On a recent journey around central Italy as a guest journalist, I donned a Lt. Colombo trench coat and went in search of virgins. EXTRA virgins, to be exact.
The tour bus dropped me off alongside the groves of the Frantoio Oleario Ragani(Ragani Olive Mill) that blanket the slopes of Mount Subasio between Assisi and Spello in the Umbria region of central Italy. Here, I’d find out firsthand what the “virgin” is in the prima spremitura a freddo (cold pressed) extra virgin olive oil.
I’ll be sure and remember all of that hard work the next time I reach for a dark green bottle of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil.
Although the demonstration was very informative, the highlight of the visit to the frantoio was the sampling of this mouthwatering cornerstone of la cucina italiana. Never did a slice of rustic bread, slightly toasted over a wood-burning hearth, drizzled with the greenest-of-green oil and topped with a dash of sea salt, taste sooo good.
To say the least, those bruschette went mighty fast; quicker than you can say prima spremitura a freddo.
Note: Tom was part of an international media group invited along to sample a portion of Insight Vacations’ Country Roads of Italy journey. For more info on Insight, click HERE.
Tom is a veteran print-broadcast journalist who resides in the Colli Euganei (Euganean Hills) in the province of Padova in the Veneto region of northestern Italy. He hosts the eclectic travel/foodie/photography blog The Palladian Traveler.com, is a regular contributor to Los Angeles-based TravelingBoy.com, and is a member of the International Travel Writers Alliance. Feel free to follow Tom as he “meanders along the cobblestone to somewhere.”