Kalamata

Kalamata  is the second most populous city of the Peloponnese peninsula, after Patras, in southern Greece and the largest city of the homonymous administrative region. The capital and chief port of the Messenia regional unit, it lies along the Nedon River at the head of the Messenian Gulf.

The 2011 census recorded 69,849 inhabitants for the wider Kalamata Municipality, of which 62,409 in the municipal unit of Kalamata proper. Kalamata is renowned as the land of the Kalamatianos dance and Kalamata olives.

Kalamata olive

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 olives by packing them in water or weak brine, which is changed daily, 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, placing them in strong brine for up to three months in order to debitter them. Levels of polyphenol remain in the olives after processing, giving them their slightly bitter taste.