The Extra Virgin Olive Oil

On Elba Island traditional are grown olive trees with which is produced an excellent extra virgin olive oil falling within the Tuscany IGP (protected geographical indication), such as Frantoio, Leccino, Moraiolo and Pendolino. The olive groves are located on hilly land facing the sea, surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation. The olives are handpicked and immediately brought to the local mill, which produces extra virgin olive oil first cold pressed entirely of Elba Island, with a golden colour and rich aromas, with low acidity. It is a product obtained with the work of local farms that provide to bottle and label their small productions, which sell directly to their homes, shortening the gap between producers and consumers. Recently manufacturers have also created a unique bottle of Elba Extra Virgin Olive Oil, available in versions from 0.75 L and 1 litre.

Olive growers Association

The association of Elba olive grower’s producers has approximately 70 members of which 24 bottling companies. The main purpose of the association, as well as to bring together and inform the members of oil producers, is to put into cultivation old olive groves on the island territory. The Association aims to inform and educate consumers to the taste and the awareness of our oil in food choices. Ambitious goals, especially in a world where consumption and eating habits are changing rapidly.

The Olive tree

The first olive trees grown on Elba probably date back to the early 800, unfortunately many plants, as a result of frosts, have been left in the years to themselves by farmers and with the advent of tourism the detachment of the local population to the working of the earth has become increasingly important, leaving abandoned so hectares of land once cultivated with olive trees and grapes. However, in recent years many olive trees have been cleared by the vegetation that had grown up around and thanks to their strength and longevity have been reported in production. In fact, they were brought to light important farms with old olive trees and now produces extra virgin olive oil a little bit in the whole island, although most production areas are the plain of Marina di Campo, Lacona zone, some locations Portoferraio and Bagnaia.

Although many consider the olive tree a purely Mediterranean plant, it turns out that instead would be born over 12,000 years ago in the South Caucasus. This is because in reality the olive tree has set over the centuries very well in the Mediterranean basin, especially in the so-called "orange belt", the specific area of ​​the Mediterranean coast where the main crop is citrus fruits.

An area that contribute for 95% to global oil demand. The more "green" gold producers are Italy, Spain, France, Greece and some Middle Eastern countries bordering the Mediterranean. Worldwide there are over 800 million olive trees planted on nine and a half million hectares, of these 700 million are in the Mediterranean basin. The world production of olives is nearly 8 million tons, while the Italian oil producers can cover about 1/3 of the global need. It is so easy to understand why the “Bel Paese” is widely considered the best producer of extra virgin olive oil in the world. The cultivated olive tree belongs to the large family of oleaceae that includes 30 different kinds, among which we remember the Ligustrum, the Syringa and Fraxinus. The species is divided into two subspecies, the cultivated olive tree (Olea europaea sativa) and wild olive (Olea europaea oleaster).

The olive tree (Olea europea) is a plant with a lot of century’s longevity, has evergreen leaves and, in the wild state, begins to bear fruit after a long juvenile period preserving for many years a good production. It has long lance-shaped leaves, on average, from 5 to 8 cm, green at the top, silver grey on the bottom.

Black olives with pesto

Black olives with pesto

A tasty recipe made with black olives, a healthy fruit and virtuous properties

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