Extra virgin olive oil from Abruzzo is heralded as amongst the most prestigious in all of Italy. While most consumers are happy with the standard varietals found on grocery and specialty food store shelves, the sophisticated olive oil aficionado hasn’t lived until they’ve savored the golden goodness of an Abruzzo grade oil. The mastery of Abruzzese olive oil production dates back to the 4th century B.C., when the region’s specialized methods were memorialized by famous writers, among them, the revered Virgil. Typically olive oils from Abruzzo are full of nutty flavor but without being overpowering, and contain low levels of acidity. But as only the most savvy olive oil enthusiasts known, the highest caliber pressings are produced in the hilltop triumvirate of Loreto Aprutino, Moscufo and Pianella, otherwise known as “The Golden Triangle.”
Located within the hills surrounding the Valley of Pescara, all three towns are within 20 minutes of each other and are renowned for producing some of the world’s best olive oil. The grade of oil produced within The Golden Triangle is one of only three extra virgin olive oils from Abruzzo to receive DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) status. Mimicking the Italian rating system for wines, for an olive oil to ascend to DOP status it must be made in the traditional method and adhere to the highest standards of quality, while also deriving from specific areas that have been predetermined by zone. Abruzzo’s oils are believed to contain elevated amounts of polyphenols and vitamins that are said to be excellent for the health, with benefits including increased energy and luminous skin and hair. Abruzzese oils are also respected for their ability to retain their high quality composition and flavor characteristics for a prolonged period of time. Experts have speculated that the region’s singular landscape, fruit crops and overall terroir, impart its oils with complex notes of intense fruit and nut. Olive oil plays a pivotal role in the Abruzzese kitchen with it being used as a key ingredient in cooking as well as a beloved condiment. Served alongside freshly baked breads, as a velvety accompaniment to soups and stews, and a welcome addition to local chili peppers, olive oil holds its place as king of the Abruzzese table.
About the author
Dejou Marano is Co-Founder of CountryBred and Founding Editor of The Bred Blog. Splitting her time between Los Angeles and Europe, Dejou seeks to bring the imagination and wonder of Europe to all travelers through her never-ending pursuit of undiscovered cultural gems and experiences, which she shares through her travel writing.
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