© Denzil Green
Almost all olives start off green — and will darken to purplish or black if left to ripen on the tree.
Olives intended to be used as green table olives can be harvested earlier than black olives. In some parts of the world, such as Greece, green olives can be harvested starting in September, while harvesting of black olives takes place later, from October to February. The earlier harvest means that producers can “cash in” on their crops earlier. Allowing time for curing and pickling, green olives can be ready to consume or sell within 6 weeks after harvest.
Green olives are generally firmer, tarter and fresher-tasting than black olives after curing.