The Land of Olive Oil 2014. The value of oil as a sign of territorial civilization 31 Gennaio 2014 – Posted in: . ENGLISH TEXT
One thing is certain. For Extra-virgin olive oil producers, oil changes every year depending on variable factors related to climate, territory, or extraction method. Never before this year has it been as complicated and expensive to produce their precious food in terms of yield. Nevertheless, the veterans of good oil and emerging companies or those already present within this book continue to create a product of absolute authenticity. This year 307 labels were tasted, from the beginning of October 2013, with the arrival of the first pressed oils, the Sicilians, to January 20, 2014. A selection was made of the best companies, those who knew the right moment to collect their olives, press them with the most suitable methods, and above all, store the oil in containers in order to preserve its organoleptic qualities for many months. This reference tool is published at the beginning of the year in order to help the consumer choose the right oil to pair with the most suitable ingredient or dish, depending on its geographical position, but above all, to understand the characteristics of the oil and match it to personal taste. No one forbids the consumer in Trentino from purchasing Sicilian bouquets or an Apulian from appreciating the fragrances of Liguria; on the contrary, this will serve to stimulate the knowledge of each enthusiast and extend his/her olfactory and taste register. An osmosis between different traditions and tastes that will be an enrichment for all and an openness towards new possibilities a growing awarness of a product like Extra-virgin olive oil that has all the talent necessary to become a protagonist on our tables.
Italy is the only nation in the world with over 350 olive varieties. It is precisely because of these cultivars, the true mother lode still waiting to be discovered and appreciated, that I think can trigger a system of cultural-gastronomic twinning between the regions of our country.
To help me in this enterprise I believed it necessary to not limit myself to just a technical evaluation of the selected oils. Along with my editors, I wanted to convey the artistic, artisan, and gastronomic values that characterize the territory of every company, because I believe it is important that any specialist topic be appreciated with an interdisciplinary approach helping to focus the identity better. It is my hope that, thanks to my commitment and to that of the many experts who see oil as a product of great potential, every reader can choose three or four oils to keep in their cupboards having understood that not only one’s native soil but also that of other Italian regions can offer unique sensations through the work of olive growers who believe in what they do, marketing the real Extra-virgin olive oil.