Oil

The history of olive oil is an intricate part of Italian culture that daes back to the dawn of ages and is closely linked to human history. The olive tree that Columella defines as the most important among all trees “olea prima omnium arborum est” is from Asia Minor, specifically from Armenia.
In all civilizations the Mediterranean has given birth to, the olive tree is believed to be sacred and the oil extracted from its fruit is used not only as a source of food but also for religious rituals: the Egyptians considered it  as a gift from the gods, the Phoenicians brought it with them on their commercial routes, defining it as “liquid gold”, the Greeks and the Romans used it for medicinal purposes and to burn in their votive candles, Hebrews used it to anoint their king, and Christians have always used it in their religious services.
Our city became an important area for the cultivation of olives in the XIII century and many laws were made to protect this plant.

Today, the area of Carmignano can boast of its long tradition of oil presses, farms and a production of excellent olive oil that has led our area to the acknowledgment of Toscano IGP with the mention of the one of “Montalbano”.
With over nine hundred hectares of land covered with olive orchards, the largest cultivation after vineyards, oil is the primary product of these hills and it has been produced since the Roman Age. Our city along with others and the Province of Pistoia and Florence, is an area which produces extra-virgin olive oil under the protected geographic denomination “Toscano”, with the addition of “Montalbano”. The olive trees, most of which are centuries old, are spread over the hills of Montalbano at an altitude between 100 and 500 meters above sea level. They are nursed with the best agricultural practices like balanced pruning, correct fertilization and a careful tillage of the land. The olive harvest is still done by hand, as the Etruscan tradition requires. Then, the olives are conserved in wooden crates until they are pressed. The extraction, in local mills and presses, is done naturally, by centrifugation and decantation. Water is the only additive used. Extra-virgin olive oil Toscano IGP “Montalbano” from Carmignano is characterized by its beautiful colour which varies in tonality from bright green to an almost golden yellow, with a fruitful aroma combining the aftertastes of almonds, artichokes and ripe fruit which increase its fruity flavour giving it a touch of spice.

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