Blackened Olives: How Do I Recognize Them?

Do I prefer the green or the black olives? What is the difference and is it true that black olives are always colored? Questions upon questions that we are now clearing up!

How can I tell if the black olives in my shopping cart are blackened? What is the difference between green and black olives or are black olives always colored? Numerous questions – we clear up the myth of the blackened olive.

Green, aubergine or black – what is the difference between olives?

Olives are not only preserved in oil, but also filled with almonds or cream cheese, but also in black, green and more aubergine-colored. But what are the different colors all about?

Depending on the ripeness of the olives, the color of the fruit also changes. Unripe olives are green. During their natural ripening process, they then turn purple and later black, or rather aubergine in color. The darker they become and the more ripe they are, the more vital substances they contain and the more aromatic, softer and milder the olives are. So there are naturally black olives.

Blackened Olives: Why Dye Green Olives?

If there are naturally black olives, why would producers bother coloring olives in the first place? The coloring has practical reasons, because green olives are plump, firm fruits that can be easily shaken off the olive tree during harvest. The situation is different with black olives. Because the more ripe the olives are, the softer they become. Therefore, they can only be picked by hand, which is of course much more complex.

What are blackened olives colored with?

Green olives are colored with iron-II-gluconate and iron-II-lactate in order to trick the customer into believing that the olives are in a different state of ripeness. These stabilizers are harmless, but of course they cannot give the “unripe” olives a full-bodied taste.

The problem: The note “blackened” only has to be given for olives sold loose. But the stabilizers must always be specified on the list of ingredients. If you are unsure whether the selected olives have been blackened, just look at the back and look for ferrous gluconate or ferrous lactate.

How do I recognize blackened olives?

Not only the list of ingredients, but also an optical detection of whether the olives are blackened is possible. Because naturally ripened fruits are not pitch black, they are more of an eggplant color and unevenly colored. In addition, in contrast to green olives or blackened olives, they are less plump.

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Written by Madeline Adams

My name is Maddie. I am a professional recipe writer and food photographer. I have over six years of experience developing delicious, simple, and replicable recipes that your audience will be drooling over. I’m always on the pulse of what’s trending and what people are eating. My educational background is in Food Engineering and Nutrition. I am here to support all of your recipe writing needs! Dietary restrictions and special considerations are my jam! I’ve developed and perfected more than two hundred recipes with focuses ranging from health and wellness to family-friendly and picky-eater-approved. I also have experience in gluten-free, vegan, paleo, keto, DASH, and Mediterranean Diets.

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