Discover Tuscan extra virgin olive oil, “Toscano” IGP.
Today, I tell you something about Tuscan extra virgin olive oil. Especially about the “Toscano” one that has some specific characteristics.
Extra virgin olive oil is a vast and unknown field. If you are looking for the best Tuscan extra virgin olive oil(EVO). Then you have to learn something before buying it.
I will explain to you what it is important to know about Tuscan extra virgin olive oil.
Tuscany is famous for its wines and rolling hills. Olives here are largely cultivated using ancient methods passed by generation after generation.
Extra virgin olive oil here is called the Tuscan gold. And its properties are known since the old days when it was very hard to produce and not in big quantities.
“The olive tree, Olea europaea, valued for both its beauty and its fruit, has been a part of Mediterranean civilization since before recorded history.” Joseph H. Connell, in The Olive Production Manual
History of Tuscan extra virgin olive oil.
Historically I have to explain to you something.
Tuscany was totally transformed from the 1600s unward. It passed from a floreant business region to a totally focused farming region. Like it was at the Roman times, when it was called the green heart of the Empire.
Why? Because, the Medici family has conquered and annexed all the main independent republics of Tuscany. Controlling the entire area that still today is the actual territory of Tuscany.
Businesses were struggled by high Medici s Florentine taxation over the region. So monasteries with huge properties and farms raised in power and money. Thanks to their products Tuscany became famous also for its agriculture aspects.
So in the 1600s rich families started buying and building massive villas and mansions in the country. Those beautiful Tuscan villas you will admire hiking or driving through the region roads, were built by rich people for showing off their richness.
Transforming the territory of Tuscany in what you can admire today. Cypress were introduced in the region right in those days. Olive trees were planted in such high density for the promiscuo farming that became a landmark of Tuscany.
If you were travelling to Tuscany in the 1500s you should imagine a land mostly covered in woods. Little castles spread throughout the territory to control it.
Extra Virgin Olive oil, Tuscan Umbria and Puglia differences.
After a very brief history of Tuscany let’s go back to the extra virgin olive oil.
The “Toscano” IGP Evo is famous for its bitter and spicy notes and astringent strong flavours. This makes it perfect for dressing meat on a grill or with toasted bread and garlic.
Toasted bread and garlic is perfect for us in Tuscany. We all have memories of days spent in front of the fire eating FETTUNTA https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fettunta. As we call it here in my region. Don’t start with bruschettas or other derivatives. There’ s only one name here in Tuscany for the extra virgin olive oil on bread with garlic, FETTUNTA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruschetta.
So, for its intense flavours and green unripe aromas Tuscan extra virgin olive oil is famous all around the world. It makes it the most valuable of them all. Competing in many world tasting classes with the one from Puglia. Where its characteristics are more soft ripen flavours in the mouth and sweetish yellow ripe aromas at the nose.
In Italy we pick Extra Virgin Olive Oil by the region. Not by its flavour(mild, strong, etc..). This is something you have in the rest of the world but not here in Italy.
A good choice between Tuscan EVO and Puglia EVO, it’s the Umbria extra virgin olive oil. It has characteristics of green aromas and the nose and soft mild flavours in the mouth.
Certifications quality EVO
Symbols of quality are the certifications of origin you can find on the bottle. Like IGP(indication geographic typical) and DOP(denomination origin protected).
DOP has higher standards and is given to less products, instead of the IGP. But for the Tuscan extra virgin olive oil is existing only the IGP “TOSCANO”. It’s the best quality you can find on the market.
Hiking in Tuscany olive groves and olive oil tasting.
Hiking in Tuscany through landscapes of ancient roads, white roads, rolling hills, olive groves and vineyards is today a dream. Many private lands today are open to the public to let hikers, walkers and trekkers enjoy Tuscany. https://www.outoftheboxflorence.com/2020/07/12/trekking-in-chianti-classico/
If you were travelling to Tuscany in the 1500s, you should imagine a land mostly covered in woods. Little castles spread throughout the territory for control and check points.
Tuscany olive groves
If you come to visit Tuscany and Florence. You will see gorgeous olive groves everywhere planted in the traditional way: 1 tree every 5 meters. If you go to visit the specific Tuscan area of Bolgheri. Instead you will see olives planted in rows like vineyards for an intensive production of extra virgin olive oil.
I leave to you which one to choose. The traditional method is the real one. It’s an harder way to obtain good extra virgin olive oil. The Bolgheri method instead is applied by modern business men. Using lots of chemical compounds spread on trees and then arrives to you on your table.
Choose small family farms and hard workers people instead of invest funds properties.
Links Extra virgin olive oil frauds and scientific researches.
“Once someone tries a real extra virgin — an adult or a child, anybody with taste buds — they’ll never go back to the fake kind. It’s distinctive, complex, the freshest thing you’ve ever eaten. It makes you realize how rotten the other stuff is, literally rotten. But there has to be a first time. Somehow we have to get those first drops of real extra virgin oil into their mouths, to break them free from the habituation to bad oil, and from the brainwashing of advertising. There has to be some good oil left in the world for people to taste.”
I link you to a website with analysis on top brands producers of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. That are exporting around the world.
Also you can find attached a web site with scientific proofs of the vulnerability of the EVO supply chain.