Do you like olives? In Spain it is one of the most common appetizers, although it is also used as an ingredient in many recipes. Today we want to talk to you about the different types of table olives that we can find in our country, since we must differentiate them from those used to make olive oil and, in addition, each type can have different uses in the kitchen.
Olives are one of the most characteristic foods of the Mediterranean diet. But it must be borne in mind that not all varieties of olives are suitable for direct consumption, since many of them only serve to make different types of olive oil.
When we talk about table olives (also known as olives) we refer to the fruits of the olive tree They have a medium fat content, small and smooth bone that allows easy detachment, with delicate, tasty and firm pulp, and with a fine skin.
Spain is the main producer and exporter of olives and olive oil in the world. In addition, depending on the geographical area, different types of table olives are grown. That is why it will be necessary to differentiate them according to the variety, the coloring and also according to their presentation.
Next we will see the nutritional benefits What helps us include table olives in our diet, as well as the different types that exist and their uses in the kitchen.
Nutritional benefits of olives or olives
Table olives are a highly balanced and highly nutritious food. It’s one of the appetizers most used in bars and terraces, as well as being an ideal meal to calm the appetite between meals. However, it is necessary that we not overdo it with its consumption.
It is recommended not to take more than seven units a day, which we can eat for example in the middle of the morning, to get more energy and face the rest of the day.
Among the benefits that these small fruits bring us, its high power when it comes to prevent heart and circulatory system diseases. In addition, as we have already commented, they are highly satiating and attached to his high fiber content, help maintain weight, as they contain low calories.
In addition, your contribution of iron It is a perfect ally for people who have anemia and need an extra dose of this mineral to regain levels of red blood cells. Black olives contain more of this mineral than green olives.
On the other hand, it stands out for its excessive contribution of sodium, being the base ingredient of the brine so its consumption should be limited in people with hypertession problems.
As for vitamins, olives are an important source of Vitamin E, which contributes to the protection of cells against oxidative damage.
Types of table olives and recipes
For the olives to reach our tables, they must have been picked in the state of maturity adequate and possess the quality demanded by the International Olive Council. For this, they must be subjected to a certain manufacturing process that provides a product ready for consumption and in optimal conservation conditions.
Depending on the climate of the growing area, the olive harvest begins at the end of November and ends in February or March. However, green olives are early in their collection to the months of September and October; while black olives are later.
Andalusia It is the autonomous community that has the largest cultivation area for olive trees, although some also have a place in other geographical areas.
Next we will see the categories by which the different types of table olives are classified. According to variety There are 6 types of table olives.
It is grown mainly in Seville, where it is highly appreciated. Due to its productivity and the quality of the fruit it is also the variety most widely spread internationallyHence, it is also cultivated in Israel, Australia, Argentina and the United States.
It is medium in size, almost round in shape and with relatively small bone.
The fruit is from black color when ripe, medium-large in size, spherical and slightly asymmetrical. It is found exclusively in the Cáceres area and is characterized by its high fat content and a mild flavor but with some spicy nuances. It can be used for both table olives and olive oil.
It is known internationally as Sevillana, and is greatly appreciated for its great size and flavor. They reach an average weight of 12.5 grams. Its appearance is heart-shaped, not very intense green with white spots.
This variety of olive is similar to Manzanilla but its flesh is tougher and has a violet to black coloration, due to its late maturation. Its shape is elliptical and a large size.
Also known as Lucentina, It is found mainly in the south of Córdoba, the north of Malaga, Seville and Granada.
It is an olive something more elongated than Chamomile, with a lower pulp / bone ratio, very fine. Its name refers to its place of origin, Morón de la Frontera, where its cultivation is concentrated almost exclusively.
Currently it is gaining more importance due to its better adaptation to some types of dressings, less delicate.
It has the Denomination of Origin Aloreña de Málaga. It comes from a delimited area in Álora (Málaga) and has three ways of preparation: fresh green, traditional style or cured. Despite this, the three types share characteristics such as a rounded size, cured in brine, a bone that is easily detached from the pulp.
The bitterness will depend on the degree of fermentation of the olive, in this sense fresh green olives will generally be more bitter than olives with a complete fermentation. And this will also affect the coloration, usually green, yellowish-green or a light brown hue.
These 6 varieties are the most consumed but there are others such as Cañivana, Picolimón, Gordalilla, Rapazalla, Picuda, Cordobí and Cuquillo.
Depending on the moment in which they have been harvested and the elaboration process carried out, table olives can be of three different colors.
They are obtained from fruits of normal size, collected in their ripening point. They are usually firm, healthy and resistant to gentle pressure between the fingers. They do not have other spots other than those of their natural pigmentation, although the color of the fruit can vary from green to straw yellow.
They are olives that are picked before full maturity and with purple, pinkish or brown fruits.
These olives come from fruits that they are not fully mature and that once treated they acquire their characteristic black color.
And when it comes to being presented at the table, we can find different types of olives.
These olives retain their original shape and the pit has not been removed.
These have had the bone removed but they practically retain their original shape.
They are olives that are pitted or stuffed, cut into rings of a similar thickness.
These pitted olives appear stuffed with one or more ingredients such as pepper, onion, tuna, anchovy, salmon, almond, bacon, cheese, shrimp, garlic …
It is a recipe in which olives are combined with sour oranges, salt, water, red peppers, fennel, thyme and oregano, mainly. They can be prepared at home but it requires leaving them in brine for a few days.
In the kitchen, olives are a perfect complement to various preparations and even drinks. They can even be used both in cold dishes What hot. Some recipes that we propose with olives are this delicious Greek salad with black olives, the potato dumplings, tomato and pitted green olives (suitable for vegans) or the classic black olive tapenade or pate.