Drizzle Oil and Vinegar

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Olive Oil from Sicily

Sicilian Olive Oil

Olive oil is an integral part of Italian cooking, with many different kinds of olive oil produced in the various regions across Italy, each boasting its own unique history. Olive oil produced in Sicily, however, can trace its origin to the Greek colonists who probably first introduced it to the region in 500 BC. This remarkable fact means Sicilian olive oil may claim the longest and oldest history of all the olive oil varieties.

Sicilian olive oil accounts for almost ten percent of all olive oil production in Italy, with an enormous amount of land used exclusively for the cultivation of olive groves. Of the many varieties of olive used in agriculture, those most commonly found in Sicily are the Carolea, Nocellara and Biancolilla varieties. The olive plants of these variants generally do not grow very tall and resemble bushes more than trees, unlike the olive plants cultivated in other parts of Italy.

While harvesting in most places is done by machines, in Sicily it is done by hand because the shorter olive plants are within easy reach and this method of harvesting causes much less trauma to the plants. At present, Italy boasts four protected denomination of origin zones (DOPs), which are basically officially designated areas for olive cultivation. The number of protected zones is being expanded, with two more DOPs awaiting official approval.

Sicilian olive oil is some of the best in the world and tends to have a rich taste and grassy aroma. It is also somewhat piquant, and is generally known to be a robust spicy olive oil.

[tag] olive oil Sicily [/tag]


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