Green vs Black Olives? What is the difference?
It may surprise you to hear the colour of your olive is purely an indication of maturity. All olives begin green and only when they mature do they take on flecks of purple and eventually become black.
Green Olives, indicating harvest in autumn (typically beginning in October in the northern hemisphere) have a firm texture, naturally higher acidity, brighter flavours and importantly a far higher anti-oxidant content.
At the other end of the spectrum, black olives picked at the beginning of winter are softer, more buttery and give a higher yield which is why they are often a major component in mass produced Olive Oils. They contain far less goodness. Worse still is what we would probably describe as wind-falls that are collected bruised from the ground as late as January. The oil from such olives produces a quality of oil known in Italy as lampante – the oil that would have been used to light the lamps. You may find a proportion of this in regular super market olive oils sold as Extra Virgin. It’s important to know what you are eating don’t you think?