Extra-virgin olive oil
History of extra virgin olive oil
During the Middle Ages San Gimignano was well-known for the production of Vernaccia and saffron and olive trees were not cultivated on a large scale in the area.
Oil was considered a luxury product and featured on the tables of the rich only, whilst peasants commonly used lard, much easier to find and cheap, therefore more suitable to feed their families with limited costs.
Oil was rather used for oil lamps and in wool industry. In the late Middle Ages, with the increase of sharecropping and mixed farming, olive trees started to play a prime role in local agriculture, as they still do today.
San Gimignano olive oil: a unique taste
In the area of San Gimignano there are more than 800 hectares of olive trees shared among moraiolo, frantoiano and leccino varieties.
The extra-virgin olive oil of San Gimignano has a gentle taste and a fruity aroma with notes of artichoke, cardoon, freshly-cut grass, and almond with bitter and spicy notes.
A fundamental product in the Mediterranean diet, olive oil plays an important role in both Tuscan and local cuisine. Among the local specialties to be mentioned "bruschetta", a slice of grilled Tuscan bread (with no salt), rubbed with garlic and brushed with olive oil.
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