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OTA Olive Oil

An unexpected olive oil that comes from the cold; excellent and award-winning

When you say “olive oil” you think Mediterranean sunny landscapes and good healthy food. You are not wrong, but I’d like to let you know something more because writing about food and travel means also run across new roads and new lines.

 

There is an ideal border of latitude to be respected to cultivate olive trees and above that, it’s too cold for this Mediterranean tree to live. But there is an Italian firm, “Ota”, who accepted a challenge: cultivate oil on the hills of Trieste, the north-east windier Italian city, the place where the Mediterranean culture meets the central Europe influences. 

The olive trees are not a novelty in Trieste’s gulf. A variety of olive tree is cultivated in this area called Bianchera-Belica, an old kind of tree very strong that withstands the cold, grows in the karst limestone hills. The Belica variety was imported over 2500 years ago by the Phoenicians that planted olive trees all over the Adriatic coasts.

Photos by Valentina Cunja

The peculiarities of Belica’s olives are the high percents of oleic acid and is rich in polyphenols. The taste of his oil is very aggressive and it seems given by God to the population of this area to match it with the typical fish preparations of Trieste. Even the sweet soups of the middle-Europe tradition (pumpkins, carrots, beets) or the grilled meat are very “nice friends” of the oil made by Belica. 

A brother and sister at 25 years inherited a cultivation of olive from their father who passed away. They grew up among olives, breathing the flavour of this amazing product brought by the wind of the sea. They were in a period of decision: “what can we do in our life?” The answer they give to this question was to keep on cultivate the fields of their dad, creating a company who produces extra virgin olive oil in small quantity paying attention for the quality. The wind and the weather condition of the Trieste hillside are peculiar but not impossible and the flavours of their olives are very original.

Photos by Valentina Cunja

Now the brother and sister could say they won against the wind of Trieste: Ota is growing more and more winning important prizes in the world even with their beautiful artistic labels of the oil bottles. Taking care of quality and privileging the small quantity of products allows them to analyze and improve every phase of the production, from the ground to the label. You can say they season courage salad with a good oil!

 

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