In Greece olives are prepared with minimal processing which gives them a natural, balanced taste and a good, firm texture. Kalamata and Natural Black olives are cured with just salt and water.
Which are the Best Olives?
As a general rule the smaller the stone and the greater the flesh the better the olive. Ultimately it comes down to your personal taste as they are all quite different!
- Green olives should be firm, even crunchy, in texture.
- Black olives should be softer in texture than green olives but not mushy.
- Natural black olives are not uniform in colour, and they are generally a shade pr purplish / brown rather than black.
The Olive Grove
The majority of Odysea branded olives originate from the Rovies Estate, which is one of only a handful of Greek olive groves that continue to harvest their olives by hand. This traditional method reduces the likelihood of bruising or damaging the fruit during harvesting. The olives are then cured the same day they are harvested and packed, by hand, on site.
We are proud of the close personal friendship and working relationship we’ve established with Rovies, and are delighted to offer these incredible olives to buy online under the Rovies and Odysea brands.
Growing & Harvesting Olives
There are somewhere in the region of 800 million olive trees in the world, and over 90% of these can be found growing in the Mediterranean. Blossom will appear on the trees during the Spring, with the olives becoming fleshier and forming a hard stone in the centre in the Summer.
After ripening, harvesting will take place during the Autumn months, with the precise time varying according to the type of olive required:
- Green Olives: Harvested at the “unripe” stage around September, these olives are firm in texture, crunchy when bitten into with their flesh firmly attached to the stone. Green olives vary in colour from leafy-green to straw-yellow.
- Blond Olives: These olives are harvested in September/October when semi-ripe, during the “turning” stage from green to black. Colours can be anything from light green-yellow to shades of light brown. These olives are firm but will not have the same bitterness as green olives.
- Natural Black Olives: Natural black olives vary in colour from light brown through to deep chestnut, the skin is still fairly firm but the flesh will be much softer and more loosely attached to the stone than that of green olives. These olives are harvested at the “ripe” stage.
- Kalamata Olives: With their rich fruity flavour, meaty texture and distinctive almond shape it is easy to see why the Kalamata is considered the “queen” of all Greek olives. These olives should be plump with glossy skin and show a slight variation in colour from deep chestnut through to dark purple. Like natural black olives, Kalamata olives are harvested when ripe.