What are Red Olives? History and Origin

red olive
Red and green olives – Photo from NatalieHylandPhotography (Getty Images Pro) on Canva

Red olives also known as Cerignola olives are locally grown by farmers in Cerignola, a town and a commune in Apulia, Italy. There are no other people who produced these olives which is why getting them all over the globe can be a little difficult.

Red olives are larger in size compared to the usual olives you get from the supermarket or farmer’s market here in the US. These olives offer a flavor that is a combination of mild, fruity, and buttery. Despite what other people say, these olives aren’t naturally red. They turn red by adding dye during the curing process. Nonetheless, their flavor remains the same, and a touch of flair is added that makes these olives look like the cherry in color. Compared to black and green olives, this variation isn’tthat popular across the globe and in the culinary world. However, it is something that is very dear to the people of Cerignola.

Nutritional Value and Health Benefits

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a pile of black and green olives

Just like black and green olives, red olives are high in antioxidant, vit E, vit A, and anti-inflammatory properties. They also provide healthy fats and fiber to the body. According to the Cleveland Clinic, eating olives also strengthens the heart. They are also referred to as smart drugs as they contain polyphenols, which are natural chemicals that help the brain by reducing oxidative stress. On top of all that they are low in calories. Olives are one of many healthy foods that improve the immune system.

How to Select and Store

When selecting red olives, it is important to pay attention to their plumpness and cherry red color. As mentioned above, these olives are larger than the usual black and green ones. When it comes to storing, it is best to keep them in dark and cold places, so mostly inside the fridge.

Cooking with Red Olives: Tips and Tricks

Red olives go well with a lot of things including meat, fish, pasta, vegetables, and even alcoholic drinks. One of the best dishes to cook with red olives is France’s very own Olive Tapenade. Red olives also go well with Sicilian Pasta and Spanish chicken. This ingredient can accommodate appetizers, main dishes, desserts, and even light snacks.

One of the best tips to remember when cooking with olives is that they can give your dish aromatic and briny elements. Another top tip when cooking with red olives is to know how to turn them into olive oil.

Red Olives in Mediterranean Cuisine

One of the key ingredients of Mediterranean cuisine is olives and olive oil. When it comes to Mediterranean Cuisine, this type of olive is perfect when making Mediterranean Fish with Olive Tapenade. The best way to use these olives in Mediterranean cuisine is through the salad. There are different salad variations in this cuisine that uses olives as the main cooking element.

Conclusion: Why Red Olives are a Must-Try Ingredient

Red olives, other than their beautiful appearance and vibrant color are very healthy. If you are in the middle of embracing a healthier lifestyle centered on a healthy diet and exercise, then you might consider adding these ingredients nto the mix. This ingredient is also perfect for chefs looking for new inspirations with their cooking and generally for people who just love to cook. If you are looking for something new for your next meal, you’ll know what ingredient to get.