Penisola Sorrentina (Sorrento olive oil)
Acidity: max. 0.80%
Colour: from green to yellow
Flavour: fruity, with a hint of a pungent, bitter taste.
The growing of olives in the peninsula of Sorrento goes back to very ancient times, when the entire area was consecrated to the worship of the goddess Minerva (the entire peninsula was in fact called "Cape Minerva"). Pilgrims coming from the Greek colonies came to fulfil their vows in the temple (delubrum) which had been built by the Focesi in honour of Minerva in what is now the commune of Massa Lubrense. The growing of olives along the Dragone river (possibly the river now called the Sarno) up to the tip of the peninsula was also justified by the fact that pilgrims bought oil to be burned on the goddess's altar. The current practice of growing olives together with citrus fruits goes back to the 16th century, when the Aragonese deported Jewish families to the peninsula. These Jews brought citrus trees and planted them in the plains areas, while the olive groves were in the hilly areas.
"Penisola Sorrento" extra virgin olive oil is produced from healthy olives, harvested by December 31 of each year. The per hectare yield of olives may not exceed 9,000 kg/ha in the specialised olive groves, with a maximum oil yield of 20%. The only extraction methods permitted are those physical and mechanical processes which most faithfully preserve the particular and original characteristics of the fruit.
"Penisola Sorrentina" extra virgin olive oil is derived from varieties (mainly "Minucciola") introduced in Campania by the Greeks. These varieties, from which many ecotypes have been selected during the 2000 years they have been grown, are found only in the Sorrento peninsula, proving to be not very adaptable to other environments. It is the "Minucciola" variety, called an "oil" olive and grown in this area only, which gives "Penisola Sorrentina" oil its particular characteristics. Olive trees are an essential element of the area, the culture and the environment, and over the centuries the olive has become a part of daily life in these communities.
Reference: The European Commission