Cerignola Olives - Gourmet Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Order Bella di Cerignola olives online at igourmet.com. Bella di Cerignola olives are named after the town of Cerignola in Apulia, sometimes called Puglia in English. Cerignolas are one of the delights of southern Italian cuisine. The largest olives in the world, Cerignola olives are about the size of a large pecan in shell. Meaty, mild, and fruity, Cerignola Olives are perfect for antipasto or appetizer plates.

Cerignola Olives are available in many colors: green, red (made so by adding food coloring), and black. The green are the firmest, while the black are the softest. Almost all Cerignola Olives are sold with the pits in, which helps them to maintain a firm texture in their brine.

Serving Cerignola Olives
Due to their large size, Cerignola Olives are great for serving at parties or making a stunning garnish on a dish. Once opened, Cerignola Olives should be rinsed to remove excess salt, then tossed in olive oil. At this point you can allow them to marinate for a few hours and serve plain, or mix in chopped herbs, garlic, or chilies. Have fun with terroir and serve a Puglian wine such as Primitivo with your Bella di Cerignola Olives. Cerignolas are also typically served with cured meats, especially salami, and cubed southern Italian cheeses like Crotonese or Caciocavallo.

Pitting Cerignola Olives
If you want to serve Cerignola Olives with the pits removed, you can use a cherry pitter to remove the woody center. This will create a neat hole that you can then fill with cheese, cubes of salami, or sun-dried tomatoes. You can also use a large knife to pit the Cerignola Olives. Just crush the olive under the side of the knife to slip the pit out. While not as clean of a method, it does save you the trouble of going out to buy a cherry pitter.

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