A Beginner’s Guide to the Most Popular Types of Olives


With so many unique types of olives to try, why would you ever eat canned ones again?

Olives are beloved worldwide, and now more than ever, Americans are hopping on the Mediterranean bandwagon.

If you know someone who is a self-proclaimed Olive Snob or is planning a Mediterranean-themed party, it’s essential to understand the different types of olives to select the perfect ones.

Not sure where to start? Let’s look at the most popular types of olives, including the basics of olive oil production.


Kalamata olives are a type of black olive originating from the Southern Peloponnese region of Greece. They are characterized by their dark, egg-like shape, salty and somewhat fruity flavor, and low moisture content.

The oil content of Kalamata olives is about 20%, which makes them a good source of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Kalamata olives are most used in Mediterranean cooking but are also a popular choice for home cooks looking to add depth to their recipes. They are often featured in salads, sauces, casseroles, and other dishes, lending their savory flavor. 


One of the olive types is Gaeta. They are small, wrinkled olives with a distinct and bitter flavor that complements many Italian dishes. They can be used as a garnish and easily added to salads and pasta. Another great thing is that They are packed in salt and oil and might range in color from dark purple to almost black. They are perfect for tapenades and seafood dishes. Moreover, They can also be eaten as is, providing a robust and spicy flavor!


Cerignola is large, juicy, and has a pleasant slightly sweet taste. They are generally dark green, though some varieties may be black.

There are two main Cerignola olives types: green Cerignola and black Cerignola. Green Cerignola olives have a more distinct taste, while the black variety is much sweeter and has a softer texture.

Cerignola olives are most commonly used in salads and as a topping for pizza. They can also be found in jarred and canned products such as antipasti and in various sauces and dressing recipes.


The most popular types of best olives in Liguria are the Taggiasca, Leccino, and Storeci olives. The Taggiasca olives are small, oval-shaped, and have a mild flavor.

Leccino olives have a slightly bitter flavor and a creamy texture. The Storeci olives are round and have sweet-tasting flesh. These olives are perfect for making olive oil and can be eaten alone or added to salads. 


Originating from Castelvetrano, Sicily, this variety of olives provides a unique flavor and texture combination of salty and sweet. A great choice for olive lovers, you can shop for Castelvetrano olives in most supermarkets, specialty stores, and online. 

These olives are harvested when green and are known for their vibrant color and soft texture. They have a mild, buttery taste and are excellent for snacking, on sandwiches, in sauces, and in salads.

A Dive into the Different Flavors & Types of Olives

This blog has provided a beginner’s look at the most popular types of olives. Olives come in various shapes, sizes, and flavors, providing great options for salads, sandwiches, and other dishes.

To learn more about olives, visit your local grocery store to see which type is best for you. Enjoy!

If you’re in search of more great content like this, be sure to check out the rest of our blog!

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