Jerry e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink that he couldn’t find the Kalamata olives called for in a recipe he wanted to try and wondered if you can substitute canned California ripe olives for Kalamata olives in a recipe?
Canned California ripe olives and oil-cured European ripe olives are really very different products. The California olives are lye-cured and will look good in a salad, casserole, sauce, or pasta dish, but are very mild in flavor and won’t deliver the excitement you are looking for. European-style olives are salt or brine cured and then packed in olive oil that is often flavored with herbs. If you really need to substitute, green olives that have been packed in brine are a better choice.