Extrascape, an international competition for extra virgin olive oils and the landscapes from which they came, organized by the association of producers Molisextra, moved from San Martino in Pensilis, in Molise, to Parma, in Emilia-Romagna for its seventh edition.
From 7 to 11 May, the international food exhibition Cibus hosted a session of the contest.
For the duration of the exhibition, a tasting area was set up and the images of the landscapes which took part in the competition were displayed during a round table on the theme ‘EVOO and olive landscapes: Uses and abuses.’
“The choice we made this year to be present at the Cibus international food fair was dictated by the desire to find new stakeholders, who share the mission of making consumers aware of the quality of the oils they use,” said the president of Molisextra and organizer of Extrascape, Francesco Travaglini.
“We talked to people like food buyers and intermediaries who are not yet involved in the extra virgin olive oil sector, showing them what quality is through the link with the territory, a theme which is becoming increasingly important in the food industry.”
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The second part of the event will move back to Molise, the birthplace of the contest, to highlight the importance of the connection with the territory. On that occasion the special Extrascape prize ‘Francesco Ortuso,’ which goes to the person who excelled in protecting authentic food and extra virgin olive oil in particular, will be awarded to Anna Scafuri, a journalist for the Italian tate television Rai, “for her always careful work in providing correct information, aimed at enhancing the quality and authenticity of ‘Made in Italy’ in general and in particular of the extra virgin olive oil,” according to the organizers.
Meanwhile, the best olive oils in the context of their olive growing territories were revealed in Parma, after the joint evaluations conducted by two panels of tasters and landscape experts.
A professor of architectural composition and director of a master’s degree course in landscape design, Achille Ippolito led the commission who evaluated the origins of the products. “Most of the olive groves we evaluated were very interesting,” he noted. “We appreciated some Spanish orchards and especially the award-winning Apulian company (whose farm) fits into the landscape with great respect.”
The winners among thirty participants from around Europe were announced on 8 May in the FoodCourt area of the Molise’s agency for the agricultural, rural and fisheries development Arsap at Cibus.
Four companies identified by a traditional landscape were selected by the panels of experts: Mio Padre è un Albero in San Severo (Foggia, Puglia) for the light fruity category; Olivarera La Purisima, in Priego de Córdoba (Andalucìa, Spain) for the medium fruity category; L’Olivario Frantoio Oleario, in Castelleone di Suasa (Ancona, Marche) for the intense fruity category; Carmela di Caro, in Trapani (Sicily) for the organic category.
“To consume an authentic extra virgin olive oil means to protect and enhance a piece of land through an ethical act, since the landscape protection is one of the principles of the Italian Constitution,” Travaglini pointed out, referring to the Article 9 which reads: “The Republic safeguards natural landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the Nation.”
“We are ready for the next Extrascape, with a greater awareness and the desire to involve an increasing number of producers in our mission of quality and respect of the territory,” he concluded.