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11 Varieties of Greek Olives That are Exquisitely Flavored

11 Varieties of Greek Olives
Greek olives are one of the most popular varieties that adorn many a table. These olives are known for their flavor, the be it whole olives or olive oil.
Shruti Bhat
Last Updated: Feb 23, 2018
Did You Know?
Fossilized olive trees that were around 60,000 thousand years old were found in the volcanic rocks of Santorini, Greece.
Olives are a staple to many a cuisine. A simple drizzle of olive oil on an old peasant bread or pizza, or in pasta makes the simplest of foods taste out of this world. So much for oil, whole olives tossed in a fresh salad or in a martini changes the flavor entirely. As for the sliced olives, they have been making simple pastas, salads, lasagnas, and pizzas taste even more delicious than they are for years now. Any form that you might choose them to be in, they have vexed food fanatics world over.
As you may know, many varieties of olives are found all over the world. They come in varied colors, sizes, and compositions. Greek olives are one such esteemed olives that are renowned for their oil as well as their flavor as whole olives on the table. Given below are a few varieties of Greek olives that are easily found and known for their exquisite flavor.
Types of Greek Olives
AKA: Voliotiki, Salonitiki, Piliou, Amphissis, Milolia
Region: Delphi, Evia, Grecia centrale, Ricopre, Salona, Volos
Use: Table and Oil
About: These olives are hand-picked once they are completely ripe after which they are slow brine cured. Amfissa olives have a mild fruity flavor and a soft texture. They are often served with strong cheeses, soups, and stews.
These olives are protected under the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
Region: Athens
Use: Olive oil
About: Athenolia olives are collected on maturation. Koroneiki and Athenolia olives are mixed together to produce a wonderful full-bodied, balanced, and flavorful extra virgin olive oil.
AKA: Halkidiki, donkey olives (gaidouria)
Region: Chalkidiki, adjacent to Mount Athos, central Greece.
Use: Table
About: These olives have an elongated and asymmetrical shape with a pointed apex. They are harvested young and go through a curing process to remove the bitterness and make them soft and palatable. Their color ranges from bright to pale green, and they come in a large size, thus aptly naming them as donkey olives. Chalkidiki olives are mostly stuffed with garlic, red peppers, or almonds.

These olives too are protected under the PDO since the year 2012.
AKA: Aetonycholia, Chondrolia, Kalamon
Region: Laconia, Messinia, and Lamia
Use: Table and Oil
About: These are known for their almond shape and are a beloved of Greeks. They are often cured in salt brine, later preserved in red wine, olive oil, or red wine vinegar, giving them a distinct smoky, fruity, and rich flavor. They are ideal for consumption once they are deep purple or aubergine color, and have a shiny skin, and snappy and tight texture.

These olive trees are protected under the European Protected Geographical Status scheme.
AKA: Conservolea
Region: Volos, Agrinio, Atalanti, etc.
Use: Table and Oil
About: Konservolia is another most popular olive devoured in Greece. These olives are spherical and are harvested green. They are later treated with salt, thus giving them their most popular wrinkly form and a purple or black color.

Konservolia olives are produced in most parts of Greece and are protected by the PDO.
AKA: Koroni, Psylolia, Kritikia, Landolia
Region: Peloponneso, Zante, Creta, Samo, Mani
Use: Olive Oil
About: Koroneiki olives are used for their oil and are ranked as the best in the world for their taste and health. These olives come in a relatively small size; however, their trees yield high amount of fruits. The Koroneiki olives are harvested when they are young to extract the best quality of oil that is great to prevent a heart disease.

These olives are protected by the PDO.
AKA: Kutsurelia
Region: Peloponnese
Use: Olive Oil
About: Kutsurelia olives are used for oil production. They are spherical-shaped olives and have a light golden-yellow color, with a light grassy herbal taste.
AKA: Megaritiki, Penahortiki
Region: Peloponneso, Beozia, and Attica
Use: Table and Oil
About: Megarons are small Greek olives grown for their green and black olives as well as their oil. The green olives are cured, brine, and packaged for oil, whereas the black ones are dry-cured in salt till they develop wrinkles. Tsakiste olives are made from these olives.
Region: Valley of Argos in the Eastern Peloponnese
Use: Oil
About: These olives are hand-picked, cracked, and cured in brine to extract their nutty and slightly smoky-flavored oil. They are then used for making extra virgin olive oil.
Region: Aigialeia
Use: Olive Oil
About: Patrinia olives have a high oil concentrate of around 25%. This oil is known for its mild fruity flavor and aroma.
AKA: Thassou, Throumba, or Throuymbolia
Region: Thassos
Use: Table and Oil
About: The Thasitiki olives are mostly found in their matured black and wrinkly form as table olives.
Lianoelia olives are grown and known for the oil they produce. Throuba can be eaten straight from the trees and make excellent table olives. The Kalamon and Mastoidis make excellent addition to salads or even along with meals, while Manaki olives decorate the table and meals as well as are made into extra virgin oil. These are just a few more types of Greek olives.
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