Castelvetrano Olives: the World's Tastiest Olive? | Nutrition Advance (2023)

Last Updated on September 23, 2018 by Michael Joseph

Castelvetrano Olives: the World's Tastiest Olive? | Nutrition Advance (1)There are manydifferent kinds of olives, and it isn’t simply “green” and “black.”

Among these options, many people believe Castelvetrano olives are the best-tasting olive in the world.

These green Italian olives hail from the island of Sicily, and they have a unique, crunchy taste.

This article provides a complete guide to these tasty olives; their nutrition profile, health benefits, and how to use them in some delicious recipes.

What Are Castelvetrano Olives?

Castelvetrano olives are native to Valledel Belice, a small region on the island of Sicily, Italy.

However, due to their popularity, they now grow in several regions around the world.

The Castelvetrano tree requires dry, arid conditions to thrive, and we canfind the olives growing in countries with this required climate, such as India and Pakistan.

Going by the Italian name of ‘Nocellara del Belice,’ this olive is much larger than typical olive varieties.

After the harvesting of the olives, they are cured in lye for several hours to remove the incredibly bitter taste that raw, fresh olives have.

Following the curing, they are thoroughly washed and then packed in brine ready to go out for sale.

Appearance

Look below, and you will see a bowl of green olives; this is how Castelvetrano olives look.

Castelvetrano Olives: the World's Tastiest Olive? | Nutrition Advance (2)

As mentioned earlier, they do have a unique appearance compared to other olives, and they almost look like small mini apples.

Interestingly, Castelvetrano olives are also much greener in color than other olives (rather than being the standard pale ‘olive green’ color).

(Video) Olives Taste Like Garbage Until You Do This...

Taste and Texture

While most green olives have a soft and juicy texture, these are a little different.

On the outside, Castelvetrano olives have a crisp feel and a crunchy texture. The inner flesh is medium-soft, and it has a buttery feel reminiscent of an avocado.

Additionally, the flavor is very mild, and they do not have the bitterness that many green olives exhibit.

They are the polar opposite of pungent-tasting olives likekalamata olives.

Overall, they are very light and almost sweet-tasting, which makes them perfect for snacking on.

Key Point:Castelvetrano olives are large and green in appearance, with a crunchy, buttery texture and a mild flavor.

Nutrition Facts

The table below shows the nutrition profile for Castelvetrano olives per 100 grams (1);

Amount (kcal/grams)
Calories233
Carbohydrate6.7 g
Fiber6.7 g
Sugar0 g
Fat23.3 g
Protein0 g
Sodium867 mg

As shown, the olives are reasonably high in both calories and dietary fat, but they contain little protein and only a small amount of carbs as fiber.

The fat content is predominantly monounsaturated fat, followed by a smaller amount of saturated fat.

Key Point:Castelvetrano olives are a high-fat fruit, and they are also quite salty.

Castelvetrano Olives: the World's Tastiest Olive? | Nutrition Advance (3)Health Benefits

People praise olive oil for its healthy fat and polyphenol content, and all olives—Castelvetrano included—contain similar fatty acids and phenolic compounds.

Here is a quick summary of the primary health benefits that Castelvetrano olives provide.

(Video) AMAZING Marinated Olives

1) Vitamin E

Similar to all olives, Castelvetrano olives are a good source of fat-soluble vitamin E.

Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant, and it plays a role in anti-inflammatory processes in the body.

Furthermore, studies suggest that sufficient intake of this vitamin may reduce the risk of various chronic diseases (2).

Also, food sources of vitamin E like olives do not pose the toxicity risk of vitamin E supplements, which can be harmful in high doses (3).

2) Rich in Phenolic Compounds

Castelvetrano olives are a rich source of phenolic compounds, otherwise known as polyphenols or—perhaps misleadingly—“antioxidants.”

While these compounds do not have a direct antioxidative effect, researchers believe they are involved in strengthening and upregulating various processes in the body (4, 5).

One recent study specifically looked at the potential effects of Castelvetrano olives.

Although it was only a small study (n=25), levels of inflammatory cytokines “fell significantly” across the sample group after adding 12 Castelveltrano olives to their daily diet for 30 days.

The researchers admitted that although the results were promising, the results need replicating with a larger sample group (6).

The most significant polyphenol found in Castelveltrano olives is oleuropein, which researchers believe may have anti-inflammatory properties (7).

3) A Large Source of Healthy Fat

It is no longer the 1980’s, and there is no need to fear (most kinds of) naturally-occurring fat.

With a fat concentration of almost 25%, Castelveltrano olives provide a significant source of dietary fat.

The specific types of fat that they provide are also very healthy; mainly a mixture of monounsaturated and saturated fat.

However, their main fatty acid is the monounsaturated fat called oleic acid (8).

Oleic acid is one of the most well-researched fatty acids, and the research is generally very positive.

(Video) Habanero Stuff Olives & Mezzetta Appitizer Olives - Two Dudes Reviews

For instance, numerous studies have demonstrated that oleic acid may improve health by;

  • Helping to reduce blood pressure (9)
  • Improving immune function (10)
  • Enhancing insulin sensitivity (11, 12)

4) Potential Source of Probiotics

Recent research is showing that olives can provide a source of probiotics, and this is particularly the case when producers use traditional fermenting processes.

A recent study analyzed the potential probiotic contents of Castelveltrano olives, and they were found to contain a wide range of bacterial species (13).

Studies on probiotics are only in their infancy, and there is much that we need to find out.

However, various studies suggest that probiotic bacteria may help to improve our gut health, cognitive health, and potentially reduce the risk of disease (14, 15, 16).

Key Point:Castelvetrano olives contain beneficial fatty acids and polyphenols, both of which can help to improve our health. They are also a good source of vitamin E.

Healthy and Delicious Recipes

Maybe you have a jar of Castelvetrano olives at home and you are wondering how to use them?

Since they have such a mild taste, these olives do not dominate with their flavor, and they can work well in various dishes.

Here are five great ways to use them.

1) Chicken Drumsticks in Olive and Lemon Butter Sauce

Castelvetrano Olives: the World's Tastiest Olive? | Nutrition Advance (4)

Chicken can be boring, and plain old chicken breast is one of the least exciting foods around.

However, it is an entirely different story if you take some delicious chicken drumsticks and cook them in a lemon-butter sauce.

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 3 oz (85 g) Castelvetrano olives
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 small tomato
  • A whole lemon
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 sprigs coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Instructions

(Video) Introduction to Olives in Oregon

  • First of all, combine the butter, tomato, half of the lemon, mustard, salt, and pepper in the blender. Blend until you have a consistent liquid.
  • Secondly, place the chicken drumsticks in the bottom of an oven dish and add the olives on top.
  • Next, evenly pour the lemon-butter sauce over the drumsticks.
  • After this, cut the remaining half lemon into slices and add to the oven fish.
  • Cook in a pre-heated oven at 175°C (350°F) for 30-35 minutes, and check regularly.
  • Serve in individual bowls when the chicken has cooked sufficiently.

2) Marinated Castelvetrano Olives

To use the olives as a tasty side dish (or just a snack), here is a recipe for marinating them.

Ingredients

  • 5 oz (140 g) Castelvetrano olives
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves (mashed)
  • 1 sprig of basil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

To make these marinated olives, all you have to do is combine the ingredients in a sealable jar with a lid.

Leave in the refrigerator for around 24 hours, and then they will be ready to serve.

This combination of ingredients works well because it gives the mild-tasting Castelvetrano olives a more powerful flavor, and combines sweet, sour and herbal flavors.

The recipe works particularly well as a side dish alongside some hot pork.

3) Stir-Fried Pork, Olives, and Garlic Cloves

Combining Castelveltrano olives with pork, this recipe offers a simple, tasty, and healthy dinner.

Ingredients (4 Servings)

  • 2 lbs (900g) pork
  • 3 oz (85 g) Castelvetrano Olives
  • 30 garlic cloves
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • First of all, peel the garlic cloves and the onion. Slice the onion into small pieces but leave the garlic cloves in their whole form.
  • Next, add the olive oil to the pan and lightly fry the pork, garlic,and onion for 5 minutes.
  • After this time, the garlic and onions should have softened, and the pork should be starting to cook throughout. At this point, add the olives and then cook for a further 5 or 6 minutes until everything seems done.
  • Add the teaspoon of sesame oil and mix in well.
  • Now take off the heat, and enjoy!

4) Cheese and Castelvetrano Salad

Castelvetrano Olives: the World's Tastiest Olive? | Nutrition Advance (5)

Cheese and olives are an excellent pairing for a tasty side salad.

Ingredients (amounts to suit)

  • 1 cup (150 g) Feta cheese
  • 3 oz (85 g) Castelvetrano olives
  • 4 cups leafy greens (to suit preference)
  • 1 cup (120 g) Cucumber
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  • Firstly, cut the cheese into small cubes.
  • Next, slice the tomatoes, cucumber, and onion into bite-sized pieces.
  • After doing this, add everything into a mixing bowl alongside the olives and leafy greens.
  • Following this, put the balsamic vinegar and olive oil into the bowl and mix well to ensure even coverage.
  • Serve

5) Just Eat Them On Their Own

Well, this one isn’t a recipe… but Castelvetrano olives taste great, so they make a delicious snack on their own.

Final Thoughts

These green Sicilian olives offer numerous health benefits, they taste delicious, and they have some unique characteristics that set them apart from other olives.

(Video) Chicken & Preserved Lemon Traybake 🍗🍋 | RECIPE & COOK WITH ME

Additionally, due to their mild flavor, they make an excellent addition to a wide range of different recipes.

The next time you are looking to try something new, you won’t go wrong with Castelvetrano olives.

FAQs

What are Castelvetrano olives good for? ›

Ways to use Castelvetrano olives

The flavor of Castelvetrano olives is so rich and buttery, they're perfect for snacking! Add them to a cheese plate or charcuterie board, or simply nibble them out of a bowl. They're great in salads, bowl meals, on pizza, or in pasta.

What does a Castelvetrano olive taste like? ›

With a bright green color and meaty texture, they are buttery, rich and delectable olives. Castelvetrano olives have a mild, nuanced flavor that's both salty and sweet, making them appealing not only to olive aficionados, but also to those who shy away from stronger, brinier varieties.

What is the difference between Castelvetrano olives and green olives? ›

According to delallo.com, Castelvetrano olives are grown on the Island of Sicily. They are lye-cured and black Castelvetranos have a mild taste similar to that of a black California olive. Green Castelvetrano olives are very bright green, firm and bitier than the black.

What makes Castelvetrano olives different? ›

Castelvetrano: A vibrant green Sicilian olive also called Nocellara del Belice. Instead of brining or salt-curing, these are treated with lye before rinsing and storing. The result: very mild olives with a salty-sweet flavor and buttery texture.

What benefits do you get from eating olives? ›

Olives are rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of health conditions like cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
...
It's also an excellent source of:
  • Vitamin A.
  • Copper.
  • Calcium.
  • Iron.
Nov 20, 2020

Do olives give you energy? ›

They'll give you more energy.

In addition, olives, particularly black olives, deliver a nice dose of iron, which is important for energy production and immune system function—so dig in to keep levels high.

How many olives Can I eat a day? ›

To keep your saturated fat intake within the recommended guidelines, it's best to limit your intake to 2–3 ounces (56–84 grams) — about 16–24 small- to medium-sized olives — per day. Though olives may aid weight loss, they're high in salt and fat — and eating too many of them may offset your weight loss success.

Which brand of olives is best? ›

These olives appeal just as much to the olive hater as they do to the olive enthusiast. If you don't already know, get yourself involved.

Are Castelvetrano green olives good for you? ›

Key Point: Castelvetrano olives contain beneficial fatty acids and polyphenols, both of which can help to improve our health. They are also a good source of vitamin E.

What is the healthiest olive? ›

Olive experts prefer Kalamata olives as they are the healthiest olives found on earth. They are generally bigger than the usual black olives and have a plumper shape. Despite their size and deep dark-purple color, they are usually categorized as Greek black table olives.

Which olives are best for diabetics? ›

Oleuropein. Olives contain oleuropein in large amounts, which can lower blood sugar by stimulating the pancreas to secrete insulin.

How do you store Castelvetrano olives? ›

To make the most of your goods, store unopened liquid-packed olives in a cool, dark place (in the pantry, a dark cabinet or somewhere where the temperature doesn't climb above 75 degrees). Once you've opened the jar, close the lid well for an airtight seal and stick the container in the fridge.

What is similar to Castelvetrano olives? ›

Substitute for Castelvetrano olives
  • You could substitute an other table olive such as Picholine olives. They are smaller but still have a crisp texture.
  • OR - Another alternative with some crisp is the Manzanilla olive from Spain. These are usually stuffed so they'll work well as a table olive.

Are olives good for digestion? ›

Olives are a good source of dietary fiber, which keeps your digestion healthy and cholesterol in check. They also provide iron, which is a major component of your red blood cells and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.

Which olives are best for weight loss? ›

Snack on 5 or 10 green or black olives, as they contain only 12 calories per olive. 28 gm of green olives contain about 41 calories, 4 gm of fat, 1 gm of carbohydrates and 1 gm of fiber. Note: Avoid pickled, canned or bottled olives as they are high in calories and sodium content.

Can olives cause high blood pressure? ›

Yes, olives are a great source of heart healthy fats and are suitable for a variety of diets. If sodium is a concern, simply soak the olives in water for at least half an hour, drain them and reintroduce them into the jar or container.

What is the best time to eat olives? ›

One can eat olives at any time of the day. However, they are rich in healthy fats. Therefore one can eat them before bedtime, if you wish to have a healthy night time snack. In addition, they balance blood sugar, help you feel fuller, and aid a good night's sleep.

Are olives good for your liver? ›

Olives may be small but are loaded with incredible health benefits. They are rich in antioxidants, healthy monounsaturated fats and are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral. They are great for your heart, liver, metabolic health, and so much more.

Are olives good for cholesterol? ›

For people with high cholesterol, it is important to maintain a diet that will help reduce the amount of cholesterol in your body. Olives and olive oil, known for their monounsaturated fats, can help you lower your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.

Are olives good for skin? ›

Beyond their antioxidant properties, which combat free radicals that cause aging, eating healthy olives helps skin stay soft and healthy since they contain other antioxidants, Vitamin E and Vitamin A. Vitamin E prevents the formation of free radicals which can cause skin diseases while keeping the skin moisturized.

Are olives bad for cholesterol? ›

Olives are low in cholesterol and a good source of dietary fiber, which the body needs for good gut health. They are also high in minerals that the body requires to function, such as iron and copper. However, it is best to consume olives in moderation, as producers usually preserve them in brine that is high in salt.

Which is healthier green or black olives? ›

Nutritional value: Both green olives and black olives are nutritious, but if you're looking for the healthiest olive option, green wins by a narrow margin. The reason is that green olives tend to be higher in polyphenols (antioxidants with anti-inflammatory benefits) than black olives.

Is eating olives better than olive oil? ›

Olives are packed with heart-healthy fats.

"Monounsaturated fatty acids have been linked to decreased inflammation and a reduced risk of heart disease," she explains. But there's one caveat: You'll be getting considerably less fat if you opt for whole olives as opposed to olive oil.

Are olives with garlic good for you? ›

While these olives are high in sodium, they also contain a number of health benefits: Garlic may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and olives are full of healthy monounsaturated fats.

What drink goes with olives? ›

A classic martini is the grande dame of drinks to feature an olive garnish -- the most iconic of them all. The pungent olive provides an equally effective foil for the herbal, woodsy flavor of gin or clean, understated vodka, whichever you prefer.

Which country has the best olives? ›

Spain and Italy. The top spot for olive oil production and exports is for Spain, followed by Italy. It should be noted that more than 50% of worldwide production comes from Spain.

Can you freeze Castelvetrano olives? ›

Then, get a clean, rigid freezer-safe container and put the cleaned olives. You want to leave at least ¼ inch of space between the olives and the lid as the fruit freezes. Finally, close the lid, make sure it's airtight and then stick it in the freezer.

Are olives anti-inflammatory? ›

Olives are packed with antioxidants, which have been shown to help with chronic inflammation. Two kinds of antioxidants found in olives, hydroxytyrosol and oleanolic acid, have been effective in reducing inflammation in animal test subjects.

Do Castelvetrano olives have carbs? ›

Castelvetrano Olives (3 olives) contains 0g total carbs, 0g net carbs, 1.5g fat, 0g protein, and 15 calories.

Are olives a healthy snack? ›

1. They're the ultimate heart-healthy snack. Olives are chock-full of monounsaturated fatty acids, a type of fat linked with lowering LDL ("bad" cholesterol) while maintaining HDL ("good" cholesterol").

Which kind of olives are the healthiest? ›

Olive experts prefer Kalamata olives as they are the healthiest olives found on earth. They are generally bigger than the usual black olives and have a plumper shape. Despite their size and deep dark-purple color, they are usually categorized as Greek black table olives.

Are Castelvetrano olives probiotic? ›

Recent research is showing that olives can provide a source of probiotics, and this is particularly the case when producers use traditional fermenting processes.

Which olives are best for diabetics? ›

Oleuropein. Olives contain oleuropein in large amounts, which can lower blood sugar by stimulating the pancreas to secrete insulin.

Which olives are highest in iron? ›

If you're looking to boost your iron intake, black olives are the way to go. A serving delivers about 3 milligrams of the mineral, which translates to about 40 percent of the 8 milligrams men need each day and about 18 percent of the 18 milligrams women should have daily.

How many olives should you eat a day? ›

To keep your saturated fat intake within the recommended guidelines, it's best to limit your intake to 2–3 ounces (56–84 grams) — about 16–24 small- to medium-sized olives — per day. Though olives may aid weight loss, they're high in salt and fat — and eating too many of them may offset your weight loss success.

Are olives good for your liver? ›

Olives may be small but are loaded with incredible health benefits. They are rich in antioxidants, healthy monounsaturated fats and are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral. They are great for your heart, liver, metabolic health, and so much more.

What is the best time to eat olives? ›

One can eat olives at any time of the day. However, they are rich in healthy fats. Therefore one can eat them before bedtime, if you wish to have a healthy night time snack. In addition, they balance blood sugar, help you feel fuller, and aid a good night's sleep.

Are olives good for your stomach? ›

Olives are low in cholesterol and a good source of dietary fiber, which the body needs for good gut health. They are also high in minerals that the body requires to function, such as iron and copper. However, it is best to consume olives in moderation, as producers usually preserve them in brine that is high in salt.

Is it better to eat olives or olive oil? ›

Olives are packed with heart-healthy fats.

But there's one caveat: You'll be getting considerably less fat if you opt for whole olives as opposed to olive oil. "Olive oil is made up of 100 percent fat, while olives contain about 20 percent fat," says McDowell.

Are olives good for the gut? ›

Olives are one of the most popular fermented foods, by consuming such foods you are adding beneficial bacteria and enzymes to your intestinal flora, which increases the health of your gut microbiome and digestive system and may enhance your immune function.

Are olives good for cholesterol? ›

Olives are very rich in antioxidants that may contribute to a variety of benefits, such as lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Is olives good for blood sugar? ›

The Power Compound Found in Olives: Oleuropein

Polyphenols have also been credited with helping to control blood-sugar spikes that can cause diabetes, and a new study now supports this as it suggests that the oleuropein in olives may increase insulin secretion, potentially useful in diabetes prevention.

Are eggs good for diabetics? ›

Protein-rich foods like eggs can play an important role in regulating blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. Plus, eggs contain many essential vitamins and minerals, and have just 80 calories each.

Which brand of olives is best? ›

These olives appeal just as much to the olive hater as they do to the olive enthusiast. If you don't already know, get yourself involved.

Do olives have Omega 3? ›

Olives are a Heart Healthy Fat

The remaining fat content 15% of the fat in olives is saturated fat and 11% is polyunsaturated--omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The monounsaturated fat found in olives is the same good fat you find in nuts and avocados.

Are olives anti inflammatory? ›

Olives are packed with antioxidants, which have been shown to help with chronic inflammation. Two kinds of antioxidants found in olives, hydroxytyrosol and oleanolic acid, have been effective in reducing inflammation in animal test subjects.

Videos

1. The 3 ESSENTIAL Cocktails you need to try on World Gin Day
(Drink Tales)
2. Naz Deravian Makes Borani-Yeh Laboo, Zeytoon Parvardeh, and Orange Blossom Dates Stuffed With Yogurt
(Cherry Bombe)
3. Sicily's First Settlers!
(You, Me & Sicily)
4. Tomato & Ricotta Crostini Recipe - Lidia's Kitchen Series
(Lidia Bastianich)
5. BEST Skincare at Sephora (by skin type/concern)
(AliceintheRabbitHole)
6. Charcuterie board ideas. Must see video for the holidays or any special event. Cheese board ideas.
(Creative Cooking)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Arielle Torp

Last Updated: 02/02/2023

Views: 5502

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Arielle Torp

Birthday: 1997-09-20

Address: 87313 Erdman Vista, North Dustinborough, WA 37563

Phone: +97216742823598

Job: Central Technology Officer

Hobby: Taekwondo, Macrame, Foreign language learning, Kite flying, Cooking, Skiing, Computer programming

Introduction: My name is Arielle Torp, I am a comfortable, kind, zealous, lovely, jolly, colorful, adventurous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.