Extra Virgin Olive Oil and thousands of years of the Mediterranean Diet
In the Mediterranean basin, from the outbreak of civilization, the juice extracted from olives inspired myths, legends and poems, which celebrated, among other values, its exceptional healthful properties.
This ancient tradition is supported today by scientific data that demonstrated how a high-quality extra virgin olive oil could contribute to good health not only with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but also with its lipid profile, accounting for the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean Diet.
The entire production process is crucial to achieve quality; from the way olive trees are grown and olives picked and pressed in the oil mills, to the way olive oil is stored and transported to the retailer.
Unfortunately, there are some so-called olive oils in the market, coming from sources other than olives and from different years of production, which are then mixed together and next subjected to chemical processes plus heat to deodorize and clean them prior to bottling. Obviously, these low quality products are deprived of all the organoleptic and nourishing properties.
There are some rules to recognize a good olive oil, made only from handpicked, sun-ripened olives which are subsequently cold-pressed. The first one is to avoid a too low-priced olive oil bottle, even if price is not a quality assurance.
Usually, the best way to find a good extra virgin olive oil is to carefully read the label to get some detailed information on the production method; and when sampling it, is to rely on your olfactory sense and taste buds.
Prefer a product with the denomination of origin initials (PDO or PGI), since there are regulatory agencies certifying the place and method of production.
Check if the year of production is indicated on the label to be sure that it is not produced with a blend of olive oils from different years.
If the producer is the owner of the olive trees and maybe also of the oil mill where the olives are pressed, a very short supply chain is guaranteed.
Make sure that the bottle is dark brown or green and closed with an anti-topping cap to avoid light damage of the product and fraud.
Colour is not determinant, but avoid suspicious bright and unnatural green.
To the nose it should have an olive-fruit perfume and a fresh vegetal scent, reminiscent of grass, with peppery notes.
To the taste buds, a crisp fruity note followed by spicy and bitter ones is the signature of a young and high quality extra virgin olive oil, especially if it linger on your palate for a long time with aromatic flavors of artichoke, almond, apple or bell pepper.
What you should never find is the smell or taste of cooked veggies, rancid, chemicals, synthetic flavours or even gasoline.
At Casa Chianti Classico we are proud to offer extra virgin olive oil from small artisans that grow their olives, cold press them and bottle only their production in one of the most renowned areas in Italy for high quality of their olive oil produce, the Chianti region in Tuscany. We invite you to try the delicate and elegant Pendolinomonocultivar or the more potent and peppery Chianti Classico Blend of extra virgin olive oil PDO; two expressions of the same excellence that will complement at best any Italian dish.