Kalamata Olive


An almond-shaped Greek olive that varies in length from 1⁄2 an inch to 1 inch. Kalamatas are a dark eggplant color and have a flavor that can be rich and fruity. They're often slit to allow the wine vinegar marinade in which they're soaked to penetrate the flesh. Kalamatas are marketed packed in either olive oil or vinegar.


Other names: Calamata Olives, Greek Olive
Translations: Καλαμάτα Ελιάς, Kalamata alyvuogių aliejaus, كالاماتا الزيتون, Kalamata Olivy, Oliva Kalamata, Olive Kalamata, Kalamata măsline, Kalamata maslina, Kalamata Olivy, Oliwki Kalamata, Kalamata Oliven, 칼라 마타 올리브, カラマタオリーブ, कालामाटा जैतून, Каламата Олив, קלמטה זית, Каламата Олів, 卡拉马塔橄榄, Каламата маслина, Oliva Kalamata, Каламата Маслиново

Physical Description

Kalamata olives have a deep aubergine color which turn to dark brown or black when brined or is soaked in vinegar

Colors: deep, rich aubergine, almost dark brown, black

Tasting Notes

Flavors: sweet, salty, Lightly Salted and Plain
Mouthfeel: Earthy, Rich, Briny, Earthy, Meaty
Food complements: Cheese, Vegetable, Eggs
Wine complements: Red wine, Cabernet savignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, White wine
Beverage complements: Gin and tonic, Vodka
Substitutes: Black olives, Green olives

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Since Kalamata olives are usually harvested and preserved in oil, vinegar or brine, choose one that would be compatible with your diet especially if you are working on keeping your sodium level intact
Buying: Kalamata olives can be found in a specialty food store that has an olive bar. They can be packed in brine, soaked in vinegar or olive oil.
Procuring: These olives are usually grown in the Kalamata region of Greece.

Preparation and Use

For those trying to keep their sodium intake low, they better look for Kalamata olives packed in vinegar or oil. Kalamata olives are usually split down the center so the fruit's inner flesh can absorb the brine, vinegar or oil.

Cleaning: Olives are generally sold ready to eat and require no cleaning.

Conserving and Storing

After opening, store refrigerated.


History: The olive is one of the plants most often cited in literature. In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus crawls beneath two shoots of olive that grow from a single stock, and in the Iliad, (XVII.53ff) is a metaphoric description of a lone olive tree in the mountains, by a spring; the Greeks observed that the olive rarely thrives at a distance from the sea, which in Greece invariably means up mountain slopes.
The olive tree and olives are mentioned over 30 times in the Bible, in both the New and Old Testaments. It is one of the first plants mentioned in the Bible, and one of the most significant.
The olive tree and olive oil are mentioned seven times in the Quran.

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