Third 'Monna Oliva' Crowns Best Italian Table Olives

One hundred Italian producers attended the third edition of the national competition for the best table olives, ‘Monna Oliva,’ held in Ascoli Piceno, Marche.

Jul. 3, 2016
By Ylenia Granitto

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Monna Oliva is a unique com­pe­ti­tion ded­i­cated to the best table olives, orga­nized by the Mediterranean Union of Oil Tasters UMAO. One hun­dred high-qual­ity Italian pro­duc­ers got together with their efforts, expe­ri­ence and pro­fes­sion­al­ism at the third edi­tion of the event that has become a valu­able ref­er­ence point for the sec­tor and an oppor­tu­nity to look closely at the national pro­duc­tion, exam­ine issues related to the pro­duc­tion of table olives, and find new growth strate­gies to face more and more com­pet­i­tive markets.

The num­ber of par­tic­i­pants has increased from year to year,” said Paola Fioravanti, pres­i­dent of UMAO and chair­man of the sci­en­tific com­mit­tee of the com­pe­ti­tion. The suc­cess of the event comes both from pro­duc­ers, which found a way to pro­mote and pub­li­cize their prod­ucts, both from the oper­a­tors who want to know them better.”

Table olives, which for a while were set aside and over­shad­owed by olive oil, pro­gres­sively attracted greater inter­est, and in the last 25 years, accord­ing to data of the International Olive Council, con­sump­tion increased by 173 per­cent,” Fioravanti noted.

In fact, for their ease of use and abun­dant vari­eties which cor­re­spond to dif­fer­ent tastes, olives con­tinue to gain in pop­u­lar­ity world­wide: Between 1991 and 2016, con­sump­tion has increased 2.8 times, from a lit­tle less than 1.000.000 tons to more than 2.650.000 tons.

2016 Monna Oliva Winners

Monna Oliva com­bined pro­mo­tion and the dis­sem­i­na­tion of knowl­edge of table olives, which are closely linked to their pro­duc­tion areas, in order to tie envi­ron­ment, tourism, con­sump­tion and pro­duc­tion into a vir­tu­ous plot.

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Tests were con­ducted in Rome by rec­og­nized experts led by panel leader Ivano Caprioli at the head­quar­ters of UMAO, and the award cer­e­mony, which is orga­nized every year in a dif­fer­ent Italian region, took place on June 25 in Ascoli Piceno (Marche), the birth­place of the Ascolana Tenera del Piceno (con­sumed either directly or stuffed and fried, accord­ing to the spec­i­fi­ca­tion for the PDO cer­ti­fi­ca­tion obtained in 2005).

The con­test was accom­pa­nied by events related to the pro­duc­tion of table olives, which high­lighted the excel­lence of a prod­uct respect­ful of tra­di­tion but open to new tech­nolo­gies to improve quality.

The Italian prod­uct has reached such a high qual­ity that the board had to work hard to find the win­ners,” pointed out Fioravanti. All pro­ducer regions reached great results, like Marche that hosted the event, Sicily, Sardinia that had been often on the podium, Apulia and Latium with its great Itrana. I hope that this com­pe­ti­tion, once sta­bi­lized on Italian pro­duc­tion, will cross Italian bor­ders and meet table olives com­ing from the Mediterranean basin and over­seas countries.”

You can find the win­ners and their web­site on the Monna Oliva web­site.

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