& COOKING ARTICLE
historic and not so historic information
legend says that it was the Goddess Athena (goddess
of wisdom, war, household, arts and crafts, agriculture
and fertility) that donated the Olive Tree to humans
as a symbol of peace, longevity and wisdom.
Italy the first olive grove was cultivated in the south
around 1000 BC. Shortly after, the Romans began bringing
the practice of olive tree cultivation to the rest of
Italy giving oil an important commercial value for trading.
1500 AD the Tuscan hills became even more covered with
Olive groves after the Medici Family (The Granduca Cosimo
I) gave land to any family who wanted to grow olive
olive tree can live for over 200 years and after a tree
dies new branches will begin to bud in the same place.
So in essence a olive tree can live forever. It is said
that one tree called the 'Olive tree of Magliano' in
Tuscany is as old as 3500 years!
both the olives and grapes are considered the two big
events in the Tuscan countryside. This is the beginning
of the process that will bring the finest Olive Oil
and Wine to our tables.
is a very important factor when picking olives. An olive's
ripeness when picked will determine its quality and
taste. Geographic position, climate and harvesting also
play an important role. In Tuscany, the majority of
the farmers still pick the olives directly from the
tree using the old fashioned method called 'Brucatura'.
This method is done by hand with a very simple instrument
shaped like scissors that has comb like teeth instead
of blades. Farmers continue to use this method despite
new technologies because it is still considered the
best way to harvest the olives without ruining them
or their trees. The harvesting period starts the 1st
of November which is considered a holiday ('la festa
di ognissanti' - 'all saints day') and lasts until the
15th of December. The ideal moment is when the majority
of the olives have just become ripe.
can be a hard job but often times family and friends
join the farmers for a bottle of good wine, tuscan bread,
cheese and prosciutto (or other kind of 'affettati')
to eat in the Olive grove.
best Olive Oil is the Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive
Oil and if it comes from Tuscany (100% Tuscan olives)
then we are really talking about the finest.
Acidity Level of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil
order to be considered 'Extra Virgin' the oil must have
an 'oleic acid' level (acidity) under 1%. This is an
important factor when choosing a high quality oil. The
taste and the acidity level are connected with: the
variety of trees, the soil where the olive tree is located,
the methods for growing and harvesting, the pressing
techniques, the conservation of the oil. Every detail
is important in order to reach a high quality oil.
order to be considered 'Extra Virgin' the oil must be
pressed by a mechanical process. 'Villa La Pietraia'
olives are first carefully selected and picked by hand
and then processed at one of the finest Olive Presses
in Tuscany. The oil is extracted from the first cold
pressing of the olives and is unfiltered to maintain
the rich and unique flavor of this countryside Tuscan
product. Pressing techniques are very important to insure
a high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
to maintain an Extra Virgin Olive Oil
the bottles out of direct light (especially sunlight).
You should avoid storing your oil in direct light in
order to preserve its quality. Always close the lid
tightly after you have used the bottle.
your oil at the right temperature
much heat can alter the composition of the Olive Oil
causing a loss of flavor. Always keep the oil out of
light and at temperature no greater than 70 degrees.
Extreme cold will not damage your Olive Oil but bring
it back to room temperature before opening.
the Olive Oil is unfiltered Unfiltered means genuine
rich taste and unique flavor. Unfiltered Extra Virgin
Olive Oil will naturally have some settlement at the
bottom of the bottle and this is a Guarantee of Outstanding
Genuine Quality. Before opening the bottle gently shake
it while turned up side down.
feature was written by Marco Ciappelli, importer of
100% Tuscan extra virgin unfiltered olive oil.
article was supplied by www.GlobalChefs.com
Hub-UK : firstname.lastname@example.org