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Understanding Olives – A Beginner’s Guide

Whether you love them or hate them, the chances that you’ve encountered olives on a dish somewhere is highly likely. From charcuterie boards to nachos to martinis these, in our opinion, delectable treats can be found nearly everywhere.

While not everyone is a huge fan of them we’ve decided to give a brief beginners guide introduction to one of our favorite foods.

What is An Olive

An olive, surprisingly enough, is a small fruit that is grown on olive trees in the Mediterranean areas of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North and South America, and South Africa. They belong to a group of fruit called drupes, or stone fruits, and are related to cherries, peaches, mangoes, almonds, and pistachios.

Green Olives vs. Black Olives

There are two kinds of olives that are most commonly seen, those being black and green olives. The difference between these two is really quite simple and is based entirely on when the olive is harvested. Green olives are harvested before becoming fully ripe while black olives are allowed to ripen before harvest.

The timing of the harvest will dictate a different taste for the olives which is why you may find in sampling them that you prefer one kind over the other.

What Do We Use Green Olives For?

Green olives are used primarily in the production and manufacturing of olive oil. In fact, over 90% of olives harvested are used to produce olive oil, while a mere 10% are used as table olives.

Green olives that are used in the production of olive oil are harvested prior to ripeness and are then made into a paste, called pomace. From this pomace the olive oil is then extracted.

Understanding the Different Types of Olive Oil

As you explore the world of olive oil, you’ll find that there are a variety of kinds ranging from extra virgin to light and several in-between. The difference in these oils is based both on production method as well as purity.

Extra-virgin olive oil, is the highest quality olive oil that you can purchase. In order to even be labeled extra virgin the oil must be created from the first cold-pressing of the olives. This method of extraction ensures that all of the health benefits of the olive fruit remain in the oil. Making extra-virgin olive oil one of the healthiest fats you can use in cooking.

Other olive oil varieties may be created using chemicals or heat to extract the oil, and in addition many are mixed with lower quality oils such as vegetable or corn.

At D’Olivo we sell only the highest-quality olive oils ensuring that our products meet over 33 quality parameters before being made available to consumers, earning our oils the designation of ultra-premium.

Health Benefits of Olive Oil

One of our favorite reasons to enjoy olive oil is that it is one of the healthiest fats on the market that you can use in your cooking or baking. High quality extra virgin olive oils have an extremely high smoke point as well, making them perfect for any dish that you might be interested in trying.

Olives are high in antioxidants which work by preventing the oxidation of cells. This helps with blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which are leading risk factors for heart disease. In addition, olives and olive oil in particular, are high in oleic acid. Oleic acid has been known to help reduce cholesterol and reduce inflammation.

How to Use Olives

While these fruits may be tiny, they pack a flavor punch that makes them great for cooking in all kinds of ways. In fact, since olives comprise both a liquid form with olive oil, and a solid form with table olives, there’s really no end in sight when it comes to ways you can utilize them in the kitchen. Below are just a few of our favorites.

Olive Tapenade

This tasty dip can be made ahead and kept for up to five days in the refrigerator. Simply take your favorite Delizia brand stuffed green olives – lemon, garlic, and green chili are all great choices. Pulse together with capers, garlic, dill, and olive in a food processor and serve with crackers, pita bread, or grilled baguette. For a complete recipe check here (https://dolivotastingbar.com/recipes/lemon-stuffed-olive-tapenade-with-up-frantoio-leccino/)


Olive oil can make a great substitute in any baking recipe. Simply replace the butter or other oil to give your favorite recipe a healthy upgrade. Replacement ratios for substitution are below.

Substitute olive oil for butter in a ratio of three parts olive oil to four parts butter:

1 teaspoon = ¾ teaspoon
1 tablespoon = 2 ¼ teaspoons
2 tablespoons = 1 ½ tablespoons
½ cup = 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup = ¼ cup
½ cup = ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup = ½ cup
¾ cup = ½ cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup = ¾ cup

As a substitute for other oils you can substitute in a 1:1 ratio.

With fall on the horizon consider giving this olive oil pie crust a try with your favorite holiday pie. https://dolivotastingbar.com/recipes/super-tender-olive-oil-pie-crust/


Olive oil makes a great marinade for any vegetable or meat dish you might be cooking up. Simply find your favorite olive oil and place it into a bag with your choice of herbs and spices. Add the meat and/or veggies and let them sit for a few hours or even overnight. The flavors will absorb into the food leaving you with a mouth-watering meal.

Served as a Snack

Whole green olives, plain or stuffed, make a great snack on their own. While very popular when added as a garnish for martinis, they’re also increasing in popularity as a snack served alone. The stuffed varieties especially offer a number of flavors that make them a healthy go-to when you just need to take the edge off. Try lemon, garlic, green chili, or almond stuffed varieties.


Olives and the extra virgin olive oil produced from them are both delicious and healthy for you. Plus, they’re extremely versatile and make great additions to any meal you might be serving up.