In the land of “Ciociaria”, Frantoio Quattrochichhi of Alatri (FR) holds this prestigious award; and every year, new awards are added to their “showcase of honor”. The most prestigious award is certainly that of last year, with the crowning at the Flos Olei international competition, as the best extra virgin olive oil in the world. The olive oil, “Olivastro”, by Frantoio Quattrociocchi was determined to be the best out of 624 extra virgin olive oils among different producers from 42 different countries.
The Frantoio Quattrociochi estate comprises of 52 hectares of olive groves, on which grows 15000 olive trees of different varieties: Olivastro, Moraiolo, Leccino, and Frantoio. Americo Quattrociocchi, who now heads the family run business, chose organic farming methods for its olives, focusing on the quality and authenticity of the product.
Since ancient times of olive cultivation by the Romans, the best quality oil was found in the territories of Sibari and Taranto, of Venafro and Ciociaria land, of Sabina and Piceno, in the central and south of Italy. And in the north, they were found along the Ligurian coast. The Romans used olive oil for seasoning of food, as well as for body care and medicinal purposes.
The best olive oil for food, as written by the Romans (such as Plinio, Columella, Apicio, Marziale, Strabone, and Orazio) , is the green olive oil produced from olives grown in Venafro and in the area in the south of Rome (in the area of Lazio, called “Ciociaria”) which were handpicked while still green and pressed immediately to preserve the aromas, flavors, and nutrients.
Americo Quattrochiochhi, combining modern milling technologies with traditional methods of our Roman ancestors, strict discipline of organic farming, brings us back to the culture of our past. His family has been cultivating olives and producing olive oil since 1888, taking care of every tree on the farm with love and dedication like a devoted parent to their growing children. Each step along the way is done with care: Hand pruning the trees in February.
Biological treatment with copper and lime is used for the elimination of flies (envelopes containg the male pheromones hang on each plant, which attracts and kills them). The fertilization is made exclusively from manure from their barns. They harvest the olives by hand to preserve the organoleptic quality of the olives. Then cold press the olives within 24 hours of the harvest, to preserve the flavor, fragrance, and rich perfumes, and to avoid unwanted oxidation.
Each phase of production is lead by the passion and skill of Americo Quattrochiochhi. For the “Olivastro” extra virgin olive oil, his goal was to achieve and export the quality of the designation “made in Italy”.
I can proudly congratulate him when I see his “Olivastro“ around the world in the finest markets of New York, Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, etc. It makes me feel at home!
The Olive oil is emerald green color, with an intense aroma of grass, green tomato, and almond. It has an intense flavor, but delicate on the palate, and well balanced acidity. Excellent for seasoning soups, enhancing the taste of raw and steamed vegetables, and a delicious flavor used on meat.
Just a teaspoon of his extra virgin olive oil in my salad and the day smiles back at me! I prefer it poured on a slice of bread whit no salt just heated on the grill, served with a glass of white sapid fruity wine, pleasantly effervescent.
Enjoy your meal!