Varieties of olives in Spain
The wide range of olive trees that we have in Spain allows us to obtain many different types of olive. I believe it is very important to know what our own land has to offer. That’s why I want to tell you where to find the most typical Spanish table olives and a little about them, so that you can learn to recognize them by their shape, size, and flavor.
When is an olive considered to be a table olive?
For an olive to be used as a table olive, it should have the following characteristics:
– A fine skin so that it is smooth when chewed.
– Easy to pit.
– A good pulp-stone ratio.
– And a medium fat content.
Spanish olives: variety in shape, color and flavor.
The most popular table olives in Spain are Manzanilla, Manzanilla Cacereña, Gordal, and Hojiblanca olives.
The Manzanilla olive comes from Seville, although it is now also grown in Huelva and Badajoz. In Seville it is harvested when still green, whereas in Extremadura it is harvested once it has turned black; this is called Manzanilla Cacereña. It has a round and oval shape. The flavor of these Spanish olives is mild and delicious, and their high quality makes them the most sought-after olive both nationally and internationally.
The Gordal olive is another olive from Seville. It is prized for its fleshiness and its most distinctive characteristic is its large size. It is harvested when still green and can often be found in pickles. It has an ovoid shape that is somewhat asymmetrical. These olives are bitter, but their flavor is usually softened with water and sometimes even lye.
The Hojiblanca variety of Spanish olive can be found primarily in Córdoba and Málaga, but it is also found in Seville and Granada. It has a symmetrical, ovoid shape and is medium to large in size. The olives are black, usually due to industrial oxidation. They also have a mild and delicious flavor of fruit and bitter almond, with the aroma of freshly cut grass.
You’ve probably tried these olives on more than one occasion, but from now on you’ll be able to start distinguishing them by their colors, flavors, and sizes. Enjoy this delicious appetizer in the best company.