A treasure to be valued

Italian EVOO is a treasure to be valued. It has not yet conquered the rightful place that it deserves on our dining tables. Just think about it for a moment: Italy is ranked second for the production of olive oil worldwide and first for the varieties of cultivars. But the future of Evoo is golden like it’s colour.

The nineties teach

It takes time to reach the top, just as it did for great Italian wines. Only in the early 90s did restaurants come up with the wine list, mostly concentrated on a small selection and mostly of local producers. In fact most restaurants were offering the house wine as a first selection. Today the “wine menu” has been enriched and wine selections that are offered go beyond regional borders and sometimes countries. We can say that currently EVOO is how wine used to be in the 90s.

It’s very rare to see an “oil list”, to choose from, to pair with the different foods based on the level of intensity. Despite the Italian regulations that require all restaurants to serve sealed EVOO bottles with a special cap and not the refillable glass oil cruet, it is still very common to come across them from time to time. Ignorance and shrewdness are still an obstacle when it comes to EVOO.

And yet, the consumption of EVOO is so high in Italy that we are sometimes forced to source this product from abroad in order to meet the demands of our domestic market. We are importing double what we produce and if we look closely at the label on a bottle we can see that the product itself was bottled in Italy but actually sourced in Spain, Greece, Turkey etc. Fortunately now, thanks to Italian regulations, it is mandatory to have the origin of the olives. This was a long and difficult battle that the growers were able to win along with the producers and associations such as Coldiretti.

treasure to be valued

Pliny The Elder

Pliny The Elder fought this same battle a few millennia ago when in his Naturalis Historia he wrote that the best olives from the Mediterranean were the Italian. He fought for the Mediterranean diet.

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