Olives from Italy
The Bosana olive is used primarily for oil, but is also delicious to eat. Its taste is described as “fruity, bitter, and spicy. Traditionally it is used for oil, and gives a good yield (17–18%). The quality of the oil is improved if the olives are collected early, at the start of the maturation. The fruits of greater size are often transformed to table olives, whether green or black. The Bosana is well adapted to less hospitable environments.
The Canino tree is tall with an upright shape and compact crown. The leaves are medium-large size, narrow and gray green in color. The Canino is a typical oil (15-16%) variety and has small fruit (1-2 grams) and spherical in shape. At harvest, the olives are never all black because the maturation is late (December) but spread out. This variety is endowed with good productivity even in different climatic environments. Pollinators: Olivone, Frantoio, Pendolino, Leccino.
The Coratina is medium size and moderately globe shape and long flexible branches. The leaf is deep green and features an elliptical shape. The Coratina produces large olives that are elongated ovals and asymmetrical in shape. The fruit which is harvested when the tips are black gives a high yield in oil at the mill (21-26%) that is very fruity in flavor. It has a good resistance to drought, cold and in general to all parasites of the olive tree. This variety is characterized by early production and by its very good adaptability to different soils and climates.
The Frangivento is a plant of notably vigorous vegetation, rapid upward growth with a typical rising habit and gathered crown. The leaves aresmall to medium with a lance-shape flat surfaced and dark gray green. The olive is a rounded oval shape, at maturity it weighs 2-5 grams and is used for producing an oil yielding 15-17% that is fine and light. Maturation is spread out but is complete between the middle of November and the middle of December. The Frangivento is a self-sterile variety and requires a pollinator such as Frantoio, Leccino, or Pendolino.
The Itrana olive is used both for the production of table olives and for oil; its yields are generally good and constant. It is most commonly pickled when black; the fruit is large and freestone. It gives a medium yield of oil that is highly regarded for its fruity character. This cultivar is late to ripen and the tree is self sterile and should be planted with pollinizers such as Leccino and Frantoio.
The Leccino is a rustic variety which is widely planted throughout the world. The tree is quick to produce and resists well adverse climatic conditions and parasites. More recently it has been used for the production of table olives, semi-ripe or black. This variety is self-sterile and so needs a pollinator, principally Pendolino or Maurino.
The Maurino olive tree produces a peppery and fruity oil and is excellent choice for coastal areas. This olive tree is a compact grower, slightly weeping, with gray-green leaves. This native of Italy, requires a pollinator such as Pendolino, Leccino and Frantoio.
The Taggiasca is a late bloomer and comes to maturity in its fifth year. The Taggiasca has a medium yield per tree with alternating crops annually. The Taggiasca tree is self-pollinating and produces a small olive that is sweet and mild with a distinct deep red coloring. When used for olive oil, the Taggiasca makes a wonderful fruity flavored oil.
Olives from Spain
The Manzanilla olive tree is one of the most widely grown variety in the world. A green olive with a briny, nutty flavor, the Manzanilla can often be found stuck with a toothpick in martini glasses. The olive is picked at different phases of its maturity depending on the intended use. If you have eaten an olive, you most likely ate a Manzanilla.
The Picual tree is usually strong and adjusts to a wide range of soils and climatic conditions. It is particularly resistant to cold and wet soils, slightly tolerant to soils containing lime or calcium and has relatively high salinity tolerance. The flowering is in mid-season and the cultivar is usually self-fertile. No benefits from cross-pollination have been found. Maturation takes place between the beginning of November and mid-December. The oil yield is high, reaching about 27%, although the average is about 22%.
Olives from France
The Bouteillan olive is used exclusively for oil and has a high oil yield. It is a hardy variety that requires light but frequent pruning and irrigation. The tree grows quickly and its productivity is high and constant. Ripening time is intermediate. Highly self-compatible, pollenators are Grossane and Cayon.
The Cailletiere olive is best known under the name Niçoise, which signifies its curing method, in which form it is an important ingredient in the Niçoise salad. It can also be used for the production of oil. Fruits for use as table olives, on the other hand, can be harvested up until May. The fully ripe olives have “a dark color that ranges from black brownish-purple to brownish-black. It is considered a productive cultivar, but with a tendency towards biennial bearing, i.e. that a good yield is followed by a weaker one the next year.It is generally agreed that the cultivar is self-fertile, but some authorities still recommend the presence of other pollinators.
The Picholine is a French cultivar of olives. It is the most widely available cultivar in France. Though originally from Gard in southern France, it is today grown all over the world. The Picholine is best known as a cocktail olive, though it is also used to make olive oil. The fruit is harvested in October and November, while still green, for use as table olives. For the purpose of producing oil, the olives are picked later, once they have turned green.The exact time of harvest for oil is a matter of judgement for the individual farmer; an early harvest gives a fruity taste, while a later harvest brings out more sweetness.
Olives from Greece
The Amfissa olive tree is of strong vigor with a spreading habit and canopy of medium density. The leaves are broad and flat of medium length giving an elliptic lanceolate shape. The timing of harvest depends on the use of the fruit which may be for green or black olives or for oil. Oil content is medium.
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 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.
Olives from North Africa
Chemlali olives make a sweet and smooth oil with a bit of almond flavor, like Arbequinas. They are common in Tunisian and Moroccan olive oils. They will reach 25′-30′ at maturity and thrive in hot summers but will tolerate coastal regions too.