Get to Know Different Table Olive Styles with Willow Creek

Words: Crush


Ever wanted to learn more about the different types of olives that are readily available at almost every store? With so many options to choose from, olive novices may have a hard time deciding on the perfect table olive to best complement a certain recipe. Turn every meal into a memorable occasion and join us as we delve into different styles of table olives…

different types of olives

Spanish-style Green Olives

Spanish-style green olives are vibrant and naturally green in colour, but can sometimes have a slightly brownish hue. These type of olives are firm in texture, but not hard and have a pleasant salty taste, while retaining the flavour of the fruit. The most popular cultivars used to make Spanish-style green olives in South Africa are Mission, Manzanilla and Nocellara.

different types of olive cultivars

Following harvesting, these green olives undergo two basic processes before they can be consumed. First, they undergo a lye treatment to break down oleuropein — the bitter compound in olives. This treatment also makes the outer layer of the fruit more permeable to allow for the diffusion of sugars.The lye treatment lasts up to 24 hours and includes several rinsing steps to remove the lye, before the olives undergo the final processing phase of natural fermentation.

These type of olives are firm in texture, but not hard and have a pleasant salty taste, while retaining the flavour of the fruit.

Spanish-style green olives can be enjoyed as a snack during a rugby game — they’re much healthier and tastier than potato chips and pair wonderfully with lean biltong such as Springbok or Kudu. De-pit and add to a toasted baguette that’s been lightly smeared with cream cheese and topped with smoked salmon ribbons.

Purchase Willow Creek Olive Estate’s Spanish-Style Green Olives here.


Greek-Style Black Olives

Naturally fermented black olives are prepared in the traditional Greek-style, which means that they have been cured in brine. This style of black olive is made by natural fermentation only and uses cultivars like Mission, Kalamata, Leccino and Piqual. Greek-style black olives range in colour from brownish-purple to dark purple. These olives have a fleshy texture and a slightly bitter, but fruity olive taste.

olive styles

Greek-style black olives range in colour from brownish-purple to dark purple.

Greek-style black olives can be used in various pasta dishes and pair well with herbs, garlic, capers, and anchovies. They can also be used as a delicious pizza topping.

You can purchase Willow Creek Olive Estate’s Greek-Style Black Olives here.


What are Calamata-style Olives?

Calamata-style often confuses consumers. You might wonder — what’s the difference between Kalamata, Calamata-style and Greek-style table olives? When olives first became popular in South Africa, the market’s only knowledge of olives was of the Kalamata cultivar, originating from Greece. The local producers had a huge shortage of Kalamatas, which are fermented in the Greek style, and thus named the naturally fermented black olives, of any cultivar, ‘Calamata-style olives’, because the fermentation process is the same.

types of olives

Try Willow Creek Olive Estate’s New Kalamata Olives, they’re delicious and make for the ultimate snack!

Willow Creek Olive Estate is launching a brand-new product! Their Kalamata table olives will be available online from 1 September 2022, just in time for Heritage Day. Enjoy your braai festivities with a jar of their earthy, delectable Kalamata table olives in hand.

Try these delicious recipes with Willow Creek’s table olives…

Whipped Feta & Cream Cheese with Green Olive Salsa Verde

Green olives are excellent for incorporating into dishes, beyond salads. When chopped, they make a great salsa verde and the ultimate party dip.

Recipe for Whipped Feta & Cream Cheese with Green Olive Salsa Verde

Onion, Olive & Goat’s Cheese Tart

The Willow Creek Greek-style Black Olives in this tart pair beautifully with flavours of onion and goat’s cheese.

Recipe for Onion, Olive & Goat’s Cheese Tart

Head over to the Willow Creek e-shop to try out their delicious table olives range.

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