Puglia + Olive Oil = An Ancient Relationship!

by Annie
Photo - Victoria De Maio

60 Million Olive Trees… One for Each of Italy’s 60 Million People… But Who’s Counting?

Puglia’s relationship with olive trees dates back 2700 years. 50-60 million trees (no one knows for sure) – including ancient, gnarled trees, called “ulivi secolari” (literally centuries-old olive trees)- attest to the long standing importance of olive trees here.

Photo - Victoria De Maio

You may have thought that most of Italy’s olive oil came from Tuscany or Sicily but, in fact, more comes from Puglia than any other region – approximately 40%. In addition to quantity, Puglia’s olive oil is considered to be some of the most palatable in the world for its digestibility and high vitamin content.  Puglia also has the distinction of having four Denominazione di Origine Protetta areas. The envy of other regions, prized trees were once stolen in the dark of night! (Today, laws protecting the illegal appropriation of trees are enforced.)

Azienda Agricola Taurino, in Squinzano (near Lecce), is typical of a family owned/operated farm. In 1985, siblings Donato and Rosaria joined their parents and expanded their farm to 150 hectares of olive trees. The family takes pride in “hands on” oversight of  every stage of production from growth to processing of the olives to ensure that the highest standards and guidelines are followed.

Photo - Victoria De Maio

Utilizing the latest technology in a spotlessly clean facility, the entire process is carefully supervised to ensure the highest quality, organic oil.  After a very informative guided tour, learn how to taste organic extra virgin olive oil (hint: it’s a version of swirl+smell+sip+swallow).

Photo - Victoria De Maio
Photo - Victoria De Maio

If you visit in October during harvest it’s a special time celebrated with traditional local festivities including dancing the pizzica under the ancient olive trees!

You can take a little bit of Puglia home with you and you can also Adopt-a-Tree and enjoy your own olive oil! Doesn’t that sound delicious ?

Photo - Victoria De Maio

Related Posts

Leave a Comment