Many recipes with niçoise olives call for substituting with kalamata or even green olives.

Which olive is actually closest in flavor for a salad niçoise?

Niçoise not available locally nor on some popular online markets in my delivery area.

These are available for delivery. Turkish/Lebanese. CooksInfo.com describes Lebanese as "The olives have a grainy texture and a slightly bitter taste"enter image description here

1 Answer 1


Nicoise are a slightly sour black olive. As such, they're going to be closest in flavor to the kalamata out of the varieties you mentioned. Kalamatas are 3-4x the size of the nicoise, though, so depending on the recipe you might need to cut them into pieces. There are other olives that are even closer in flavor, such as arbequina, but those are going to be even harder for you to find.

The olives in your photo are not kalamatas, though; they are salt-cured olives. They are very little like nicoise olives -- they have a very different texture and much saltier and not at all sour -- and I wouldn't use them as a substitute in every recipe. That said, they could work for a few recipes, including salad nicoise, although you might want to cut some salt from elsewhere in the recipe.

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