We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Thrown Olives?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Thrown olives are stuffed olives which are dropped into a jar by a machine as they are packed, rather than being carefully placed by hand. While this distinction might seem petty, some people are willing to pay more for placed olives, olives which are carefully oriented in the jar so that their stuffing faces out, creating a more even, attractive look in the jar. Ultimately there is no difference in flavor between the two, although placed olives tend to be more expensive because of the manual labor involved.

Generally, the term “thrown olives” is only used in reference to stuffed olives, because most consumers don't care which direction unstuffed olives are facing. Many Mediterranean nations have a long tradition of stuffed olive production; olives can be stuffed with things like nuts, pimentos, anchovies, onions, and other pickled fruits or vegetables. These olives can be used in cocktails, on salads, and in ornamental olive plates, and they are quite popular in some regions.

When stuffed olives are made, they are pitted and the stuffing is inserted into the hole left behind after the removal of the pit. This is typically accomplished by machine in modern olive processing facilities, although a few communities continue to produce hand-stuffed olives for commercial sale. Then the olives are packed in brine, salt, or oil for curing. After the olives are cured, they can be packaged for sale. Typically stuffed olives are packed in cans or jars which are tightly sealed to prevent the intrusion of unwanted bacteria.

Obviously, the contents of a can of olive are not visible until the can is opened, and therefore the placement of the olives is not very important. However, olives in a jar are visible, and some people use olive jars decoratively, or they at least like their olives to look attractive until the jar is opened. This is why some producers distinguish between placed and thrown olives, offering placed olives for a slightly higher price. Since the stuffing is usually tightly inserted into the olives, you don't need to worry about thrown olives losing their filling as a result of being haphazardly tossed in, although there might be slightly fewer olives per jar when a human doesn't physically pack them as neatly and tightly as possible.

Once a jar or can of olives has been opened, the olives will need to be refrigerated. Canned olives should be transferred to another container as acids can sometimes eat at the can, potentially causing it to fail or contaminate the food. Olives in a jar can be stored in the jar until they have been consumed. Whether thrown or placed, the arrangement of the olives will generally become random once the jar has been opened and handled. Most markets carry jars of olives; the next time you're in the store, you can check for thrown olives in the olive section.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By literally45 — On Oct 28, 2014

To me, olives packed by hand aren't better just because I can see the stuffing when I buy them. I think that it's also a good sign of the quality of the product. It shows that the manufacturer really cares about their products and they're doing their best to produce something that's high quality.

I buy hand packed olives. I do because I know that ultimately, it means that the olives are better and will taste better. Unfortunately, when various stages of production are carried out by machines, something gets lost in the process. Every batch is the same, there isn't much effort put into it. It's bland and boring. Something made by hand on the other hand, it's bound to be unique and delicious.

By serenesurface — On Oct 27, 2014

@fify-- Then maybe it is worth paying extra for hand packed olives. The whole point of stuffed olives is for the stuffing to be in the olive. There is no point in buying them if the stuffing is all over the place, is there?

The thing with machines is that they can mess up. I wouldn't be surprised if that's what happened with your jar of olives.

By fify — On Oct 27, 2014

I have actually bought stuffed Manzanilla olives that were apparently thrown and had some of the red peppers out of the olives and swimming in the water. So it does happen. If the olives aren't carefully placed, the stuffing can come out, especially if it's being shipped and the cans move around a lot.

Aside from this though, I don't really care whether my olives were thrown or packed by hand. I would have a problem if the number of olives in the jar are far less than I expected. But I haven't had that problem so far.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.