Italian Flavors: Terre di Siena Oil
- WTI Magazine #92 Jun 16, 2017
Olive cultivation has deep roots in the area around Siena, and the olive tree can be found in Tuscan works of art and paintings from the late Middle Ages on. There are also texts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that mention the presence of olives over a large part of the hills near Siena which enhanced the magnificent landscape.
In his “Historical Dictionary”, writer E. Repetti was surprisingly emphatic in noting how important the olive growing and grape growing activities were in the municipalities of Siena, for the peasant economy, for the scenic landscape and for tradition.
Terre di Siena DOP oil is made exclusively from healthy olives originating from that zone, used within three days of being harvested directly from the tree, either by hand or with the help of mechanical means.
The olives are then placed in suitable containers in this specific case, perforated plastic boxes, to prevent heating and consequent decomposition of the fruit.
Once they have reached the mills, the olives undergo various processes including washing, pressing, grinding and extraction of the oil using centrifuges.
The final result is the precious green liquid that flows out of the centrifugal separator with a vertical axis. The temperature is controlled throughout the whole process, and if it goes below 27°C the oil be can adorned with the description “cold pressed”.
The oil is subsequently bottled following the methods stipulated by the regulations. If the olive has Mediterranean cultural roots and customs, it is well proven and documented that Tuscany and Siena in particular is the cradle of this food culture.
Thirty-three municipalities fall under the designation, out of a total of thirty-six, two of which are only partially included. All of the Sienese territory affected by the designation is hilly with valley areas that vary in size, where the courses of the modestly sized rivers and streams meet.
By Consorzio per la tutela dell'Olio Extravergine di Oliva Terre di Siena