Dip Bread Appetizers

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Olives and Grapes

The long established relationship between wine and olive oil is ever present in Tuscany. There are wineries spread across the region of Tuscany that not only sell their own wine but also sell their own olive oil. They pride themselves on having the highest quality grape vines and olive trees in the world.

Chianti Classico wines are among the many varieties offered and produced in Tuscany. During the months of September and October grapes are harvest from the vines. Typically, several varieties of grapes are used to produce a more consistent tasting wine. Sometimes grapes are even imported for this purpose.

Some of the world’s most delicious and fancy olive oils are produced by Tuscan wineries. Large factories have taken over most of the production of olive oil across Italy. Small mills and wineries producing olive oil still have a presence in Tuscany. There are many varieties of olives in Tuscany that are used to produce oil. Some of the most popular are Frantoio, Moraiolo, Divastro, Pendolino, and Leccino. As with most Tuscan wines, a variety of olives are used to achieve a taste that will remain consistent over time.

There are two basic types of olive oil that are produced in Tuscany. There is the piccanti oil, which has a bit of a spicy flavor, and the dulce olive oil, which is a bit sweet with a fruity aroma. Both oils have a shelf life of about two years. Although the oils will remain fresh and not loose any of their quality, the piccanti oil tends to become a bit milder as it ages.

The method for harvesting olives when they are not quite ripe and still cling to the branches is called “brucatora”. This has become less common and the olives are fully matured and fall into nets that are placed under the trees. This prevents the olives from being bruised during harvesting.

[tag] Tuscan olive oil, Italy olives [/tag]

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