One of the joys in life is to pour extra virgin olive oil onto some fresh bread and savour it in all its glory. The oil’s tangy and intense flavour is quite unique and unbeatable! The many bruschettas, pizzas and salads would be quite impossible to imagine without it. It’s the only oil that can be consumed as it is, freshly pressed from the fruit, and with no chemicals whatsoever. It’s also excellent for cooking and one of the “healthiest” for frying in as it resists high temperatures and doesn’t turn into poison..
When shopping in supermarkets in Sardinia, you will see three categories of olive oil:
“Olio extra vergine d’oliva” – Extra virgin olive oil : this is by far the best type of olive oil as it comes from the very first pressing of the olives and is used both raw and for cooking.
Olio vergine – Virgin olive oil: Subjected to a second pressing, obviously not quite as good as the extra virgin.
Olio d’oliva and Olio di sansa- Olive oil and Pomace oil : These are the lowest quality oils with all sorts of chemical additions and other oils, they lack the distinctive flavour of the olive and are not recommended.
In Sardinia, the production of olive oil has a deep rooted tradition as an extremely favourable climate and a rich soil have allowed its cultivation all over the island. The best known production is in Alghero, Dolianova, Gonnosfanadiga, Oliena and Seneghe. The passion for good and genuine food is an absolute must and in November, alongside the gathering of the olives and opening of the oil mills, there are many different events celebrating the much sought after greeny gold liquid.
The 19, 20 and 21 November in the village of Gonnosfanadiga, near Arbus, is the XXIV edition of the “Sagra delle Olive”, the olive festival .
There will be a market and a fair with stands and the participation of olive oil producers and artisans of the island.
At the fair all sorts of delicious foods can be tasted, the specialities from Gonnosfanadiga (bruschettas with fresh olive oil, some very tasty salame and other cold meats, honey, olives and bread) and other products at the stands from the many other villages.
Amongst this year’s new entries, the photographic competition “Ollu e olia de sa bidda mia” and the competition “Sa pratza”, here contestants will decorate their courtyards, alleyways or houses with old or modern utensils, all specifically for the gathering of olives, the production of oil as well as instruments for the cultivation of oil. The entire village will be transformed into “an itinerant olive museum” .
At the olive festival, the recurring competition “Olive e Olio in vetrina” will be re-presented this year , shop owners in Gonnosfanadiga will adorn their windows with all the different oil making instruments. The competition will award the most creative and interesting shop window.
Even in Seneghe, in the province of Oristano, the cultivation of oil goes back a long way, in this small town the gathering and treatment of olives involves lots of people, often entire families, for years the village has been the “headquarters “ of the Premio Montiferru, a national competition of extra virgin olive oil.
Seneghe on the 28th November 2010 will hold the “Prentzas Apertas”, hundred year old oil mills will be open to the public. Prentzas Apertas will be a tremendous oil feast starring the renowned Seneghe oil; celebrity for a day. In the program, as well as the guided tastings in the old mills, there are also exhibitions, shows and a conference on good quality oil.