The green ones are the most common. They have a mild, sweet taste. The firm flesh clings to the pit.
The black ones are softer, and the flesh separate from the pit more easily. Bright red Cerignola Olives are sold but they have a food colorant added for a festive effect. The colorant most often used in Italy is known as E127 or Erythrosine.
The olive is also sometimes used for oil; it has an oil content of 16 to 19%.
The olives are better for eating out of hand than for cooking with.
Literature & Lore
Native to Apulia.