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Lucques: This olive is ideal for snacking. The pit is still in tact so care must be taken to not swallow pit. It is a pleasure to chew this meaty light buttery olive.
Kalamatas: This tangy green to black olive is cured in red-wine vinegar and is soft but not mushy. Varieties grown in California are denoted by spelling with a ‘c’ rather than a ‘k’. Kalamatas are wonderful on pizzas, with feta or blended with cream cheese and fresh garlic for a tangy dip.
Alfonsos: This robust winey tasting olive is soft and similar to kalamata. It is a popular choice in antipasto salads.
Halkidikis: This is a large dried black olive that is mild in flavor and less salty than some of other varieties. It pairs well with mild sheep’s milk cheeses.
Sun-dried olives: This olive is rich and intense in flavor. It is used in sauces or can be drizzled with extra virgin olive oil for a bold snack.
Shauna Hanus is a gourmet cook who specializes in creating gourmet meal plans. She has extensive experience cooking with easy to find grocery items to create delightful gourmet meals. She is also the publisher of a no cost bi-monthly gourmet newsletter. Her newsletter is always fun and informational packed with tips and trivia you can use everyday. http://www.gourmayeats.com