Italy holds the world record for olive cultivars: we have a biodiversity fortune of more than 500 different olives. That’s almost half of the world’s olive varieties!! From cooking to snacking, olives are embedded in our traditional cuisine.
Americans fell in love with that sense of lighthearted freedom that a bowl of olives and a glass of wine give away. It was about time! Every Italian region has another olive, and every Italian swears by their favorite variety:
Green Bella di Cerignola from Puglia are preserved in brine and are the most perfect XXL green olives you have ever seen.
• bright, freshly harvested flavor
• sweet with no bitterness, but with a gentle tart note
• high sapidity
• crunchy mouthfeel
Castelvetrano from Sicilia belong to the variety Nocellara del Belice. They come in brine (so you can dress them as you’d like) or preserved with Pianogrillo EVOO + Sicilian herbs.
• irresistible buttery tang
• soft skin
• tender and meaty pulp
• distinct savoriness
Taggiasca from Liguria are preserved in brine and offer a mosaic of colors (and flavors!)
• intensely umami with a complex flavor profile
• floral notes
• spicy and pungent finish
• perfect balance between sweet and bitter
Black Bella di Cerignola from Puglia are preserved in brine and turned black (oxidized) with streams of water (instead of being dyed with iron).
• sweet with no bitterness
• velvety, meaty mouthfeel
• great fleshy texture
• notes of sweet licorice
Bonus Recipe with Olives
Why stop at one kind when you can combine all four or five? Olive al Forno with Green & Black Bella di Cerignola from Fratepietro, Taggiasca from Benza, and Castelvetrano from Pianogrillo warmed in an extra hot oven with herbs, peperoncini, and preserved lemon.