Olives noires de la Vallée des Baux de Provence (Baux Valley black olives)
There are two methods of production: in the first, the olives are picked up and powdered with table salt, whilst in the second, they are immersed into salt brine, whose density must be between 1.045 and 1.060, and soaked for maximum three months.
AOP Olives noires de la Vallée des Baux de Provence features ripe apple and tomato conserve notes of taste. It is a fruit which has fully ripened and is characterised by a big shape with a large, truncated and short base, with non-adherent stone and abundant and flavourful flesh.
The production and transformation area of AOP Olives noires de la Vallée des Baux de Provence covers the following 16 municipal areas: Arles, Aureille, (Les) Baux-de-Provence, Eygalières, Eyguières, Fontvieille, Lamanon, Maussane-les-Alpilles, Mouriès, Orgon, Paradou, Saint-Étiennedu-Grès, Saint-Martin-de-Crau, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Sénas and Tarascon, all located in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône, in the region of Provence-Alpes-Azur.
The fame of the AOP Olives noires de la Vallée des Baux de Provence is closely linked to the tradition of olive growing in the Vallée des Baux de Provence, where the olive growing sector has always played an important role. 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, which brought to abandon towns, olive tree forests still exist on the slopes of the hills and offer a rich variety.
AOP Olives noires de la Vallée des Baux de Provence must be conserved in their original salt brine, protected from light and heat sources. Generally, the product is eaten alone or used to season some warm and cold dishes. AOP Olives noires de la Vallée des Baux de Provence are used as aperitif, natural or accompanied by fresh goats' or ewes' cheese.
The product is sold as AOP Olives noires de la Vallée des Baux de Provence. It is marketed in glass pots of different sizes. Generally the product is marketed from September to January.
The peculiar organoleptic features and the fame of AOP Olives noires de la Vallée des Baux de Provence are the result of different elements, amongst which the geological and climatic characteristics of the production area, the existence of ancient olive trees which are well-standing in the geographic context and the elaborated cultural practises which have been developed over time by farmers.