The Kalamata olive is a large black or brown olive with a smooth, meaty texture named after the city of Kalamata in the southern Peloponnese, Greece. Often used as table olives, they are usually preserved in wine vinegar or olive oil. Kalamata olives in the European Union are protected with PDO status. Olives of the same variety grown elsewhere are marketed as Kalamon olives.
There are two methods of preparing Kalamata olives, known as the long and short methods. The short method debitters the olive by packing them in water or weak brine for around a week. Once complete, they are then packed in brine and wine vinegar with a layer of olive oil and slices of lemon on top. The olives are often slit to decrease the processing time. The long method involves slitting the olives and placing them in salted water in order to debitter them, a process that can take as long as three months. Levels of polyphenol remain in the olives after processing, giving them their slightly bitter taste.