Extra virgin olive oil is the main seasoning in Mediterranean cuisine and an indispensable presence on Italian tables. After writing dozens of pages on how to grow vegetables organically and how to get salads, tomatoes and other vegetables in the home garden, it seems only fair to skip a few lines on the ideal seasoning for what we also grow.
Few of our readers will have olive trees in their field, with which to produce olive oil with their own means or with a mill, many will surely go and buy it. Which extra virgin olive oil to choose is not an easy task: most oils on the market would not be worthy of the reputation of extra virgin olive oil and it is not even easy to buy olive oil. Italian oil. Many oils found in supermarkets, even those from major national brands, use foreign olives or oil from other Mediterranean countries in the European community, such as Spain and Greece, or from non-European countries such as Tunisia. and Turkey. Spain has a huge production of cheap oil, which is also dumped on the Italian market.
Recognizing and valuing the goodness of an oil by tasting its aroma, which must have the right balance between spicy and bitter, and evaluating its color between yellow and green, is wisdom that is in danger of being lost, while an oil sweet or low grade that invades the market is not accustomed to the common taste.
The quality of the oil depends on several factors, from the olives used and where they are grown, to the entire process that takes place in the mill.
The variety of olive . Not all olives are the same, because for wine with grapes, the raw material is also essential in the oil and each variety of olive brings its own flavor and characterizes the oil in a particular way. Therefore, the aroma can be more or less pungent, bitter or fruity depending on the olive used. For example, Spanish oil is usually sourced from Andalusian picual olives, which are not comparable to fine Italian varieties such as Canino.
Time from harvest to pressing . Olives should be processed quickly, preferably during the day, as they begin to ferment when stacked. The longer you wait, the more the perfume will have a defect called “heating up”. For this reason, the oil produced by amateur farmers for personal consumption or that of their acquaintances is often not of high quality: it is not always possible to regularly bring small quantities of olives to the mill. Small olive pressing plants alone can overcome this problem, which should not be underestimated.
The development process : From cleaning to pressing and storage, the processing of olives plays another important role in the quality of the oil. In Italy we have a tradition and a body of knowledge passed down from generation to generation that allow us to make the most of the extraordinary varieties of local olives, obtaining dozens of types of oil with an extraordinary taste.
How to Choose a Good EVO Oil
As the oil can only be chosen by testing, the certifications can be a useful compass to orient yourself among dozens of proposals on the market. We try to give you three criteria which can help you in your choice, as well as advice which is the result of experience and personal knowledge.
- Buy Italian oil . We produce the best oil in the world with a peasant tradition and wisdom in its preparation that has no equal. It is worth buying our production, such as an oil mill, but also taking care of the olives. This also for an ethical discourse of kilometer zero: favoring the short supply chain means minimizing the environmental impact.
- Buy organic oil . Organic certification is always a guarantee, not so much of the quality of the product as of the fact that it is healthy. Buying an organic extra virgin olive oil means knowing that it comes from a more natural agriculture, in which no chemicals have been used.
- Buy DOP oil. The abbreviation DOP stands for Protected Designation of Origin and guarantees the origin and characteristics of an oil. To have the PDO mark, an evo oil must meet certain criteria, specific to each PDO and to each geographical area, also linked to the origin and variety of the olives used. The certified oil undergoes organoleptic checks on the product and throughout the chain. Buying a DOP extra virgin olive oil means knowing where the olives come from, with the certainty of having a 100% Italian oil.
A tip from us. There is no shortage of good extra virgin olive oil in Italy, we would like to point out that Gentile oil mill, Historical Lazio company that combines excellent quality, organic production and fair value for money. Among the mill’s proposals are a certified organic oil and a PDO Canino oil, up to the extraordinary Verdone.
The possibility of buying oil online allows you to shorten the supply chain and go directly to the producer, also to buy Gentili extra virgin olive oil is available for sale on the web, directly from the mill to your table.
The Gentili oil mill is located in the Dop Caninoa Farnese (Viterbo) area, in the Alta Tuscia region and mainly processes the precious Canino olives, as well as other varieties (Frantoio, Pendolino, Moraiolo, Maurino, Leccino) . The olives are processed in the mill within a maximum of 24 hours from harvest to create a high quality EVO oil.