Are you looking for a new olive variety? There are about 1,550 olive varieties to pick from. In other words, it would take over 50 months to try a different olive variety every day. The main olive classification most people are familiar with is green and black. However, the color is related to whether the fruit is unripe (green) or ripe (black). The Mediterranean region is famous for the main ingredient for olive oil and that includes castelvetrano green olives. As with other varieties, it’s important to know the basics when going with this type to determine if it’s the right one for you.
These Italian olives provide bright green color, mild flavor, and meaty texture. This is the perfect combination when using olives in certain recipes. You might even want to decide whether to go with this variety of other Italian olives like Cerignola. It’s all about knowing the differences between the various olive varieties so you can choose wisely whether you’re making pasta, salad, or pizza. In these situations, you’ll want to consider the key features of these olives to help determine whether or not it’s the best choice for your dishes.
How Are Green Olives and Black Olives Different?
When picking an olive variety, brand, or product it can be tough to choose wisely. For example, there are so many options including whether to pick Italian or Greek, fresh or canned, and whole or pitted. These are small issues that can make a world of difference when adding olives to your dishes.
Then there’s the issue of whether to go with green or black olives. It might seem that these are two different varieties. There’s certainly a difference in the taste and texture, while black olives have a stronger flavor and thicker texture. What’s it all about?
The difference is just when farmers pick the fruits from the olive trees. Green olives are an unripe variety and black olives are the ripe type. The color is mostly related to when the Mediterranean food is picked. However, it’s also related to the processing method.
Green olives get soaked in a solution that contains ash known as “lye.” Afterward, it’s fermented in salt water for 6 to 12 months after the olives are picked. A longer fermenting process means the olives are more flavorful and less bitter.
Green olives usually are pitted and get stuff with items like:
Then there are black olives. They’re also soaked in the ash product to reduce the bitterness. They’re also cured in saltwater but usually, they’re not stuffed.
Besides these basic differences that are about all between green and black olives. If you’re watching your salt intake then consider that green olives usually have about 2x more sodium than is black olives. However, at the end of the day, the main difference is when the olives get picked.
There are about 1,550 different varieties of olives in the world. Each of them is available in green and black varieties although sometimes either variety is a better choice when picking store-bought varieties.
Castelvetrano Green Olives
This is one of the most popular Italian olives on the market. If you ever see olives labeled as “Nocellara del Belice” it’s still Castelvetrano olives. This is a popular option along with Cerignola. As with other varieties, you’ll want to know the basics to make sure you’re getting the best results.
The olives are often harvested young. The green variety is picked before it’s ripe while the black olives are already ripe. The olives are then often cured in a saltwater brine.
These Italian olives have a bright green color. This makes them easy to spot in the supermarket compared to other varieties. Other olives have a lighter green color.
Meanwhile, the flavor is mild with a mixture of sweet/salty. If you’re an olive guru then these features make them a good choice. Castelvetrano olives are also a good option for people who don’t like strong/salty flavors.
Another feature of these olives is they also have a meaty texture. This helps to explain the buttery flavor that they have, which is different from other varieties with a less hearty texture.
These olives are good for pairing with cheeses and wine. You can also eat them as a healthy snack. One of the key features of these olives is they’re less salty than other varieties since there’s a balance of sweet/salty. This adds value to the olives and makes them a good option for different pairings like cheese and crackers.
You can also find olive oils that are made from this Italian olive. You’ll get the same mild flavor and hearty texture in the olive oil as the whole olives.
Top Health Benefits of Olives
This Mediterranean food is high in antioxidants that might help to prevent cancer. These antioxidants not only can help to fight off free radical molecules but also cancer cells. It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough antioxidants in your diet to maintain a healthy life.
This is one of the powerful antioxidants that’s skin-friendly and provides other health benefits. The healthy unsaturated fat in olives can help to fight free radicals and thus help provide healthy skin, hair, etc. As always the best source of vitamins is real food versus supplements, which includes green olives.
The omega-3s in olives is believed to improve brain function including memory. This is another reason it’s a good idea to focus on increasing healthy fat instead of lowering all fat. Besides memory, you can also boost brain function in general by consuming high-omega-3 foods like olives.
While the body doesn’t digest dietary fiber it’s important for good digestion. We can only get this nutrient from plant-based foods. Certain options including olives are high-fiber and thus good for digestion. This is also good for gut health, which is another reason to add more olives to your daily diet. Fiber works as a natural detox that can help cleanse the entire digestive system.
Olive oil has been trending in recent years on low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets. It’s not only low in carbohydrates but also high in healthy fat. In recent years health experts have focused on the importance of eating more healthy fat instead of ditching all fat. That includes omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthier than omega-6s found in other foods.
These are important to fight off free radical molecules that attack healthy cells. They can lead to unwanted effects like inflammation, illness, and disease. Olives are a high-antioxidant food that might help to reduce risk events like heart attack and strokes through castelvetranos.