Terra di Bari (Terra di Bari olive oil)
- Acidity: max. 0.60%
- Peroxides: <. 15 Meq02/kg
- Colour: from green to yellow
- Aroma: fruity
- Flavour: fruity, with a hint of a pungent, bitter taste.
The above values vary, although within very strict limits, for each of the geographic indications given in the production regulations. Other chemico-physical parameters are in conformity with current EU regulations.
EVIDENCE OF ORIGIN:
There are historical documents going back to the Neolithic age (5000 B. C.) which provide evidence that the growing of olives was one of the main agricultural activities in the Terra di Bari area. In the centuries that followed, and in particular during the period of settlement by the Japygians, olive growing underwent considerable development. Besides having a leading role for its nutritional, therapeutic and cosmetic qualities, the olive also played a part in the representation of mythological scenes. Olive oil became a very important economic and trade commodity, and during the time of the Roman Empire the import and export of olive oil was regulated by the central administration. After the capital was moved from Rome to Constantinople (326 A.D.), and especially after the fall of the Empire, government controls began to decrease. In the Middle Ages, there were new incentives for olive growing, due to the work of religious orders. During the 12th and 13th centuries, because of the heavy traffic between the Maritime Republics, Tuscany, Russia and England, warehouses were set up in the ports of Monopoli, Bari, Giovinazzo, Bisceglie, Trani Barletta and Bitonto to control the import of oil. Terra di Bari oil was very much in demand in Venice, from where it departed again for other areas in continental Europe. In 1828, in Bitonto, Pietro Stefano Ravanas improved oil production methods, increasing the number of wheels and introducing the hydraulic press, after which all the olive processing plants in Bitonto, Terlizzi, Modugno, Molfetta, Bisceglie, Giovinazzo, Bitetto and Bari were modified. These innovations speeded up processing time and improved the quality of the product, which remains one of the main objectives in the Terra di Bari area.
DOP Terra di Bari extra virgin olive oil is produced from healthy olives, harvested by January 30 of each year. The per hectare yield of olives may not exceed 10,000 kg/ha in the specialized olive groves, with a maximum oil yield of 22%. The only extraction methods permitted are those physical and mechanical processes which most faithfully preserve the particular and original characteristics of the fruit.
In Terra di Bari, the old name for the province of Bari, olives have been grown since ancient times. Classical literary sources, mythological legends, excavations and findings confirm Terra di Bari's connection with olives. Olive oil is of primary importance in the food and agriculture sector in the province of Bari today as it was in the past, and is a fundamental part of the history of the people. The town of Bitonto in particular has always been called "the town of olives". The basic justifications for the geographic link of the "Terra di Bari" designation can be summarised as follows:
1 - the olive is a typical plant of the province of Bari, not only as a tree species and for the favourable soil and climatic conditions, but also having long been historically and culturally connected with the production and marketing of olive oil;
2 - the olive is the dominant form of vegetation in the natural and rural landscape;
3 - the undisputed production specialisation connected with the great number of oil mills located throughout the area and the particular qualities of the product;
4 - the consumption of extra virgin olive oil in the traditional diet.
Extra virgin olive oil is highly perishable and must be stored correctly in order to maintain its organoleptic characteristics. It should therefore 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. DOP Terra di Bari extra virgin olive oil is an ideal condiment for vegetables, bruschetta and crudité, and when used in cooking it brings out the flavour of the dishes. It is perfect for the typical fish dishes of the Apulia region.
Reference: The European Commission