Have you ever tried Castelvetrano olives? We first had a sample at a farmers market. They were giant olives, bright green, with a crunchy bite and a clean, fruity flavor that actually - get this! - tasted like olive oil.
These olives are very different from the salty, pungent cured olives that we also love. They are delicate and light in flavor, with a crisp bite. They are hard to find, though, and even when we find them they are of varying quality. We found this last batch at our community market, and they are rather mushy. We still love the flavor, but they're best when crisp and juicy.
We haven't been able to discover much about this type of olives. The most we've been able to find out is that they aren't cured in vinegar like other sorts of olives. They are just processed in brine, so they are slightly salty, but without that bitterness found in other olives. This also preserves more of the olives' natural minerals and sugars, so more of the natural taste (the taste that ends up in olive oil) is there.
Apparently this type of preserveation also cuts down on their shelf life, though, which may be why they're a little harder to find.
Have you ever tried Castelvetrano olives? If you find them, try them! As they say at at Wally's Wines, even people who don't like olives often love these. They are great as table olives.
• Buy Castelvetrano olives at Wally's, $7.99/package