Planet Olive

Olive identification

Alicia Suarez, from the Department of Flemish Art at the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, is currently investigating the history of international trade between Flanders and other countries. Below is a picture by a 17th-century Flemish artist, depicting a plateful of olives. Of what variety?

Olio Officina

Olive identification

An interesting exchange of views and opinions has taken place on the cultivars depicted in this Flemish painting. Their identification may seem easy, but it is not so.
According to Professor Salvatore Camposeo, from the Department of Agro-environmental and Land Science at the Aldo Moro University in Bari, these are elliptic, clearly umbonate olives.
In his opinion, they are green table olives belonging to a cultivar native of Sicily or Calabria ((Biancolilla, Nocellara etnea, Giarraffa, Carolea, Geracese…). They would appear to have been cured in brine.

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