Trieste’s Stazione Marittima is ready to welcome the 8th edition of Olio Capitale, Italy’s only expo entirely dedicated to the promotion of extra virgin olive oil. As the event approaches, the fair’s program offers a variety of interesting meetings and opportunities focusing on olive oil excellence.
This year, the event will see over 300 exhibitors (a 25 percent increase over 2013) coming from all producing regions of Italy — from Calabria and Apulia to Trentino and Veneto and many more — beside the hosting region Friuli Venezia Giulia. This means that the more than 10,000 expected visitors will be able to taste virtually every variety among Italy’s endless bounty — a unique overview of the country’s rich and complex olive oil production.
The presence of countries such as Croatia, Albania and Greece will broaden the program’s focus on state-of-the-art extra virgin olive oil, while showcasing 93 organic products and 78 bearing an IGP or a PDO certification.
Olio Capitale thus confirms its international vocation and the aim to provide a global point of reference for the extra virgin olive oil market. The presence of the Japanese Ambassador Masaharu Kohno at the exhibition is a testimony to that.
Buyers and business visitors from around the world have registered for the event, with the majority hailing from European countries, the United States and Japan. Curtis Cord, publisher of Olive Oil Times, will join the opening ceremony as a representative of the foreign press and a media partner of the event.
“Over the last few years Olio Capitale has achieved a very important role in the Italian extra virgin olive oil’s safeguard,” said Antonio Paoletti, chairman of Trieste’s Chamber of Commerce, one of the event main promoters. “Beside being the most relevant meeting point between supply and demand, it is now establishing itself also as a gathering between the Western and the Eastern worlds thanks to the high level of the seminars on the agenda.”
“Once again the main focus of the exhibition will be on excellence, especially whether it is certified by a quality label. Nowadays, origin designations and quality certifications are becoming the main way to guarantee which ones are the best of Italy’s food products all over the world,” said Paoletti.
Among the highlights of Olio Capitale 2014 is the Cooking School, featuring several culinary demonstrations to let the audience discover the best, and often unexpected, pairings for extra virgin olive oils with recipes belonging to the culinary heritage of the Mediterranean diet.
The fair will also host many tastings, which will differ in typology and content. One not to be missed will surely be the cross-country tasting featuring oils from Italy and Croatia. The tasting will be conducted by Marco Oreggia, editor of the Flos Olei guide, together with Drazen Miloloza of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and it will showcase some of the best Croatian extra virgin oils among the winners of the Olio Capitale 2013 competition.
Every day at the “Oil Bar.” extra virgin lovers will be able to take a seat at the counter and discover the hundreds of labels on display, guided by the expert tasters of ONAOO, National Organization of Olive Oil Tasters. Visitors will also be able to refine their tasting skills first attending short classes, then joining the popular jury that will help assess the winners of the Olio Capitale 2014 competition.
Eating olives will have a dedicated presentation and tasting on Friday afternoon.
New technologies will play their part, too. On Saturday, Olio Capitale will see the launch of a brand new project called “L’Olio Parlante”(The Talking Oil). Created by Intoote, a hi-tech start-up based in Trieste, it consists of an innovative technology that, through a QR code printed on the label, will let the consumer “chat” in real time with a virtual expert (an “interactive conversational agent”) who will be able to immediately answer the user’s questions.
For more information and to buy reduced-price tickets visit the event website.