Food Travel > Italian Food > Italian Food Excellence: Olive Oil Date posted: March 25, 2013

Italian Food Excellence:
Olive Oil

Olive Oil is one of the excellences of Italian food: some interesting tips from Swide on which ones to pick.

It’s difficult to trace when olive cultivation first started but many believe the Middle East to be the cradle of olive oil. The presence of olives consumption (or a similar component) is proven in Bologna in the prehistoric era and in France, as well as in Spain.

It’s from Greece though that olive oil spreads throughout all the Mediterranean, thanks to sailors who brought olive oil to Italy too. In Greece the olive tree was considered sacred and dedicated to Athena Goddess. It’s between the 6th and the 4th Century before Christ that olive trees take over Italy. As its popularity spread, the olive tree became a source of food, (with the olives), of fuel and heat when burned.

After the wars and deprivation of the Dark Ages, monasteries improved agriculture and planted more olive trees. During the 14th Century the Medici reign in Florence gave new life to olive oil, implementing its cultivation. Nowadays, Tuscany is still one of the most famous area of Italy for olive oil production.

 Italian food excellences: olive oil 

By the 18th Century, Italy became the most renowned producer of olive oil in Europe. Nowadays, technology has changed the way olive oil is made, but not its quality. A milestone of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is one of the protagonists of the Italian table. Protected by Dop and IGP quality certifications, olive oil is one of our gastronomic treasures.

Among the many varieties of olive oil that Italy has to offer, here are some you should definitely try.

Extra-virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity and has a superior taste compared to the other kinds. Virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, has an acidity less than 1.5% and has a distinctive flavor. Olive Oil is a blend of virgin and refined production oil, of no more than 2% acidity. It has a very mild taste.

Olio Extra Vergine d’Oliva Particella 34

 Italian food excellences: olive oil 

By Pianogrillo Azienda Agricola, in Chiaromonte Gulfi, Sicily, this olive oil is both aromatic and delicate, with an erbal scent. The taste is elegant, balanced and with a touch of spicy finish. Background notes: artichokes and tomatoes.

Titone Dop Valli Trapanesi by Titone , TrapaniSicily

 Italian food excellences: olive oil 

This oil won the Biol first Prize of 2013, best one among 360 oils coming from 15 countries. . It’s an organic extra virgin olive oil from the area near Trapani, on the Western side of Sicily. This area is a D.O.P. designated area. Always a favorite, the new Titone opens a bit sweet and definitely grassy, and brings forth several characteristics including green banana and eucalyptus. You can count on a strong finish. The oil has the taste and aroma typical of the best Valli Trapanesi oils. Crafted from nocellara, biancolilla, and cerasuola olives.

Byodo Collezione Andrea by Pruneti, Florence, Tuscany

 Italian food excellences: olive oil 

The Azienda of the Pruneti family has been farmed for over a century. It lies in San Polo in Chianti Classico area in the middle of Tuscany. This organic D.O.P. Olive Oil, extra virgin is a special cuvée mixture made from the olive varieties Morajolo, Frantoio and Leccino. It contains 100% organic olives and its taste is harmonic.

Dean& DeLuca Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 Italian food excellences: olive oil 

Pressed from the finest Sicilian Nocarella del Bellice, Biancolilla and Cerasuola olives. It has aromatic notes of herbs, citrus, green tomato and artichoke and its finish is both pleasantly bitter and persistently spicy.

Post a comment