Kalamata has its origin in Greece. When fully ripe, black Kalamata olives are processed naturally, marketed commercially and are very popular with consumers. Kalamata olives are as ideal black table olives, with a lower oil content than Mission.
Manzanilla means “little apple” and originated in Spain. It is regarded as the premium green table cultivar in the world and although popular in South Africa, it is planted on a much smaller scale than Mission, because it is mainly suited for green processing, for which the market demand is lower.
The olive cultivars grown commercially throughout the world at present all originated as selections of chance seedlings, which were then increased vegetatively, some over many centuries. In the traditional olive growing countries of the world, usually the best seedlings were selected and propagated.