Lake Como Olive Oil

By Vacanze Lago • on June 12, 2013

The basin of Lake Como , is located at an average altitude not suitable for the cultivation of olive trees, however the heat and humidity of the summer months together with the related mild climate in the winter, combined with the fertility of the soils of glacial origin, allow an optimal microclimate to the cultivation of the olive tree.

Oil Lake Como

The cultivation of the olive on the Lake of Como goes back to Roman times as is testified by the presence of olive presses found and many important historical documents.

Over the centuries, the production of olive oil in Lombardy showed ups and downs. In the period of the barbarian invasions olive oil was no longer used, while the cultivation of olive trees became popular again during the Middle Ages thanks to the work of the Benedictine and Cistercian monks.

In 1600, during the Spanish domination a heavy tax on the olive groves was introduced and peopole stopped producing olive oil until the Age of Enlightenment when there was free market and the tax was abolished.

With the advent of the Industrial Era many olive groves were replaced by crops more resistant to frost, typical of the area and the oil of the Lombardy lakes started to occupy a niche market.

In 1997 olive oil obtained from the European Community the DOP . In the last decades, many local people from the area started to get interested in oil producing and in fact passing along the coast by boat or car you can see many terraced gardens with olive groves overlooking the lake.

Today it is estimated that about 40,000 olive trees are cultivated in the provinces of Lake. 50% of those who bring the olives to the mill have them growing in their gardens and 80% of these makes consumption. But it is important to know that the olive oil of Lake Como is very appreciated also because it is certified DOP. Last year an olive oil produced in the village of Perledo was awarded with the “Three Olives”, the maximum acknowledgement of the special Slow Food guide of the extra virgin olive oil.

Olio Extravergine d’oliva Laghi Lombardi is produced in two different geographic areas: Lake Iseo and Lake Como, more precisely in the area called Zoca de l’oli (The valley of oil) that goes from Griante to Sala Comacina on the west coast of Lake Como.

The harvest takes place directly from the tree, generally in the month of November, despite the fact that the Production Regulations give a harvesting deadline of 15 January; the operation can be manual, using the brucatura technique, or mechanical.

Milling of the olives must take place within three days of harvesting.

To obtain a DOP certification , olive oil producers have to follow a quality production and certification process under the control of an Italian body which has received the authorization to provide DOP certifications by the Italian Minister of Agriculture.

Established in April 2011, the Cooperative “ Olivicoltori Lake Como ” is the result of years of work carried out with competence, passion and continuity from 25 olive growers in the provinces of Como and Lecco, who, are today one of the largest oil producers of Lake Como.

They sell through a network of dealers as well as through the website www.olicoop.it

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