Itrana olive, characteristics of the DOP product of the Pontine hills

L’extra virgin olive oilalso known as Gaeta olive, is a very ancient cultivar with unique characteristics. It is a typical product of the Pontine hills, in southern Lazio, and protected by PDO brand dal 2016.

Itrana is a fruit, they say, “with a double meaning”. In other words, it can be consumed as a normal table olive, but it is also suitable for being transformed into high quality oil. Let’s get to know this delicacy better, excellence of our territory.

The Itran olive and its territory

In the territories of Latina and all around, up to the opposite provinces of Rome and Frosinone, the famous extend colline Pontine. This is where the Itran olive comes from, a unique product that tells the story of an ancient territory that has always been dedicated to olive cultivation.

Expanses of olive groves, in fact, characterize the landscape, the typical one of macere adapted to stone, perched as they are among the rocky hills at the foot of the Lepini mountains and close to Tyrrhenian coast. And it is precisely these pedoclimatic conditions, therefore a sandy and calcareous soil and a mild and breezy climate guaranteed by the proximity to the sea, which have proved to be optimal for hosting the itrana cultivar, aItalian agri-food excellence.

Because it is called Gaeta olive

Today a large production basin of the Itran olive is certainly found in Itri and in the neighboring municipalities, in the province of Latina. But, truth be told, the production area includes 44 municipalities between the provinces of Rome, Latina and Frosinone. And it extends to the Campania municipalities of Cellole and Sessa Aurunca, in the province of Caserta.

Once upon a time, however, and we are talking about around 1400, they were the inhabitants of Duchy of Gaeta to boast the greatest skills in the agriculture, commerce and navigation sector and it was under the Duchy of Gaeta that this particular olive had its great diffusion. For this reason it was known and called for a long time Gaeta olive, a denomination that still persists today. In fact, the baton passed to Itri only later, when after 90 days of bombing the city of Gaeta, between 1860 and 1861, more than 100,000 olive trees were shot down by Piedmontese soldiers, which would never grow back in Gaeta.

Characteristics of the Itran DOP olive

The Itrana DOP olive is medium-large in size, tapered in shape and of an intense pink-purple colour. The taste is bitter and winy, its pulp it is soda and it detaches itself clearly from the corea feature highly appreciated by consumers.

This result is obtained thanks to the processing of the raw material which is placed in water within 24 hours of harvesting, where fermentation begins, and is periodically corrected with salt. Thus was born the DOP itrana olive, excellent for consumption at the table and from which one also obtains a fine extra virgin olive oilwith a herbaceous and fruity taste, slightly spicy and bitter.

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