Taggiasca Olives, The scent of Liguria

 

Today Italian Traditions brings you to Liguria to discover one of the excellent and best-known products of this region which has all the charm of the sea with its scenery, beaches and harbors to explore. Olive cultivars is especially typical of western Liguria and in particular of the province of Imperia, Taggiasca olive take its name from the village of Taggia, near Sanremo, where were brought originally by the Benedictine monks of San Colombano.

Over the centuries the taggiasca olive grafts came also in other parts of Italy but the major crops have always been along the western side of Liguria, between Imperia and Savona, where they extend from the coast to up to an altitude of 700 meters. The winning combination of soil, water and climate of this region makes the taggiasca olive a unique product in the world, imitated but never equaled. No coincidence that in 1997 it set up the protected designation of origin, linked to an extra virgin olive oil, precisely called "Riviera Ligure Dop". The olive taggiasca variety is a vigorous tree, twisted, tilted grows, each piece is unique and as such also has an ornamental use as garden tree. The ripe fruit has purplish black  color and a slightly elongated cylindrical shape, it does not reach large sizes but it is sweet and tasty, which is why the taggiasca olive is one of the best table olives on the market, as well as being one of the most famous for the production of extra virgin oil.

In the territory of Imperia, in some crops, the olive harvest takes place even in the traditional way, manually: men are concerned with the whisk of the trees and the women harvest fruits fall to the ground. The Taggiasca olive, aromatic and fruity, harmonious taste, is widely used in the natural way (raw or pickled) and in the cuisine. There are many Ligurian dishes based on olives, in particular moist meat or fish. Among the best known, there are the Ligurian rabbit stew, lamb with olives, roast beef with olive sauce, salt cod alla levantine and cappunadda.

What distinguishes Taggiasca olive (and olive oil made from them) from the other is the chemical, organoleptic and taste refinement. From these drupes, if not mixed with other varieties, it is produced the typical fruity Italian oil. A precious oil with low acidity and a sweet and unique flavor, different depending on the manufacturer and its collection and processing methods. 

Some oils are produced from only from the pulp, the most valuable part of the olive, and all are kept cool and protected from light, for maintaining unaltered its organoleptic properties. With its triumph of flavors and fragrances it is certainly to be considered among the boast of local products.

"Clear and liquid crystal" sung by poets and holy and humble fruit of ancient traditions; fragrant and full-bodied ointment able to confer flavor and enhance the most delicate flavor, delicious caress for fine palates, the Italian oil reveals its secrets in the IT5 of the week.