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  • Blend or Monocultivar ?

    The olive tree is not only generous in its infinite life (we find olive trees over a thousand years old in Italy and elsewhere) but it represents a cultural heritage, it defines our landscapes and offers us its oil of the highest quality.

    When we talk about the olive tree we must remember that there are many different varieties, each one representative of a territory; they are plants that adapt to the soil and climatic conditions of the place, interpreting it in the best possible way.
    In Italy there are more than five hundred varieties, a very rich heritage that could be expressed in as many types of oil, giving rise to an infinite possibility of uses and combinations.

    The most advanced companies know this and offer the public both mono-varietal oils, also called monocultivars, and blends.
    With blends, many possibilities open up, since it is a combination of oils produced with multiple varieties of olive trees, you can make infinite combinations, one could even speak of tailor-made oils, as for high fashion, a real tailoring of oil itself where the customer can ask the producer for a more or less fruity or more or less intense oil.

    Can we say that the monocultivar is better than the blend?
    Absolutely not, both or neither can be excellent. Quality oil is a product that aims for excellence, the producer follows the entire production process, from the plant to the mill, optimizing it with appropriate packaging. One thing is certain, when you taste a quality product, you never go back, you enter the marvelous world of extra virgin olive oil.

    Desirée Nieves
    Olivicoltore
    Sommelier dell’olio
    Assaggiatore professionale

     

  • Nutraceuticals

    Extra virgin olive oil is good for health and a true nutraceutical. How many times have we heard it said, but often the consumer fails to understand how oil, by nature associated with the idea of ​​fat, can contribute so much to the well-being of the body. Let’s start by clarifying what the term nutraceutical means, i.e. rich in nutritional and healing properties.

    Extra virgin olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, rich in oleic acid and a substance capable of regulating cell proliferation, increasing blood fluidity and reducing bad cholesterol in favor of the good one. It is rich in fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, necessary for cell differentiation, vitamin D and K, which help in the formation of the bone matrix, and the powerful antioxidant vitamin E that protects against neoplastic diseases.

    Extra virgin olive oil is highly digestible, prevents gastritis and ulcers and promotes intestinal transit. Its lipid composition is similar to that of breast milk and therefore highly recommended in the baby’s diet. Due to its antioxidant action, it is recommended to be taken in adulthood as a prevention against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and osteoporosis. All of these properties, recognized in the United States by the “Food and Drug Administration”, the administrative body which manages food and drugs, are particularly relevant and allow producers of extra virgin olive oil to be able to label their health properties.

    The recommended daily dose is 50 grams per day, which corresponds to 4 tablespoons.Attention when we talk about extra virgin olive oil with specific beneficial qualities for health, we intend to recommend the oils produced following the criteria of good agricultural practices, i.e. mainly organic, with an early harvest, where the polyphenols are felt through the bitterness and the spiciness. In production, every detail must be followed with care and wisdom.

    It is evident that the consumption of extra virgin olive oil alone is not enough to maintain health, it is necessary to follow a well-considered diet and a healthy lifestyle.

    Desirée Nieves
    Olivicoltore
    Sommelier dell’olio
    Assaggiatore professionale

     

  • The oil mill

    The oil mill is the place where the transformation of the olive into oil takes place.

    History tells us that since ancient times olives were appreciated not only as a food, but also for oil extraction.  At the end of the seventh century before Christ, the Etruscans produced containers for the exportation of oil, which at the time was used for washing, perfuming and lighting. The Romans later understood its most valuable properties, classifying the oil into different categories based on the level of ripeness of the olives at the time of processing. They realized that freshly picked unripe olives gave excellent oil.

    The extraction systems have remained unchanged for centuries.  Today we have, without getting into boring technicalities, two extraction systems: the traditional or discontinuous one and the modern continuous cycle.

    The traditional system involves grinding by stone, pressing the substance thus obtained and the separating of the oil by centrifuge.

    The modern system replaces the stone with a continuous mechanical system, which without pressing leads directly to separation. This system is gradually replacing the traditional one, as it is possible to work constantly at a controlled temperature. The process is more hygienic because it is hermetically sealed and thus superior quality oils are obtained, which maintain their precious qualities longer.

    Among the enemies of oil we find above all oxygen, light and heat. In the modern extraction system, the oil is protected from all of this. When we bring our olives to the mill we need to know the type of mill and the product we want to obtain.

    Not all oil mills are the same, as not all oils are the same.

    Desirée Nieves
    Olivicoltore
    Sommelier dell’olio
    Assaggiatore professionale