The black olive is the oily fruit of the olive tree that gets brown and then black which has a high nutritional value. Since the roots of the tree go very deep down the ground, it grows in arid climates. The trees are max. four meters tall. It is a perennial tree. The olive gets mature in six months. The olives that are primarily green, become brown by time. Due to the excess oil inside, it’s harvested when it’s green or when it starts to become brown.
The black olive can be consumed as a grain as well as its oil can be obtained by squeezing these grains. The olive oil is used as edible oil and in soap making. In our country, it grows especially in the West, South and Southeast parts of our country.
According to the formation and preparation methods of the olive that comes to our table;
It’s proven that the olive has been a known and used fruit by the people for 4000 years until today. The olive that has been consumed for centuries, has different methods of maturity, consumption and market offering. The most commonly used olive types and their descriptions are as follows:
Table olive: It’s a product obtained by exposing or not exposing to pasteurization or sterilization, by adding lactic acid and/or other additives if necessary, by exposing or not exposing to fermentation and by eliminating the bitterness according to the method of Cultivated Oil Tree (Olea Europaea Sativa) Fruits.
Salt Solution: A mixture of a certain concentration prepared by using water, salt and/or additives approved by TGK regulations in order to let the olives have an edible maturity and protect them.
Edible Maturity: After eliminating the natural bitterness of the olives, according to the applied processes, the olive that gets the taste and the smell whether the flavors are used or not.
a) According to the maturity degree of the unprocessed olive grains;
Green olive: The olive fruits which are the table olives that reach the normal size and grow mature in different colors from green to yellow.
Discolored olive/pink olive: The olives with the normal size which are harvested when they are pink, red, wine colored, light brown before the black maturity period.
Black olive: The olive grains that harvested as they grow mature or right before, which have black color or a color close to black, dark purple, dark brown or a color from red black to violet black.
b) According to the processing methods;
Fermented Olive: The olive obtained by fermentation or elimination of the bitterness with the Alkali Solution partially or completely.
Naturally Fermented Olive: The olive obtained by eliminating the bitternes by not using alkali solution but water, acid water, salty water and fermentation or giving air with salty water and fermentation or contacting it directly with salt.
Olive darkened with oxidation: The olive obtained with or w/o fermentation after being darkened with oxidation by processing the green olive or discolored / pink olive with alkali solution.
c) According to the Market Offering Methods;
Whole olive: Stemmed or Stemless Olive, not pitted, preserving its natural shape.
Pitted olive: Pitted Olive preserving its natural shape.
Stuffed olive: The product obtained by stuffing the pitted olive with the foodstuff such as carrot, red pepper, kernel of almond, celery, anchovy, orange and lemon peel or stuff prepared by them.
Half Olive: The product obtained by dividing the pitted or stuffed olive into two equal pieces.
Quarter Olive: The product obtained by dividing the pitted olive into approximately four equal pieces.
Divided Olive: The product obtained by dividing the pitted olive lengthways into more than approximately four equal pieces.
Sliced Olive: The product obtained by slicing the pitted or stuffed olive in almost equal and parallel pieces.
Minced/chopped olive: The product obtained by dividing the pitted olive into different shapes of small pieces.
Cracked olive: The product obtained by the cracked olives during the production of pitted olive, sliced olive or stuffed olive.
d) According to the Other Market Offering Methods;
Naturally fermented “Sele” olive: The black olive, which has a wrinkled outer surface, is harvested during its black maturity period and edible without using alkali solution and by mixing it with salt in layers according to the processing method.
Fermented “sele” olive: The product prepared by applying dry salt in the suitable containers by washing them after processing the olive grains, which are harvested right before or during the black maturity period for a short time with low density alkali solution.
Turned/rounded zeytin: The black olive, which has a wrinkled outer surface, is harvested during its black maturity period and edible without using alkali solution, by mixing it with salt in layers according to the processing method and by being fermented in its own water inside the suitable containers.
Scratched olive: The product obtained by scratching the olive types before or after edible maturity is gained with suitable methods.
Cracked olive: The product obtained by bringing edible maturity to the fresh and ripe whole olive and by cracking the seeds without breaking them.
Dried olive: The product obtained by removing the water of the mature olive grains according to the method.
Date palm olive: The product obtained as a result of the olive grains reaching an edible maturity spontaneously on the tree according to its type and ecological conditions.
Olive with vinegar: The product obtained by corning the olive types with vinegar and other aromas, after gaining them the edible maturity with suitable methods.
Mixed/combined olive: The product prepared by offering different types and styles of olives prepared in different ways to the market inside the packages in a mixed way, with or w/o foodstuff or aroma.
Riped olive: The product obtained by gaining edible maturity to the ripe olive grains produced according to the processing methods, harvested during the appropriate maturity period.
Blended olive: The product with or w/o aroma obtained by mixing and marinating the olive with different sauces, aromas and other edible materials.
Olive salad: The product prepared for the market with or w/o aroma by mixing the pitted olive, cracked olive while pitting, sliced olive, stuffed olive or all kind of olives with materials such as pepper, caper, almond, carrot etc in a package.