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Your all time favorite olives

Never had an olive until I was about thirty.
I like the green ones with the anchovy in them and black olives from the tin.
The odd time I've seen a whole bunch of olive types in a display case I don't know what ones to try.
I don't like too salty or strong flavoured/vinegary ones.
Can you suggest some olive types that I may try considering my taste in just two types so far?

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  1. Cerignola and Castelvetrano olives are both delicious, milder varieties. Meaty and fabulous.

    1 Reply
    1. re: biondanonima

      The Castelvetrano is just a perfect olive, but then I've never met an olive I didn't like.

    2. I am addicted to Lucques. Crispy, buttery, utterly delicious. I, too, prefer mild olives.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Pwmfan

        Thanks very much! Please keep the suggestions coming. I'm making a list and when I have a few more names I'm headed out to try to find some.

        1. re: Pwmfan

          I love Lucques also, I haven't had them in ages either darn. I can't find them locally since we moved.

          1. re: rasputina

            Don't know where you are located, but I just bought some in a jar at Trader Joe's.

            1. re: critter101

              I don't have TJs either, but thanks for posting. All I've got is Sprouts and their olive bar leaves much to be desired. The kalamatas are pitted for example...sigh. I've only ever seen Lucques at Whole Foods olive bar.

          1. re: melpy

            But, in my opinion, they need to be purchased at an Italian deli. I find the Middle Eastern variety a bit too salty.

            1. re: melpy

              Those might be "too salty or strong flavored" for the OP though...

            2. kalamata, niçoise, lucques

              1. As a kid, think I was one of few "kids" who like olives. They usually showed up in a holiday relish dish... green w/pimentos and black outta a can.

                I like calamata olives best, though open to trying other varieties.

                1. kalamatas of course (they can vary). and Moroccan they are the small black wrinkly looking ones, kind of smokey tasting.

                  1. The green french Picholine olives are mild and buttery,
                    Manzanilla olives from spain are another mild green one. Gordal and arbequina are also great.
                    I have found that the larger olives are more mild in flavor. Also looks for olives stuffed with an almond, or garlic, or jalapeno etc.. If you find olives from spain stuffed with tuna i think you would like those as well.

                    If you have access to a market with an "olive bar" that would be ideal to try small amounts of several varities. Otherwise try
                    http://m.tienda.com/food/olives.html and http://www.igourmet.com/search/search...

                    1. America's Test Kitchen, on PBS tonight, had Mezzetta brand as #1 pick for jarred olives. My pick is any olive. I'm not picky. I like any olive.

                      1. Kalamata, Niçoise, Black Sicilian cured in EVOO, Castelvetrano pretty much any olive except the black pitted brined garbage you get in cans.

                        1. I'm not 100% sure of the variety of olive, although I think it's the Empeltre.

                          Grown in Mallorca, it's a quite bitter olive, which they crack so the brine can penetrate more fully. It may not suit the OP, therefore, as it's a strong flavoured salty one. It'd be rare to see them for sale away from the island but they would probably be marketed by the "Fet a Soller" people and labelled as "Olivas de Mallorca - trencada" (trencada meaning crushed in the local dialect)

                          1. Cheese and olives ... delicious. Olive bar pic ... http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/medite...

                            I like almost all olives, but my favorites are Greek Royal olives and Cerignola olives.
                            If I'm cooking, then it's Kalamata and Gaeta olives that I use most.

                            Look --> http://www.foodsubs.com/Olivpick.html

                            1. Second Castelvetrano and Cerignola (not the dyed black or red) for fresh, meaty, not too briney olives. Kalamatas, when not too old or badly handled, can be magical.

                              1. The three on the toothpick in my Martini ;-)

                                Actually, though I am certain I am not as well-versed in different olive types as others here, I have so far not found one that I dislike. I love Kalamatas and oil-cured ones. I really like the "common" ones you mentioned, and not just in that Martini. I like the green ones with different stuffings - cheese, garlic, etc. When I see an olive bar in the supermarket, all I can think is "I want to try them all".

                                1. Cerignolas & Lucques. But I'll eat just about any olive.....especially after draining my martini.....