Canino (Canino olive oil)
- Acidity: max. 0.5%
- Peroxide number: <04.00 Meg 02/kg
- Colour: emerald green with golden highlights
- Aroma: fruity
- Flavour: decidedly fruity, with a bitter, pungent aftertaste
Lying below Mount Canino, the "Canino" controlled designation of origin production area is located in the province of Viterbo, and includes all or part of the administrative territory of the following communes: Canino, Arlena, Cellere, Ischia di Castro, Farnese, Tessenano, Tuscania and Montalto di Castro. Overall, this geographical area covers approximately 30,000 hectares.
EVIDENCE OF ORIGIN:
The growing of olives in this area, which was the cradle of the Etruscan civilisation, goes back to ancient times. The olive grows spontaneously here, and has provided many place names still in use, such as "Poggio Olivastro". The Etruscans, as depicted in their vase paintings and frescoes, gathered olives by striking the branches with long sticks to make the fruits fall from the tree. The centuries-old olive trees, which have grown to a great, majestic size, comparable to oaks, are evidence of the local inhabitants' ancient tradition of olive-growing, and the gentle hill landscape is characterized by their silvery-green colour. In more recent times, the Canino area was a large estate owned by Prince Torlonia until the 1950s, when the agricultural reform gave the lands to the farmers. With the advent of the land reform, olive-growing expanded rapidly; in a short period of time, the bare lands of the estate were transformed into green expanses of olive-groves. Later, in the 1960s, a great change in olive-growing began with the introduction of the concept of specialized intensive olive-groves. In Canino alone, 694 hectares of olives were planted using this system. In 1965, on the initiative of the Ente Maremma, the Oleificio sociale cooperativo (Cooperative Oil Mill) of Canino was established. The cooperative now has 1210 members, who produce over 60% of the area's entire production.
DOP Canino extra virgin olive oil is produced from healthy olives, harvested in the period between October 20 and January 15 of each olive-growing season. The per hectare yield of olives may not exceed 9,000 Kg/ha in the specialized olive-groves, with a maximum oil yield of 18%. The pressing of the olives takes place within 36 hours after harvesting, and the only extraction methods permitted are those mechanical processes which preserve the particular and original characteristics of the fruit.
Canino, cradle of the Etruscan civilization, owes its fame to the olive, which has always been a fundamental part of its economy. A village of Etruscan origin, in the Middle Ages Canino was part of the Papal States. Later it came under the rule of the Duchy of Castro. After returning to the Papal States, in 1808 it was granted in fee to Lucien Bonaparte, who lived in the palace which had been built by the Farnese family. The Canino coat-of-arms is represented by a dog, in reference to the locality, and by the three lilies of the Farnese. The spreading of the Canino olive was made easier by the fact that the oil produced in Canino was of renowned quality and had always been known on the oil market. Canino and its oil were the subject of an important epidemiological study in the 1970s conducted by a team of researchers led by Prof. Ancel Keys. The results showed that the rural inhabitants of Canino, who habitually consume the extra virgin olive oil produced in the area, are better protected against the risk of thrombosis than the people in Finland and America who normally consume animal fats. Popular tradition has had an effect on the utilisation of Canino extra virgin olive oil through the "Sagra dell'olivo" (the Olive Festival), a rural event which began in 1939 and which takes place every year on December 8. Besides promoting the excellent quality of the oil, this event is an occasion for meetings and conferences among top experts in nutrition and technology. From 1989 to 1993 the Cooperative Oil Mill of Canino, along with the Regional Agricultural Development Board, has conducted a careful characterisation study of the local oil production. The Cooperative has also collaborated with the most important research agencies working on the development of olive-growing and olive processing techniques.
Extra virgin olive oil is highly perishable and it is therefore important that it is stored correctly in order to maintain its organoleptic characteristics. It should be kept in a cool, dark place at a temperature between 14 and 18°C, away from heat sources and other foods that release odours. It should be consumed within four to six months of pressing to fully appreciate its qualities. With its piquant and slightly bitter aftertaste, the DOP Canino extra virgin olive oil is particularly suitable for using with simple, light dishes such as soups, vegetables and bruschetta. This oil also maintains its characteristics at high temperatures and is therefore ideal for frying.
Reference: The European Commission