Feed Blog

Oct 08

Turkish Breakfast Olives & Marmarabirlik

Posted on Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Turkey is well known for its olive groves and its famous breakfasts for which olives are an essential ingredient. The most common types of olives found in Turkey are the northern-grown Gemlik olives, which are used as breakfast olives throughout the country. These are small to medium in size and are cured in either the sele (yagli sele), salamura or duble forms. Gemlik olives that have been traditionally cured have flesh which comes away from the pip easily.



Famous Traditional Van Breakfast by Tanyel


Sele Olives


The sele olive is named for the type of basket in which it is stored when picked. For every 100kg of olives, 10kg of fine salt and 15kg coarse salt is added in layers on top of the olives. The basket is then turned upside down every few days so that the salt can penetrate the olives and encourage the bitter juice to seep out. After 2-4 weeks, the bitterness disappears and the olives are ready to eat. When olives are packed, they are sieved but not washed, as this allows salt preservation.


Ready to eat sele olives.


Salamura Olives


The salamura method of curing olives is the most popular curing method in Turkey and involves picking the olives when they are dark purple in colour. The olives are placed into a salamura preparation tank and a solution of 100 litres of water mixed with 10kg of salt is added. Contact with air is avoided and after 7-9 months, the olives are removed from the tank. They turn black after 3 days of being exposed to the air.



Salamura olives are picked when they are dark purple in colour.


Green Olives


Green olives are unripened black olives and are “slit” (çizik) or “crushed” (kırma) and are then put in salty water for 2-4 weeks.


Grand Foods offers a huge variety of olives from Marmarabirlik. Marmarabirlik was established in 1954 and is the largest olive producer in Turkey. There are over 28,500 olive farmers producing the olives which are sold in Turkey and exported worldwide to Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Northern Cyprus, Bulgaria, Europe, Canada, America and Australia. Specialising in black and green table olives, olive oils and olive pastes, Marmarabirlik has a reputation for excellence.

Click here to visit the Marmarabirlik website



Types of Marmarabirlik olives available at Grand Foods:


  • Cracked Green Olives 
  • Dry Black Gemlik Olives
  • Dry Black Olives
  • Extra Black Olives
  • Extra Gemlik Oiled Black Olives 
  • Extra Gemlik Olives in Brine
  • Gemlik Hususi Y Sele Olives
  • Green Scratched Olives
  • Green Sliced Olives
  • Green Stuffed Olives
  • Hiper Black Olives
  • Hususi Black Olives
  • Hususi Black Olives – Less Salt
  • Hususi Gemlik Olives
  • Kalamata Type Olives
  • Lux Black Olives
  • Marbir Black Olives
  • Mega Black Olives
  • Mega Gemlik Olives
  • Oiled Black Olives
  • Sliced Black Olives
  • Super Black Olives
  • Super Gemlik Olives
  • Yagli Salamura (Extra Gemlik Olives)