`Lucca Goes Extra Virgin

Fairs, Competitions

Lucca Goes Extra Virgin

Feb. 13, 2015
Luciana Squadrilli

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The beau­ti­ful town of Lucca, set near the Tus­can coast about a one-hour train ride from Flo­rence, is mostly famous for the beauty of its old town cen­ter sur­rounded by the intact Renais­sance-era city walls and for host­ing Italy’s largest comics exhi­bi­tion, every Fall.

But for three years now Lucca, that in 2014 joined the National Asso­ci­a­tion of Olive Oil Cities (Asso­ci­azione Nazionale Città del­l’O­lio), has also been known as a major oil des­ti­na­tion” thanks to the annual ExtraLucca event and the qual­ity of the olive oil pro­duced nearby.

Orga­nized by Fausto Borella, an olive oil edu­ca­tor and founder of the Mae­strod’o­lio acad­emy, the event is a sort of vil­lage fair involv­ing many of the city’s most evoca­tive loca­tions for tast­ings, work­shops, con­fer­ences and cook­ing demon­stra­tions.

The ExtraLucca 2015 edi­tion run­ning this week­end — orga­nized under the patron­age of the Ital­ian Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Forestry, of the Lucca Munic­i­pal­ity and Milan Expo 2015 — will have a spe­cial rel­e­vance due to the dif­fi­cult 2014 har­vest.

Fausto Borella

Usu­ally, olive oil pro­duc­ers are men of few words; they let the prod­uct speak in their stead,” Borella said, but this year extra vir­gin in Italy is very lit­tle, and those who were able to bot­tle a good prod­uct will be out of stock by March. They will then be forced to speak, and to tell about their work and about the oil they made and already fin­ished. This is a good thing, since extra vir­gin needs to be nar­rated in its most ample sense, besides the tech­ni­cal aspects of pro­duc­tion».”

Such is the aim of ExtraLucca, which will hold a con­fer­ence bear­ing the straight­for­ward title In March the qual­ity Ital­ian olive oil will be fin­ished up.”


The city’s streets and build­ings — from the cen­tral via Fil­lungo to Villa Bot­tini, a beau­ti­ful man­sion from the Renais­sance period — will host tast­ing stalls dis­play­ing olive oils, food and wine and the cook­ing demos where many famous chefs will show their recipes fea­tur­ing extra vir­gin olive oil as a spe­cial ingre­di­ent.

On Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 13 the church of San Cristo­foro will host the pre­sen­ta­tion of the Terred’Olio2015, an olive oil guide edited by Borella and the award cer­e­mony where the selected farms will receive the Corone’ (crowns) appointed to the best oils, accord­ing to the guide.

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