Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A Product of Excellence
Anyone keen of food knows that Tuscany is not only a famous producer of fine wines, but also a region where is produced what is called “the green gold”, the extra virgin olive oil, one of the best in Italy.
The Tuscan cooking uses a lot extra virgin olive oil - here in fact the use of butter is very limited – on first courses, soups, meat and side dished, but also simply on toasted bread, which is called “fettunta”. Our walking tour of Florence whet the appetite, so why not to stop in a traditional osteria to enjoy this delicious specialties?
But what is exactly the extra virgin olive oil and how is it produced? The name “extra virgin” refers to those oils which have less than 1% acidity, that render them smoother and tastier, and also more suitable for salads, bread or soups. This is the highest quality of oil, and, of course, like all quality things, it is produced in smaller quantities, making it more expensive.
The olives are harvested in October and November. In the following months the oil produced with these olives is called “olio novo” (new oil) and has a characteristic taste.
The olive oils produced in Tuscany are different from those of other part of the country - for example the south of Italy - because here farmers usually pick olives when they are still green, not allowing them to fall. Then on the same day, these olives are immediately crushed in order to extract the oil. The final step for the production of extra virgin olive oil is the filtration, but sometimes some producers prefer to leave it unfiltrated, so that it retains more flavour.
Of course the taste of extra virgin olive oil varies from one part of Tuscany to another. In the Chianti area it is considered the best for extra virgin olive oil. Here the oil is green and spicy, while – for example – in the area of Lucca it has a yellow colour and has a lighter taste. The oil from Montalcino has a more rustic taste, it is more intense both in colour and flavour.
Choose one of our tours in Florence and explore the city through its food flavour. Discover the secrets of extra virgin olive oil and of other Tuscan products with your own eyes and… mouth! It will surely be and amazing Florence tour!