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Greek Olive Varieties

There are hundreds of different olive varieties in Greece, usually named after the areas in which they are grown. Examples include Kalamon and Halkidiki. Greece is famous for a spectrum of fine olives, which are prepared with minimal processing. Most of these varieties are ancient and one can discover trees that are more than 2,000 years old. So many types of olives are produced, that it can be confusing for the buyer. Let’s take a closer look at some varieties.

Every region’s fruit is affected by the geomorphology of the location. The most famous Greek olive, ‘Kalamon,’ gives a dark meaty-flavored fruit that is excellent in salads, or simply as a side with your meals. The second most famous variety is the ‘Halkidiki.’ These green, tangy in flavor, olives can be used to produce oil or served as table olives. Another popular variety of this kind is ‘Amfissis’. ‘Throumpa’ is very popular for its distinctive, rich taste. While ‘Manaki’ is considered one of the hardiest varieties for mountains, ‘Mavroelia’ is better for humid climates.

The best variety for producing oil is that of ‘Koroneiki’, which has been cultivated in Peloponnese for more than 10 centuries. These olives are tiny in size and produce the finest quality oil with very low acidity. The aroma is fruity, with a fresh taste and is ideal for cooking as well as for salad dressings. Other excellent varieties for producing oil are ‘Athenoelia’ ‘Ladoelia’ and ‘Lianoelia’ from Corfu.

There are literally thousands of kinds of Greek Olives, with every region being proud of their own strain. Ranging from the bitter to the smooth and differing in color from deep purple to vibrant yellows and greens, Greece has been blessed with these gifts by nature and challenges you to discover them.

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