Olives cassées de la Vallée des Baux de Provence (Baux Valley broken olives)
AOP Olives cassées de la Vallée des Baux de Provence are green olives, pressed and seasoned with fennel, obtained exclusively from the Salonenque or Béruguette types. This product is considered an early season one.
The fresh olives are pressed mechanically through the round movement of cast iron grinders.
The bitter flavour of AOP Olives cassées de la Vallée des Baux de Provence is eliminated in part due to their maceration into an alkaline solution, which is later replaced with pure water where the olives must rest for minimum 36 hours. The water must be changed every 12 hours. Then the olives are put into salt brine seasoned with fennel. The storage must take place at a temperature between 4°C and 8°C.
The production and transformation area of AOP Olives cassées de la Vallée des Baux de Provence covers the following 16 municipal areas: Arles, Aureille, Baux-de-Provence, Eygalières, Eyguières, Fontvieille, Lamanon, Maussane-les-Alpilles, Mouriès, Orgon, Paradou, Saint-Étienne-du-Grès, Saint-Martin-de-Crau, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Sénas and Tarascon, all in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône, in the region of Provence-Alpes-Azur.
The olive growing sector has always played an important role in the Vallée de Provence. The administrative district of Mouriès, in the heart of the production area, with 75,000 trees is the land with the highest number of olive trees in France. Notwithstanding urbanisation, olive tree forests still exist on the slopes of the hills and offer a rich variety. Over the years, AOP Olives cassées de la Vallée des Baux de Provence have acquired their fame thanks to their unique flavour and as they are the first olives of the year which are sold on the market, in particular in October-November.
AOP Olives cassées de la Vallée des Baux de Provence are conserved in their original salt brine, protected from light and heat sources. The product is eaten alone or used to season some warm and cold dishes. Generally, they are used as aperitif, natural or wrapped in thin slices of sausage.
Generally the product is marketed from September-October to January.
AOP Olives cassées de la Vallée des Baux de Provence, due to their peculiar features of taste and scent, by now are one of the consumption habits of the inhabitants of Provence who consider them their favoured snack.