As Italy’s six-month Presidency of the European Union started on the 1st of July, Unaprol and the Permanent Representation of Italy to the EU decided to present a bottle of Italian extra virgin olive oil to each of the ministers and ambassadors of the 28 member countries — around 900 in all — who will join the European Parliament’s meetings in Brussels during the next six months.
“Extra virgin olive oil is a distinctive Made in Italy product recognized worldwide, as it is a representation of the identity and peculiarity of Italy’s different areas,” Unaprol’s press note said.
One of the reasons for Italian extra virgin olive oil’s success and reputation is its widespread biodiversity. From North to South, one can find an array of sensory expressions giving each local product distinctive features. Wherever it is produced, olive oil’s organoleptic profile can change according to the olive variety and terroir.
Italy counts among 350 different varieties – more than any other country in the world – and a very diversified territorial geography. That’s why Italian olive oil can be so different from one place to the other: from the delicate oil made in Liguria with Taggiasca and Lavagnina olives to the fiercely bitter ones made in Umbria or Apulia with Moraiolo or Coratina, from the elegant extra virgin made with Casaliva olives around the Garda lake to the intensely tomato-scented oils made in Sicily or Latium from Tonda Iblea and Itrana.
Italian extra virgin olive oil represents a wide range of aromas going from fresh grass to sage and mint, of green and golden hues, of sweetness or bitterness. Almost every variety growing in Italy is rich in polyphenol, thus being also very good for health. For these reasons, extra virgin olive oil has always been widely used in Italian cuisine, and many people consider it a key characteristic of a healthy lifestyle.
Those are the reasons that inspired Unaprol and the Permanent Representation of Italy to choose it as a precious gift, and also a powerful memento, to EU representatives.