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The Olive Harvest

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Olive from Different Countries

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Spanish Olives

You certainly won't go far wrong with Spanish olives.

Throughout history, Spain's long, hot growing season, suitable soils and cultivation expertise have resulted in the country being recognized as number one producer and exporter of quality olives and oils.

Spanish Olive Varieties

Spain's not only home to the largest number of olive trees ... she also offers a wonderful variety - around 260 different types!

Some of the better-known are:

Manzanilla olives - juicy, green pulp and delicious flavor
Arbequina - noted for its nutty, smoky taste
Empeltre - a beautiful purplish-black
Queen - large, fat, green

curing olives/pickling olives

But, when olives are freshly picked, they tend to have a bitter, acrid taste ... they need curing.

Dare you cure your own olives from scratch? Here's an easy way to do so ...


1 kilo firm, green olives
3/4 litre mineral water
1/4 litre white wine vinegar
75 grams sea salt


1. Soak olives in plenty of water for several hours to clean.
2. Drain olives.
3. Mix together mineral water, vinegar and salt.
4. Plunge olives into mixture.
5. Weigh olives down with a plate so they're always fully submerged.
6. Keep at room temperature for 1-3 months.

It's best to allow the olives to cure for at least a month. Test from time-to-time so you'll know when they're perfect for eating.

Once cured, either eat just as they are, marinate with your favorite herbal mix, or remove pits, and stuff - with anchovies, red peppers, garlic, etc.

black or green spanish olives?

All olives start green but, when left on the tree to ripen further, will turn various shades of brown/black.

So, which Spanish olives are the best ... green or black?

Perhaps this depends on what you plan to use them for ...

Nothing beats artisan-cured green olives as an appetizer ... and to evoke fond memories of Spain.

Green olives tend to be better for stuffing than black - being firmer, their flavor mixing well with anchovies, red peppers, garlic, etc.

And, of course, you should use green olives - preferably manzilla - for martini

But when it comes to making olive paste, I think black olives are better.

Black olives also provide a healthy and colorful adornment which can turn simple dishes into a feast - sprinkle on top of smoked salmon and grated Manchego cheese ... use as a contrast in Pipirrana salad ... enliven an ensalada de pulpo or enslada de patatas.

about the nutrients in spanish olives

Did you know that olives are not only delicious ... they're also extremely healthy and considered an aphrodisiac?

Containing absolutely no cholesterol, they're an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, iron, vitamin E, copper, and dietary fiber.

And, the moral of this story? ...

... Snack on Spanish olives instead of crisps!

"The fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for
medicine." (Ezekiel 47:12)

As you can see from the above Biblical quotation, it's not just the olive that's good for you - its leaves are too ...

olive leaves

Olive leaves are packed with medicinal properties, providing an excellent homeopathic way to aid your immune system.

They help reduce high blood pressure, have anti-infective, anti-fungal, and anti-aging properties. So try this olive leaf tea recipe ...


large spoon dried/ground olive leaves
2 mugs boiling water
slice of lemon/honey(optional)


1. Place olive leaves in muslin bag/tea ball.
2. Steep in boiling water for 3-7 minutes, according to taste.
3. Strain.
4. Add a slice of lemon or spoon of honey if wished.
The resulting tea should be a pale amber in color, and you can enjoy between one and three cups daily.

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