`Flos Olei Guide Awards Sicily's Titone Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Year - Olive Oil Times

Flos Olei Guide Awards Sicily's Titone Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Year

By Lucy Vivante
Oct. 27, 2011 15:12 UTC

Flos is the Latin word for the best” and Flos Olei has as its objec­tive the pro­fil­ing of the world’s best olive oils and their pro­duc­ers. Marco Oreggia, a Rome-based jour­nal­ist and expert in wine and olive oil, is its pub­lisher, and he jointly edits it with Laura Marinelli. Oreggia was behind another guide to olive oils, which was called L’Extravergine, but the cur­rent guide has sup­planted it. This is the third year for Flos Olei and Flos Olei 2012 will be launched in Rome in late November. The guide is in both Italian and English and costs €30.

The pro­duc­ers listed in the guide are also com­peti­tors for some 20 prizes, and the results of the com­pe­ti­tion have already been announced. The Olive Oil Mill of the Year award went to the Italian pro­ducer, Azienda Agraria Viola, an Umbrian fam­ily busi­ness that con­sis­tently pro­duces award-win­ning results. The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Year prize went to the Azienda Agricola Biologica Titone in Sicily, for their Titone, a DOP Valli Trapanesi Biologico. Both of these are organic pro­duc­ers, like many in the top 20 list.

Azienda Agricola Biologica Titone was awarded Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Year. Founded in 1936, the Titone family’s farm in Sicily grows Cerasuola, Nocellara del Belice and Biancolilla cultivars on 4,900 trees to produce about 4,000 liters of organic extra virgin.

Since Oreggia’s jour­nal­is­tic activ­ity has been cen­tered in Italy, it stands to rea­son that most of the pro­duc­ers who have pre­sented their oils for vet­ting and inclu­sion in the guide are Italian. By my count, the guide lists 461 pro­duc­ers world­wide, with 259 com­ing from Italy. European pro­duc­ers account for 395 of the total; North (1) and South America (34) have a com­bined 35; Asia has 16; Oceania has 8; and Africa has 7.

On the coun­try level, there are some inter­est­ing fig­ures. For exam­ple, Croatia with 49 entrants comes in sec­ond behind Italy’s 259, and just ahead of Spain’s 48 pro­duc­ers. Another com­par­i­son can be made between Japan, which has 7 pro­duc­ers in the guide, and Greece which has just 4. As the guide becomes bet­ter known around the world, one can expect to have more rep­re­sen­ta­tive num­bers. In order to sub­mit oil, pro­duc­ers must send a sam­ple large enough to be tasted by an expert panel, pro­vide a chem­i­cal analy­sis, respond to a lengthy ques­tion­naire, and include fees start­ing at €80. Details of how to enter can be found here.

Prizes are awarded to two broad cat­e­gories, those for millers and those for grow­ers and are judged by a panel of expert tasters. For millers, the prizes go to the best mill of the year, an emerg­ing mill, a fron­tier mill, and a Made with Love” mill. For the pro­duc­ers, the cat­e­gories are best extra vir­gin olive oil of the year, best organic, best organic and DOP/IGP, best extrac­tion method, best quality/quantity, best quality/packaging, best quality/price; in addi­tion to 3 lev­els of fruiti­ness (light, medium, and intense) prizes for mono­va­ri­etals, blended oils, DOP/IGP oils; and a prize named after the jour­nal­ist Cristina Tiliacos and awarded for olive oil ambas­sador­ship.


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