Italy’s organised crime families have infiltrated the country’s food chain, from field to fork .”With margins as high as 700 per cent, profits from olive oil, for example, can be higher than those from cocaine”
This year we’re proud to be celebrating a memorable anniversary: for 25 consecutive years both the owners and much of the staff of London’s River Café have come to visit a handful of Tuscany’s best oil producers to taste the new oil and finalise their orders.
The olive is a fruit. At its purest and best, olive oil is the ‘juice’ of this fruit—just crush and press the olives and it will drip free. Unfortunately, the process is rarely kept that simple. There is a world of difference between industrial extra-virgin olive oil and estate-bottled oil made from homegrown, hand-picked olives. The latter will more than repay itself in quality. An aromatic, fruity oil can turn a good meal into a great one.
Many of us are passionate about extra virgin olive oil. Indeed, the number is increasing so fast that there’s now a growing consensus against allowing deregulation or lack of protection and control for this exceptional product. It’s time to stand up against the ways in which it’s being manipulated, and make necessary and urgent changes: in order to be classified as ‘extra virgin’, oils need to be just that! Our mission is to make sure everyone understands just
what that means.
Olissea is a site dedicated to the production of high-quality Mediterranean extra virgin olive oil and, more widely, to the culture of oil. The roots of this culture are very ancient and for centuries were at the heart of an exchange of goods and ideas for all the peoples involved in producing this ‘liquid gold’.
In each of the countries bordering the Mediterranean an ancient wisdom honouring mankind put the culture of the olive tree and its oil at the centre of organized society. To light, feed, anoint and nurture were the essential functions that defined this oil’s essence and promoted its spread “to the very edges of the desert” (Huxley).
The Pratomagno is a ridge on the lower Apennine mountains in Tuscany located to the north-east of the city of Arezzo; it divides the Casentino from the upper Valdarno. It’s mostly situated within the province of Arezzo, with a small section in the province of Firenze (Florence).
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