Working alongside the Agriculture Faculty of Bari University we have been making this very unusual olive oil for just over four years. Unusual in that the olives are pitted before being pressed thus the olive oil is entirely fruit derivative.
By taking away the pit certain impurities and quite a woody flavour are absent in the olive oil. The oil comes principally from the ‘ogliarola salentina’ variety of olive, the ancient patriarchal trees of the masseria, a variety of olive which has a particularly distinctive flavour which in the absence of the pit is especially apparent. This olive oil is in many ways similar to “monovitigno” (single variety) wines and grappas… it is a term used to indicate the great difference from common and globalized “blended” olive oils.
Today the oil is made using modern techniques but it derives from an ancient tradition;- in the 1st century AD Columella wrote his “De Re Rustica” in which he placed oil in three different categories,- “degli schiavi” for slaves, “dei re” for kings and “Degli Dei” for the Gods as it was the only one made from olives picked directly from the tree and then pitted, an extremely laborious process that only the Gods were worthy of.