A bowl of Kalamata olives
|Olive (Olea europaea)|
|Color of the ripe fruit||Dark Purple|
|Hazards||Verticillium wilt and cold|
|Use||Table and oil|
|Leaf||twice the size of other olive varieties|
|Shape||big, plump almond-shaped|
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||284 kJ (68 kcal)|
Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
The Kalamata olive is a large, black olive with a smooth, meaty texture named after the city of Kalamata in the southern Peloponnese, Greece. Often used as a table olive, they are usually preserved in wine vinegar or olive oil. Kalamata olives in the European Union (EU) has PDO status; whereby only olives originating from the Kalamata region have the sole rights to be branded as Kalamata if sold in the EU.
Kalamata olives are named after the city of Kalamata in Messenia, southern Greece, near where they are grown. They are also grown in nearby Laconia. They are an almond-shaped, plump, dark purple olive, from a tree distinguished from the common olive by the size of its leaves, which grow to twice the size of other olive varieties. The trees are intolerant of cold and are susceptible to Verticillium wilt but are resistant to olive knot and to the Olive fruit fly.
Kalamata olives cannot be harvested green, and must be hand-picked in order to avoid bruising. Olive oil produced from the Kalamata olive has a faintly grassy flavor. Kalamata olives are protected under the European Protected Geographical Status scheme.
There are two methods of preparing Kalamata olives, known as the long and short methods. The short method debitters the olive by packing them in water or weak brine for around a week. Once complete, they are then packed in brine and wine vinegar with a layer of olive oil and slices of lemon on top. The olives can be slit in order to decrease the processing time. The long method involves slitting the olives and placing them in salted water in order to debitter them, a process that can take as long as three months. Levels of polyphenol remain in the olives after processing, giving them their slightly bitter taste.
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