Fresh and fruity with an excellent spicy aftertaste, the extra virgin olive oil from the Tuscia area boasts antique origins, dating back to the ancient Greeks: as a matter of fact, the farming of olive trees was firstly introduced in this part of Italy by this population. As witnessed by the decorations on the pots and vases found in the numerous local archaeological sites, the Etruscans eventually developed a culture around it: thanks to these findings we now know how they harvested and pressed the olives in order to obtain the oil and this information is essential to reconstruct an ancient tradition that is the pride and honour of our contemporary farmers.
In ancient times, the olive oil served many different purposes: besides being the main dressing of numerous dishes, it was also used by the Romans and the ancient Greeks both as an ointment for the body and as an important ingredient of a soothing balm for burns, stings and minor rashes.
A traditional production for an excellent quality
Awarded with several DOP labes (Protected Designation of Origin) and safeguarded by the Marchio Collettivo Tuscia Viterbese – granted by Viterbo’s Chamber of Commerce only to those farmers who respect high quality standards throughout the entire production process – nowadays the extra virgin olive oil from Tuscia is an excellent product, one of the best in Italy.
Several cultivars are used for its production – Frantoio, Moraiolo, Leccino, Pendolino and the famous Canino – and the entire process, from farming to harvesting and pressing, is still handled in the most traditional way in order to obtain a top-quality oil. The olive groves are constantly monitored throughout the year in order to guarantee the quality of the olives at the time of harvest: this usually takes place just before the olives reach full ripeness, in order to preserve their nutraceuticals properties. Once harvested, the olives are cold pressed the same day using exclusively a mechanical process in order to protect their natural aroma and flavours, then the olive oil is kept in air-conditioned warehouses, away from the heat and direct sunlight.
The final product is a high-quality extra virgin olive oil that is appreciated both locally and abroad, thanks to the recent growth in export. Its organoleptic characteristics make it very much enjoyable and suitable to accompany all sorts of dishes; its nutraceuticals properties – especially the natural antioxidants and the “good” fats – provide a significant contribution to a healthier lifestyle as they help slowing the ageing process, strengthen our immune system and keep our weight under control by stimulating a balanced production of insulin.
Try the local “green gold” whilst you are visiting the Tuscia area: it is used in the best restaurants as the main ingredient of many local dishes, from a simple bruschetta to more elaborate recipes. It is also available for purchase in many deli shops and it would just be the ideal gourmet souvenir!