The olive tree is so linked to the Mediterranean civilisation, that a Greek fantasy suggests that when Zeus had to determine which goddess assign the city of Athens, among the two contenders Poseidon and Athena, he chose Athena simply because she had offered the humanity the most useful reward: the olive tree. The sacredness of this tree on the Jewish men and women is attested by the Bible: a white dove introduced the finish of the Flood carrying an olive department in its beak. The gnarled and twisted olive tree, ready to stay up to 1,five hundred many years, characterizes the landscape of the warm coasts of Mediterranean international locations and it is a image of their tradition.
The origin of the olive tree is so historical as the Mediterranean civilisation. The olive was cultivated in the Mid East area in 5000 B.C. Phoenicians have been trading the olive oil and contributed to diffusion of this “liquid gold” in the other Mediterranean locations, particularly in Greece. Greeks most likely exported it to Romans who in their turn transplanted the olive trees in their belongings in Spain and North Africa. With Romans, olive oil was an critical great, so significantly that they set up a sort of inventory trade, the arca olearia, exactly where batches of olive oil ended up exchanged and the prices fastened. In ancient times, the olive oil was firstly an aliment, but was also employed as a medicine and a beauty: Greek athletes had been employed to anoint the entire body with oil. In the XVIII and XIX hundreds of years, olive oil gets to be an critical uncooked material for market and implies also strength for lights. It is a elementary asset in the economic system of the time.
During the hundreds of years, the olive oil has constantly retained a pertinent place in the cuisine of Mediterranean international locations, currently being generally desired to butter and other vegetal condiments this sort of as palm and corn oils, more used in the Northern nations. As it is nicely acknowledged, the modern day studies in the nourishment subject have regarded important traits to the Mediterranean diet regime and to the olive oil, which is a essential ingredient of this.
Most research concord that olive oil, which is composed for 98% of oleic acid (a monounsaturated body fat), has a optimistic effect in reducing the bad part cholesterol (LDL) and in increasing the good component (HDL). The useful influence of olive oil in protecting the arteries could be imputable not only to its oleic acid element, but also to the quite a few and not totally identified substances constituting the residual 2% (the non-saponifiable element), which these days are intensively researched. In addition, a number of research carried out in the Mediterranean location are exhibiting a feasible constructive result of olive oil in safeguarding against some of the most frequent cancers (breast, colon, uterus and prostate). Once more, check it out may be due also to the mostly unknown parts of the non-oleic element of the olive oil.
Liguriais one of the number of locations (the other ones getting in proximity of lakes, this sort of as Garda) in Northern Italy in which the olive tree is traditionally cultivated. Had been the Benedectin monks, during the Middle Age, to supply a great improvement in the olive cultivation. They launched the renowned quality taggiasca (from the village of Taggia, the place a monastery was established) and the approach of terracing. The taggiasca olive is primarily subtle in the Imperia province and usually in the whole Western Liguria. It can be regarded as the queen of the Ligurian oil, because it originates the most of the manufacturing, offering the appreciated sleek and comforting oils, with the attribute last sour taste. Lavagnina, Razzola, Rossese, Lantesca, Olivastrone are the qualities diffused in the Eastern Liguria. They originate fragile oils, but with a far more accentuated bitter style.
The Ligurian oils are secured by the PDO (DOP in Italian) brand Riviera Ligure, with 3 additional geographic indications: Riviera dei Fiori, Riviera del Ponente Savonese and Rivieradi Levante. Of program, you can also uncover great Ligurian oils without having the PDO indication, but the presence of the emblem is a distinct signal of quality and a assure that olives are cultivated and made in Liguria. It is crucial to pay out attention, due to the fact a lot of oils created in Liguria are created of olives unique generically from Italy: they are not PDO and can not grant the typicity of the flavour. In addition, there is a quite simple way to set up which olive oil is the greatest to you: pour a spoon of oil in a glass and style it. Search also at the colour and smell. Most likely, an professional would contemplate this a very tough organoleptic test, but the crucial it is to get started encountering with your own senses.
A great Ligurian olive oil ought to have a yellow colour may be with a gentle tendency to inexperienced, a slight fruity odour and a sweet style with a faint bitterness. A bottle of .750 ml has a standard price tag of about 10 Euros, but you can uncover oils costing the double and even a lot more. The bottles are usually wrapped in the attribute silver or gold paper, to protect the material from the influence of the light-weight.
Between the PDO oils, the Imperia Province does the lion’s share. On a total generation of fifty eight tons, 56 occur from Riviera dei Fiori! And they are nearly entirely made with taggiasca olives, the modest but quite tasty olives normal of the Western Liguria. The olives for the oil production are picked up when they are not completely mature but. In Liguria, this occurs in the late autumn, when they have a purplish color. Traditionally, the farmers place thick nets beneath the trees and then shake them to make olives to drop. In the Imperia province, the conventional strategy does not use nets: the branches are overwhelmed and then the olives are manually picked from terrain.
The new crop is celebrated in Imperia (Oneglia) the final week-end of November with a feast committed to check out the normal Ligurian flavours. In the East Riviera, the olive oil is celebrated in Moneglia the day after Easter.