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Olive Sizes



World olive size grading is calculated by the number of olives per kilo. American size is graded by the number of olives per pound (the number of olives per kilo in the table further below is approximate for American sizes, as the United States Department of Agriculture hasn't set official metric grading.)

You may often see olives designated as 160/180, 400/420, etc. That indicates the range of how many per kilo, in that size. You have to figure out from the context whether the writer is using World measurements or American ones.

The descriptive terms that you will see below were reputedly drawn up in the 1920s by the California advertising firm "Curtis", which drew on names that were being used to promote movies at the time. The terms for larger olives have a good ring of hype around them -- you'd almost think they were describing a circus.

It's a bit odd that the California olive industry continues resolutely to use their own terms and own measurements rather than standardize, especially because this is certainly one field in which the Americans are greatly outnumbered: California produces less than 1/2 of 1 percent of the world's olives, so it would make more sense for them to standardize to the rest of the world.

Size descriptions are listed in order from largest to smallest.


Size NameWhereQuantity
Per Kilo
Quantity
Per Pound
Size Number
(America)
Width
Super Mammoth (aka Super Mamouth)World91–10041–45
Mammoth (aka Mamouth)World101–11046–50
MammothAmerican140 to 16065 to 75
5
Super ColossalWorld111–12050–54
Super ColossalAmerican60 to 7032 or fewer
9
26 mm and larger
ColossalWorld121–14055–64
ColossalAmerican70 to 9033 to 41
8
24 mm to 26 mm
GiantsWorld141–16065–73
GiantAmerican120 to 14053 to 64
6
Extra JumboWorld161–18074–82
JumboWorld181–20083–91
JumboAmerican90 to 12042 to 52
7
22 mm to 24 mm
Extra LargeWorld201–23091–104
Extra LargeAmerican160 to 20076 to 90
4
20 mm to 22 mm
LargeWorld231–260105–118
LargeAmerican200 to 220 (sic)91 to 105
3
19 mm to 20 mm
MediumAmerican240 to 260106 to 127
2
17 mm to 19 mm
SuperiorWorld261–290118–132
Small (aka Select or Standard)American280 to 300128 to 140
1
Less than 17 mm
Petite (aka Midget)American300 to 400141 to 180
BrilliantWorld291–320132–145
FineWorld321–350146–159
BulletsWorld351–380159–172
SubPetiteAmerican400 to 420181 to 220

Sources:
    • Canadian Food Inspection Agency: Liaison, Preparedness and Policy Coordination. Canned or Otherwise Preserved Vegetable Products Other Than Frozen Vegetable Products, Part II, Feb 2000.
    • United States Standards for Grades of Green Olives, USDA, September 1967 (32 FR 11467.)

Sources

USDA. United States Standards for Grades of Green Olives. 32 FR 11467. September 1967.

See also:

Olive Processing

Olive Sizes

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Also called:

Aceitunas -- Tamaño (Spanish)

Citation

Oulton, Randal. "Olive Sizes." CooksInfo.com. Published 03 August 2004; revised 03 March 2007. Web. Accessed 12/17/2017. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/olive-sizes>.

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