How Do I Choose the Best Manzanilla Olives?

Jennifer Leigh
Jennifer Leigh
Black olives, including Manzanillas, have been allowed to ripen on the tree.
Black olives, including Manzanillas, have been allowed to ripen on the tree.

There are certain factors to consider when choosing the best Manzanilla olives: the location where they were grown, the curing ingredients, and whether they are stuffed or not. The best Manzanilla olives come from regions where olives grow prolifically, including Spain, Australia and California. Olives come in different levels of ripeness, depending on your personal tastes and preferences, and can be anywhere from bright green to black. You should also consider your budget when purchasing Manzanilla olives, as they come in a range of prices.

The ripeness of the olives that you choose depends a lot on your personal taste, but in general, green olives are slightly more bitter than black olives. If you do not like bitter flavors, choose a variety of Manzanilla olives that are darker green or black. In addition, the best Manzanilla olives generally come from Spain, Australia, and California. Read the label when purchasing olives to find out where they were produced before purchasing them.

Olives are either brined in liquid, packed in salt, or smoked before being packaged and sold to customers. Oil, brine, or water are often used to cure the olives and help remove some of their natural bitterness. Olives packed in salt might have a slightly saltier taste than those packed in different curing agents, so choose this option if you prefer saltier Manzanilla olives. Smoked olives have a smoky taste from spending hours in a smoker with different types of wood. If you enjoy smoky tastes in other types of food, you might enjoy this type of olive variety.

It is also important to consider whether the olives are stuffed with anything, as there are many varieties of stuffings available. These include such items as jalapeños, blue cheese, garlic, and pimentos. The stuffing can add a completely different flavor to an olive, so be sure to choose an ingredient that you enjoy eating by itself.

Manzanilla olives are available from different producers for a wide range of prices. Larger olives are generally more expensive than smaller ones, and specialty olives are usually more expensive. Determine your budget before choosing a brand of olives, so that you can automatically eliminate some of the options that are available in the markets. If you live in an area where Manzanilla olives grow, you can visit a farmer's market or olive producer to try out different types of the olives, but otherwise, you will need to try them out after you choose a variety and purchase them.

Discussion Comments


@ZipLine-- I've noticed that too. Some are larger than others. I think it depends on where the olives are grown. I think the Spanish ones are actually a little smaller than American and Italian. Or maybe it has to do with when they're harvested.


@ysmina-- You must try the blue cheese stuffed ones, they are so good. I realize not everyone likes blue cheese. I love it so blue cheese stuffed Manzanilla olives are right up my alley. I have it all the time. The grocery near me has a nice salad bar and they have a few varieties of Manzanilla olives there.

I'm actually a little confused because all varieties of these olives don't look exactly the same. The blue cheese stuffed ones for example, are larger than the other types. So maybe it's actually a different type of olive, I'm not sure.


I like Manzanilla olives but I don't experiment too much. I've never tried a jalapeno or blue cheese stuffed one for example. I stick to my usual green Manzanilla olives stuffed with red pepper.

It was one of the first type of olives I tasted as my dad was fond of them and would eat them often. I remember times when I would go through a whole jar by myself in a few days. It's not very healthy considering the salt content and I definitely don't eat so many Manzanilla olives now. But I do like it on cheese and bread platters as appetizer every now and again.

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    • Black olives, including Manzanillas, have been allowed to ripen on the tree.
      By: Subbotina Anna
      Black olives, including Manzanillas, have been allowed to ripen on the tree.