Food - Drink
What Makes Kalamata Olives Unique?
The olive, which has been cultivated for over 6,000 years, forms the backbone of many global cuisines, and for olive lovers who would rather savor the whole fruit than just the olive oil, Kalamata olives are especially prized. This variety is unique because of where it is grown, how it is harvested, and its unmistakable flavor.
Kalamata olives, which belong to a variety called Kalmon, are named after the Greek town of Kalamata, where olive crops thrive under the Mediterranean sun and are harvested by hand. Only olives grown in this region can be called Kalamata, and the fruit is known for its almond-like shape and dark purple skin.
Kalamata olives are soaked in brine before they’re ready to eat, and are often preserved using wine vinegar and olive oil, which gives them a smoky, fruity taste that is very rich and salty. They are an excellent option for tapenade, the classic Provençal olive spread, or simply eaten plain as a snack or part of a charcuterie board.
While the Kalamata is a variety of black olive, they should not be confused with the more common and mildly-flavored black olives you might put on pizza; attentive eaters will notice that Kalamatas are a very dark purple, not a pure black. These special olives pair especially well with Feta cheese and a glass of white wine.