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Spanish Olive

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Olives are a fundamental part of Spanish cuisine, both in their original form and as oil, tapenade and recipes etc.

In Spain, you will typically be served olives alongside a drink or as an aperitif in a restaurant while you wait for your food. They can also be served with cheese and serrano ham or other tapas.

Green olives in particular are popular in Spain, but black olives are of course also eaten with pleasure! Cultivated approx. 200 different olive varieties in Spain, and they each have their own wonderful characteristics and uses!

The most widespread olives

Among the most popular, you can come across Gordal, Arberquina, Manzanilla, Cornicabra, Verdial and Picual.

Gordal is one of the world's best-known olive varieties, and this is due to its eye-catching size and fantastic taste! This beautiful green variety is used exclusively as a table olive, as its fat content is relatively low compared to other olive varieties, and due to its size, it gives a meaty bite that makes it phenomenal to eat! Gordal originally comes from Seville in Andalusia, but has also spread to other areas in Spain where it is grown with great success!

Arberquina, in direct contrast to Gordal, is a very small olive, which is often used to make olive oil. Oil made from Arberquina is typically very fluid and mild in taste, sweet and almost no bitterness or strong aftertaste. This gives a high-quality olive oil that is excellent for dipping bread in, topping delicious Spanish dishes or using as a salad dressing! Arberquina is a green olive variety and it originally comes from Catalonia, but today is grown largely throughout Spain.

Manzanilla means little apple, as this is a fruity olive that looks a bit like a small green apple. It is used both as a table olive and for the production of olive oil, and the taste is balanced with notes of freshly cut grass, almonds, green apples and tomatoes. It is an olive that produces a medium mild oil that both tastes fruity and has a slight sharpness. The olive is great for those who want an olive oil that tastes a little off without being overly effervescent. And so it is one of the most typical table olives that you can meet on restaurant tables all over Spain! It is cultivated both in Seville, Madrid, Valencia and Salamanca.

Cornicabra got its name because of its slightly curved shape, which may well resemble a goat's horn. Cuerno de cabra means goat's horn. It is also a green olive variety and is typically used to make olive oil. Oil made on Cornicabra is aromatic, fruity with notes of olive leaf and apple, as well as a slightly bitter aftertaste. It is typically grown in Madrid, Toledo, Ciudad Real and Badajoz. It is one of the most cultivated varieties in Spain, if you look at the overall olive growing area in Spain. Therefore, you can be sure to meet this wonderful olive during your Spanish adventure!

Verdial is a beautiful olive with dark skin that comes in two varieties, one from Malaga and one from Huelva. The difference between the two is that the one from Huelva is slightly sharper and piquant in taste, but both varieties are super tasty olives with fruity flesh. The taste has notes of figs, almonds and ripe fruit. The mouthfeel is relatively mild at first, with the aftertaste stronger and more intense. Verdial is eaten both as a table olive and used to make olive oil. The color of the olive oil is a beautiful strong green, which is also where the name comes from, as Verde means green.

Picual is a black olive variety whose oil is well known for its high stability and resistance to heat, which makes it highly suitable as cooking oil. It can also be eaten as unheated oil, where its full body, great personality, light sharpness and mild aftertaste make it super delicious as a salad dressing! The taste notes themselves are expressed like a green olive with a light taste of olive leaves. It can be enjoyed as both table olives and oil, with the latter being the most popular. It got its name because of the slightly pointed shape that resembles a beak, which is called pico. It is typically grown in Jaén, Cordoba and Granada, but has also been successfully grown in Castilla-La Mancha.