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Greece with its Mediterranean climate is the perfect home of the olive tree. Local and regional climatic differences and soil conditions have led to ever new varieties of olives in Greece. That is why there are many varieties of Greek olives today.
There are now over 60 different types of olives. Each variety has its own character. The olive varieties in Greece differ not only in size, color and shape, but also in the composition of their ingredients and thus in taste.
Kalamata olives are almond shape and have a brown deep purple color. They are found on the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece and have played a role in human nutrition for thousands of years. The olive trees grow under the amazing Greek sun and have much larger leaves than other types of olive trees around the nation and the world.
The fruits of this variety are called Kalamata olives only if they actually come from the region, as it is a protected designation of origin.
The olive tree has existed for thousands of years and is believed to have originated in the eastern Mediterranean. The olive tree is a symbol of honor and culture and has even been used as a prize for champions at the Olympic Games. Olives have been a food since the early Minoan era. These small black fruits are not only a staple in Greek cuisine, but also in international varieties.
Popular for their nutritional properties and healthy fat dose, Kalamata olives of the Kalamon variety are named after the Messinia region in the Peloponnese, where they are also made. However, they are also harvested in the neighboring area of Laconia.
Known for their almond shape, deep purple color and intense flavor, Kalamata olives are hand picked to avoid bruising. After harvesting the olives, the workers either process them into olive oil or prepare them into table olives.
Their optimal harvest time is late fall, while other varieties are usually picked earlier, which explains why they are still green. If the olives are too green, the fruit, along with the olive oil produced, will taste bitter. On the other hand too dark means low quality.
During harvest, the workers place the mesh nets under the trees to collect all the fruit while the branches are shaken.
As mentioned earlier, Kalamata olives are hand picked in early October. The time of harvest of the fruit not only determines the size of the fruit and its quality, but also the content of health-promoting ingredients.
Despite their purple color and size, they are often classified as black table olives, while they can also be used to make olive oil. Like most olives, they are inherently bitter, which is why they are usually cured or processed before consumption.
At this stage of ripeness, the water content of the olive is still low, which affects its firmness and thus its quality. However, the fresh fruits are not yet edible and are immediately placed in brine.
This process is known as the "hardened" process and is used to improve their taste.
There are two different ways to do this.
Black olives are considered by doctors and nutritionists to be one of the healthiest foods in the world, and that's because they're high in sodium, high in healthy fats, and a natural antioxidant.
Kalamata olives contain a number of health-promoting vitamins and minerals and are particularly rich in iron and vitamin A. Regular consumption is said to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer.
Kalamata olives have been linked to a variety of health benefits due to their high content of potent beneficial botanicals.
The olives are said to have the following effects:
Origins: Kalamata olives are a black variety of olives. They are one of the most popular Greek olive varieties that grow in Messinia, a regional unit in Greece. The olives are named after the city of Kalamata, near which they were grown.
Black olives also come from the Mediterranean area. They were first cultivated over five thousand years ago. Today many countries are involved in their production due to their climate - not only Greece, but also the USA, Australia, etc.
Appearance : You can easily distinguish between Kalamata olives and black olives. Kalamata olives are this deep purple in color.
Kalamata olives are also more elongated and almond-shaped, while black olives are more rounded. Black olives also come in many different shapes.
Curing method: After the harvest, the olives go through a so-called "hardening process". Kalamata and black olives are cured differently.
Taste: Both Kalamata and black olives are bitter when first picked.
The taste of Kalamata olives is unique and more pronounced than the taste of many varieties of black olives. Thus, the taste of black olives can be changed by adding various herbs during the salting process. It is common knowledge that black olives have a milder taste than Kalamata.
Have you ever wondered if the olives we eat are the same olives that are used to make olive oil?
Kalamata olives are grown for consumption and are a fantastic addition to many dishes as we mentioned before, but no ... they are not the olives found in the area's ambrosial oil.