marinated olives

Have you ever tried the marinated olives from tapas bars or Spanish restaurants? There are many varieties of olives in Spain like manzanilla and gordal. However, the way of marinating is almost the same from one region to another.

The majority of olives supply comes from Spain, which is around 75%. And since they have a lot of olives, there’s no doubt that they also supply olive-based products like olive oil. Aside from that, as mentioned before, they also offer tapas made of olives. One of the most popular is the marinated olives.


When it comes to marinating olives, you don’t need to do much, but the waiting time takes a while before you taste the final product. So if you’re ready to learn more about Spanish marinated olives, you should check the tips below!

1. Prepare the ingredients

If you’ve tasted the authentic marinated olives from Spanish restaurants, it’s easier to come up with the right taste. And to achieve that, you should have the right ingredients such as olives, garlic, olive oil, rosemary, bay leaves, cheeses, and acidity.

For the cheese, you can opt for mozzarella and manchego. They create a great blend that will improve the flavour of the marinate and the lives. Meanwhile, the added acidity depends on your taste. You can add lemon, orange juice, or sherry vinegar.

If you’re not from Spain, make sure to buy from stores that offer high-quality ingredients. It’ll just be a waste if you end up with weird-tasting marinated olives.

2. Look for the fresh ones

Focusing on the olives, usually, Spaniards pick their olives from trees whenever they decide to make marinated olives. It’s best when the olives are fresh so that they can give the best-tasting olives in every tapas they serve.

After picking the olives, wash them thoroughly, and either cut them or work with whole ones. The next step is that they store them in airtight pots with water for about 10 days. The water is replaced every day which lessens the bitterness of the olives.

Next is they brine the olives to achieve the right taste, and remove the bitterness. Whether you’re using manzanilla or gordal, this preparation is necessary. But of course, you can also use other varieties if you don’t have access to these two.

When the olives don’t have bitterness left, then it’s time to mix the other ingredients.

marinated olives

3. Don’t complicate things

Traditionally, olives are stored in clay jars, but you can also use glass jars just like what some Spanish restaurants use. After mixing all the ingredients, you can choose whatever container you’re going to use as long as it’s airtight.

If you’ve decided to use whole olives, you can cut a small opening per piece so that the ingredients can pass through the inside. It’ll make the olive more flavourful than you’re expecting.

Remember that you can adjust the quantity of your marinated olives depending on how much you need. Don’t forget to adjust all the ingredients to avoid ending up with weird olives.

4. You can personalise

Although the basic ingredients were listed above, you can always get creative when making marinated olives. For instance, you can add bits of meat like chorizo, ham, or bacon. However, it’s best if you add the meat before serving. Otherwise, the meat will just adapt to the taste of the marinade.

Aside from that, you can also add more herbs and spices to achieve that taste that you like. But if you’re fine with the original flavour served in Spanish restaurants, then you can just stick with the recipe you can see online.

marinated olives

5. Store properly

The shelf life of marinated olives depends on the process of making them and the storing technique. For instance, if you use whole olives, then you can store them longer than the ones cut into smaller pieces.

Fortunately, since the olives are marinated, there’s a big chance that you can store them for months in the refrigerator. The longer you store them, the tastier they get.

To incorporate all the flavours into the olives, make sure to shake the jar before storing it so that they all blend.

6. Serve with other tapas and your preferred drinks

When it comes to having tapas, you have a wide range of choices. You can serve different varieties depending on what you can offer. However, you shouldn’t forget about the drinks.

Ever since tapas were discovered, they’re always beside any alcoholic drinks. And when it comes to serving marinated olives, you can come up wide many varieties. For instance, as mentioned before, you can add ham or chorizo before serving the olives.

Just keep in mind that you should drain the excess water first before serving marinated olives. Otherwise, you’ll have soupy tapas.


Now that you have some ideas on how to ace Spanish marinated olives, then it’s time to test your knowledge. Don’t forget to share with us your version of marinated olives by leaving a comment below!


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