Tuscany is well known all over the world for its extra virgin olive oil. This gold treasure is the result of the land and soil and of the particular weather that allows olive trees to give excellent fruits.
Hills of Tuscany can be a spectacular landscape, especially in autumn, when the trees are ready for the harvest.
Many people come over from every part of the world to participate to the harvest and get their own bottle of precious oil. The Tuscan oil is defined a DOP, a brand that guarantee the precise geographic origins.
Tuscan olive oil: the origins
Tuscan oil cannot be considered a unique oil. There are four official production areas: Chianti Classico DOP, Terre di Siena DOP, Lucca DOP and Seggiano DOP. You can also find the Toscano IGP that includes five criteria that further specify its origin and characteristics, the so-called "geographical mentions": Colline della Lunigiana, Colline di Arezzo, Colline di Firenze, Montalbano and Monte Pisani. The tastes of these oils can differ but the flavor is fruity and bitter, going to sweet.
Which are the differences? First of all, you must considered the different soils which give the olives their own taste, second, it's a question of general climate. For example the oil of Maremma hills is more salty just because receives the sea air. The color is also something different: it goes from deep green to green with golden nuances, sometimes yellow.
From a taste point of view, these oils may have a fruity aroma and a bitter, slight pungent flavor, but also sweet from light to medium and with pungent, bitter sensations.
Taste is different: olive oil for every dish
If you say olive tree, you are not saying the right thing: there are a lot of different varieties. Leccino, Correggiolo, Olivastra Seggianese and many others. These varieties can be mixed together in order to create special oil for certain kind of dishes, or can be worked alone, in order to highlight the organoleptic characteristics of each kind.
You may have seen photos of oil tasting on the web. And maybe you think that the best way to taste oil is with some bread. Well, oil is food and, as wine, you must taste it alone.
There is a special technic, called "risucchio", that helps you to eat or better drink oil.
So, where ever you go to taste oil, simply ask a teaspoon, and then let the oil enter you mouth, before going down.
If you have the luck to taste oil with a professional tester, you will receive a little blue glass. Just warm it in your hands, smell it and then taste it.
At first, you will probably feel uncomfortable, but then you will understand all the fragrances and tastes. A strong experience that will hit you!