Extra virgin olive oil has been the king of Tuscan cuisine ever since ancient times, just consider the typical regional dishes or the “fettunta”, a warm crisp bruschetta, flavored with garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, which used to be the typical farmers’ breakfast.
Olive oil production in Tuscany goes back to the middle of the 7th century and in the 80s and 90s, the production model was exported for its quality and efficiency. From harvesting to the bottling, olive oil is strictly produced within regional territorial borders, according to rigid quality regulations, certified by the acronym IGP, “Indicazione Geografica Protetta”, defined specifically by the European Union for Tuscany.
Tuscan olive oil is not only one product, each regional area produces its own oil: Mugello, Costa degli Etruschi, Chianti, Valdelsa and Val d’Orcia. Particularly, in the Chianti Classico region, oil has been produced since the 14th century, and in the year 2000, it was awarded the DOP label by the E U and therefore classified as having a protected designation of origin.
To accompany tourists in the discovery of the Tuscan green gold, a number of itineraries have been created, called “strade dell’olio” (oil routes) Along these roads, it is possible to sample olive oil products and enjoy wonderful landscapes, villages and monuments. The best months to travel along these roads are October and November, which is when the new oil harvesting takes place with local oil festivals, the so-called “sagre”, where one can taste the fresh and pungent flavor of the new olive oil.