Types of Olives
There are hundreds of different olive varieties, and ripeness at harvest plays a major factor in any oil’s flavor. That said, here’s a brief overview of some common olives used for oil:
Native to Spain’s Catalonia but also popular in California, this versatile olive is fruity, round, and easygoing. It can showcase a distinct almond note.
Often the lead olive in blends labeled Tuscan or Italian, it’s bold and assertive, with grassy and peppery notes. In Tuscany, it’s picked early to accentuate these flavors.
Perhaps the signature olive of Greece but growing in popularity worldwide, this delivers pungent oils that feature tropical fruit and herbs.
Maligned for its use in flawed, bulk oils, it can shine when handled properly. Intense notes of green tomato and tomato leaf impart a unique flavor.
Though originally from Spain, sometimes considered California’s “native” variety due to a long history in the state. Grassy and peppery, its early harvest oils can present green tomato and pine, while late harvest versions can be round and buttery.
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