products contain Kitniyot, although not clearly marked.

                              1. re: ferret

                                Thanks again. I just emailed the company. Still not quite what I'm looking for, but I'll keep an eye out for these.

                  2. re: ferret

                    Kvuzat Yavne actually has two versions labeled kalamata olives and they are for Pesach. One is whole, the other sliced. Both are marinated in wine vinegar. They had several different kinds of olives but noticed the kalamata because of the post. Saw these in a local store on Staten Island. Have yet to locate the oil cured.

                    1. re: mommysmazal

                      I have no idea what the vile concoction that Kvuzat Yavne packs their olives in but tap water would be far better. Whatever olive variety is identified on the label ends up tasting bitter and lacks identity as a result. I always end up rinsing them but then there's even less flavor.

        2. Maybe try asking Kosher Marketplace? They do their own runs of olives (including Kalamata) during the year; I have no idea whether or not they do a Pesach run, though.

          2 Replies
          1. re: masteraleph

            Great thought. I had no idea they do their own olives. I'll call tomorrow. Thanks!

            1. re: masteraleph

              No, just called them. No olives now; when they get them, only in cans.

            2. Olive update: Success! Oxygen has a number of varieties this year; the info that they sent me below. In addition, another company, certified by Star K, has assured me that they will endeavor to get Pesach certification.
              From Oxygen:
              The olives that you are looking for are Kosher for Passover and should be available on or

              698 CENTRAL AVE.
              CEDARHURST, NY 11516

              We currently have a brand new line of gourmet Cracked, Giant Cracked Green and Kalamata olives available in 14 oz. glass jars, all kosher for Passover. The closest locations to NYC are the following stores.

              Oxygen Gourmet Kalamata
              · JOJO GROCERY
              510 AVE. U
              BROOKLYN, NY 11223
              · POMEGRANATE
              1507 CONEY ISLAND AVENUE
              BROOKLYN, NY 11230
              Tel: 718-951-7112
              · SHOP DELIGHT
              4 WELWYN RD.
              GREAT NECK, NY 11021

              OXYGEN Gourmet Cracked and Gourmet Giant Cracked
              · POMEGRANATE
              1507 CONEY ISLAND AVENUE
              BROOKLYN, NY 11230
              Tel: 718-951-7112
              · KINGS HIGHWAY GLATT
              497 KINGS HIGHWAY
              BROOKLYN, NY 11223
              · BRACH'S FIVE TOWNS, LLC
              11 LAWRENCE LANE
              LAWRENCE, NY 11559

              3 Replies
              1. re: iris

                Did you have any luck finding the kalamata olives on Amazon? I could only find the cracked green and no indication they are for Passover. Thanks for the posting. Will call the Brooklyn stores tomorrow.

                1. re: mommysmazal

                  No, I found the same thing. I'm going to check out Pomegranate and will report back.

                2. re: iris

                  There were 2 bottles on the shelf in Gourmet Glatt on Friday. I did not buy them as I do not like olives. Possibly more in stock.

                3. I live even farther away but I am willing to pay shipping if anyone can find a source!! In the meantime, I've had moderate success marinating the canned olives. A lot of olives from Israel are kosher for Pesach. Here's an example of one recipe similar to what I've done in a pinch:

                  1 Can Black Pitted Olives, any size
                  Minced Garlic, one clove
                  Extra Virgin Olive Oil,1 or 2 Tablespoons
                  Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed, a splash
                  Balsamic Vinegar, a splash

                  Drain the can of olives, discarding the liquid. In a bowl, mix the garlic with the olive oil. Add the olives and toss gently to coat the olives.

                  Splash first with the balsamic vinegar, toss gently. Splash with the lemon juice, toss gently. Taste and adjust flavors to your preference.
                  Olives should marinate for at least 15-20 minutes before serving. In the event you have leftovers, they can be kept, uncovered, in the refrigerator for at least 3 days.
                  I usually add, more garlic fresh or dried herbs and sometimes lemon slices. I also marinate at least 24 hours. Not as good as the brined Kalamata, but will work in some recipes and when you are really hungry. I look forward to seeing a post with a source for the "real thing."

                  1. Ugh, also couldn't find any reasonable olives so I'm going to make tapenade and crank up the garlic and herbs to try to mask the taste of the mediocre olives. DH loves olives so I'm hoping it's better than nothing.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: koshergourmetmart

                        I'm sorry to ultimately report no success. When I went to Pomegranate (largely the purpose for a long trip) they told me that they had not received the olives - and Oxygen later confirmed that they were sent in error to Everfresh on Long Island (too far even for me, but hopefully good for some of you LI chow-ers). Oxygen also says that they are now sold out. Kosher kalamata olives (see my earlier post) will try to get Pesach certification for next year. I wrote to Israeli Harvest to see if the olives could be purchased separately; am awaiting a reply.