Ripe olives are the fruit of the olive tree which has been allowed to ripen and turn dark, then cured in a brine solution. These olives may be black olives or green olives depending on the cure used. These olives are also referred to as mission olives. Othe well known types of ripe olives are the French Nicoise olives and the Greek Kalamata olives. Kalamata olives have a slightly bitter flavor in work well in sauces like putanesca.
Ripe olives can be purchase in jars or cans, pitted or whole with pits. Black ripe olives are also available sliced or chopped.
Spanish olives (the large green, stuffed olives pictured) are not ripe olives. They are picked young and subject to a different curing process. They are frequently stuffed with pimento, but not always. You can substitute Spanish olives for ripe olives. The stuffed olives are frequently used in cocktails like the traditional martini.
These are olives which have been packed in salt. They have a wrinkly surface and may later be packed with some olive oil and sometimes additional herbs.