Olives are native to semitropical climates and are used in Mediterranean cooking to add an appealing punch to grain, vegetable, and bean salads. There are almost limitless varieties available, so you can satisfy your taste by choosing anything from the intensely flavored, oil-cured ripe olives, to purple Greek Kalamata olives, to green Spanish olives. Rich in monounsaturated fats and minerals, pantothenic acid and niacin, olives are a nutritious treat.

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