17 Common Questions About Olives Answered

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People often ask specific questions about olives, and they mostly require only short answers. Today, I decided to sum up the most common questions about olives and give you answers to all of them. So, if you are looking for some olive information, your answer might be here.

The Most Common Questions About Olives

handful of olives

Without furder ado, here are the most common questions about olives.

1. Are olives good for you?

Yes, olives are good for you. They’re a healthy source of monounsaturated fats, which can help lower your cholesterol levels. Also, olives are a good source of antioxidants and vitamins E and K. Olives have plenty of health benefits for us, so consuming them is a great way to increase your health.

Many people wonder if black or green olives are better, but in reality, they’re pretty similar when it comes to health benefits. So, whichever you choose, they’ll be good for you.

2. Is eating too many olives bad for you?

No, you’re not likely to eat too many olives unless you really love them. Even then, it’s unlikely that you would consume enough olives to reach a harmful level. However, if you’re on a sodium-restricted diet, be aware that olives can be high in sodium (especially brined olives). So, if you are watching your salt intake, you may want to limit your olive consumption.

Generally speaking, olives are a healthy food that you can feel good about eating. They offer plenty of benefits and are unlikely to cause any harm, even if you eat a lot of them. So, go ahead and enjoy some olives as part of a healthy diet.

3. Are olives a vegetable or fruit?

Olives are a type of fruit but are often used more like a vegetable in cooking. Olives grow on trees and are harvested when they ripen.

Olives are a fruit because they come from the flower of the olive tree. Fruit comes from the mature ovary of a plant, and the ovary is found in the flower.

4. What do olives taste like?

Olives can taste bitter, spicy, or salty, depending on how they’re prepared. Some people enjoy the taste of olives, while others find them to be too strong. If you’ve never had olives before, it’s best to start with a milder variety and work your way up to the more intense flavors.

Usually, green olives taste more bitter because they don’t ripen enough, while black olives taste less bitter and they typically have a more intense smell and flavor.

5. How long do olives last in the fridge?

If you store olives in a sealed container in the fridge, they will last pretty long. However, once you open them, they’ll probably last about 1-2 months before they go bad.

Be sure to check the olives periodically to make sure that they’re still good. If you notice any mold or white spots on olives, you can still fix it. However, if they smell extremely bad, it’s better to dispose of them.

Jar or cans of olives don’t have to be refrigerated until you open them. Once you open them, you should keep them in the fridge. Otherwise, they’ll go bad pretty quickly.

6. What’s the red thing in olives?

The red thing in olives is called the pimento. It’s a type of pepper that’s often used as a garnish or to add flavor. Pimentos are perfectly safe to eat, so don’t be afraid to enjoy them in your olives. However, if you don’t like the taste of peppers, you can always remove them before eating the olives.

Another thing that can also be red is carrots; sometimes, people put carrots inside olives for a better taste and appearance. They’re also perfectly fine to eat, and many people prefer to eat olives with pimento or a carrot.

7. Can you eat olives when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat olives when pregnant. However, you should avoid olives that are high in sodium (such as brined olives) because they can cause water retention. Instead, opt for less salty variants of brines or those that are packed in olive oil.

Pregnant women should also be careful not to eat too many olives. While they are generally safe, eating large amounts of olives can lead to indigestion and diarrhea. So, it’s best to stick to a moderate amount.

8. Can you be allergic to olives?

Yes, you can be allergic to olives. The most common symptom is an itchy feeling in the mouth or throat. Other symptoms can include hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms after eating olives, it’s best to seek medical attention immediately.

Allergies to olives are relatively rare, but they can occur. If you think you may be allergic to olives, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

9. Are olives high in sodium?

Yes, olives can be high in sodium. This is because they are often packed in brine (salty water). One cup of black olives can have up to 1,000 mg of sodium, which is about 40% of the recommended daily intake.

If you’re on a low-sodium diet or have high blood pressure, it’s best to avoid olives or limit your intake. A better option is choosing less salty olives, such as ones brined in olive oil. Also, you can always desalt olives to make them more suitable for your diet.

10. How many types of olives are there?

Many different olive varieties come in a wide range of colors, sizes, and shapes. It’s hard to tell the exact number, but approximately, there are around 139 olive varieties across the world.

The most popular olive varieties are:

  • Kalamata
  • Arbequina
  • Thasos
  • Nyon
  • Picholine
  • Cerignola

11. Are olives an aphrodisiac?

Olives have been considered an aphrodisiac since ancient times. In fact, they were once used as currency to pay for sex. People believe that green olives are better for men’s libido, while black olives are better aphrodisiacs for women.

However, there’s no scientific research to confirm these claims. So, you may try them but don’t expect anything miraculous.

12. Are olives vegan?

Yes, olives are vegan. They don’t contain any animal products or by-products. So, if you follow a vegan diet, olives are a great choice to eat, especially for snacks or salads.

13. What color are olives?

Olives can be anywhere between green-yellow-purple-brown-black. The color depends on the variety of olive and when it’s harvested. For example, green olives are usually picked before they’re fully ripe, while black olives are allowed to ripen longer on the tree.

The color of olives can also be affected by the curing process. For example, black olives are often cured in iron oxide, which gives them their dark color. So, there’s no one answer to this question. It all depends on the type of olive and how it’s processed.

14. Can you eat raw olives?

Yes, you can eat raw olives but don’t expect a very pleasant taste. Raw olives tend to be extremely bitter, and it may even be hard for you to wash out that taste from the mouth.

Even olive pits are edible, many animals such as birds eat them, and they’re completely fine. However, I don’t recommend you do that because of the taste.

15. Can you buy fresh olives?

Yes, you can buy fresh olives, but they’re not always easy to find. They’re usually only available at farmer’s markets or specialty stores. And even then, they might not be in season.

So, if you’re looking to buy them, the best time to find fresh olives on sale is between September and November – while people harvest them.

16. How many calories are in olives?

How you eat them (cured, brined, canned, etc.) can vary, but usually, you don’t have to worry about calories in olives.

Related: Are Olives Keto Friendly

On average, olives will have around 90-130 calories per 100 grams. So, they’re a diet-friendly food that you can implement in plenty of diets such as keto, fodmap, paleo, etc.

17. Why do you put olives in tamales?

In Mexico, people often put olives in tamales because they add a unique flavor and texture. However, there’s more depth to putting olives in tamales.

For Christians, olives in tamales represent either the Christ waiting to be born. Another theory is that the olive represents all mothers carrying seeds for the future.