Kalamata olives have emerged as the most popular of all olives. From olive hummus to olive tapenades, olive bruschettas, and beyond, the kalamata olive is featured in all sorts of tasty concoctions, most of which have Italian or Greek roots. These flavorful olives have also made their way into pasta sauces, salads, and other appetizers and entrees.
The olive tree dates back thousands of years. Culinary historians insist olive trees first grew in the Eastern Mediterranean region. In fact, the olive tree was even provided as a prize for Olympic winners. However, most people don’t know much about the nuanced history of the kalamata olive. Revered far and wide for their delicious taste and nutritional properties, kalamata olives are harvested in Messinia Peloponnese and Laconia. These delicate olives are hand-picked to prevent bruising. Kalamata olives are quite bitter when first plucked from trees so it takes some time for them to develop their amazing flavor. Most olive experts place kalamata olives in a brine solution for an extended period of time so they can ferment that much more quickly and thoroughly. It takes upwards of several months for the fermentation process to complete.
Also known as Greek olives, kalamata olives are named after the town of Kalamata where they grow between the glorious Taygetos’ hillsides and the Messinian Gulf. Taygetos is Peloponnese’s highest mountain in all of southern Greece. This is the perfect place to grown kalamata olives as the area has warm temperatures, plenty of sunshine, and water springs. This region is also highlighted by additional amazing natural features such as vast gorges, tall mountains, and beautiful sandy beaches. The land in and near the town of Kalamata has been extensively developed throughout the years, serving as a bountiful region for kalamata olives as well as other fruits and vegetables. In fact, some culinary specialists and historians have grown fond of referring to the town of Kalamata as Peloponnese’s Marseille.
Now that you know the background of kalamata olives, it is time to taste these flavorful olives in the form of an appetizer or entrée. Some even choose to eat kalamata olives one by one with their hands, enjoying a flavor infusion that pleases the palate and lifts the spirit. Whether you prefer kalamata olives in salads, pasta entrees, as a pizza topping, in bruschetta, tapenades, or on their own, we compliment you on your good taste.