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Here Are The Best Olives For Your Cheese Board

09 July 2020
by Giadzy
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Update your cheese boards with these delicious varieties of olives, plus the crackers, cheese and accouterments to pair them with!

With the holidays right around the corner, it's officially cheese board season. There's really no easier way to feed a crowd than colorful, vibrant platter of charcuterie, cheese, assorted accouterments - and of course, olives. If you've ever stared at the olive bar at a grocery store and had no clue where to begin, then this guide is for you! We think these are the best olives for your cheese board, and they pair great with all kinds of charcuterie.


It goes far beyond just black olives and green olives. There are a wide variety to choose from! Additionally, if you think you hate olives, there's a pretty big chance you just haven't tried one that you like yet. They can range from super briney and salty to very mild and buttery. Because olives can taste so different, they can really be a hit-or-miss when it comes to pairing with cheese on a charcuterie board. Check out our guide to some of our favorite olives below, along with what you should pair them with! 


Note: because olives are generally somewhat salty and briney, and cheese boards have a variety of strong flavors, we always recommend serving up some prosecco while grazing on your charcuterie snacks - it will go with everything!

Best Olives For Your Cheese Board

Castelvetrano

These Sicilian green olives have been super popular for the last few years, and the reason why? They're very mild in flavor, and we consider them to be a great "gateway olive" to people who don't think they like olives to begin with! They're super meaty, buttery, and have a mild saltiness almost similar to Parmesan cheese. 

PAIR WITH: Serve them whole on a cheese board with fresh cheeses, such as chevre, brie, or even fontinella.

Cerignola Olives

These large green olives hail from Puglia. They're crisp, buttery, and almost a little sweet - and their size makes them a great candidate for stuffing. We love the black varietal as well! Plus, we sell these babies in our pantry!

PAIR WITH: Serve them alongside saltier accompaniments that won't clash with the mild flavor: such as capers, anchovies, or gorgonzola cheese.

Kalamata

These black olives are one of the most commonly-found ones in the grocery store, and it's because they're the most popular of all the Greek olives. 

PAIR WITH: They have a strong salty and fruity flavor that stands up well in salads, pastas, or even tapenades.
Peranzana Olives

These olives from Puglia are mildly fruity and flavor and a perfect addition to any cheese board. Medium in size and preserved in their own oil, Peranzana olives are one of out favorites and make the perfect table olive. You can find them in our pantry here!


PAIR WITH: Mild, soft and a little sweet, they pair excellently with cured Italian meats, as well as fresh bread for dipping in their oil.

 

Picholine

Fruity and briney, these delicious French olives are great in a variety of uses.

PAIR WITH: When it comes to a cheese board, we love how they pair with soft cheeses such as Brie or Camembert, and the flavor also goes excellently with Provolone! The bright flavor of these olives also goes great with earthier ingredients, like marinated mushrooms or artichokes.

Liguria/Taggiasca

Grown in the north of Italy near the French border, these little olives pack a punch of flavor. They're grown nearby to France's Nicoise olive region, so they taste fairly similar. These olives are typically cured with an aromatic herb brine of rosemary, bay leaves and thyme. 

PAIR WITH: They're great chopped up and added to focaccia, or in tapenade with bread. Because of their sweet and briney flavor, they go very well with mild cheeses like brie or camembert.

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