` In Trieste, an Extra Virgin Invasion - Olive Oil Times

In Trieste, an Extra Virgin Invasion

Mar. 8, 2014
Luciana Squadrilli

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Until Monday, Trieste will be the cap­i­tal of Italian olive oil as the city hosts the Olio Capitale exhi­bi­tion, and extra vir­gin goes beyond the con­fer­ence hall in a pacific and taste­ful inva­sion.

A relax­ing open-air meal beside the sea, with a good seafood plate sprin­kled with an excel­lent extra vir­gin olive oil, and maybe a great cof­fee after that. These are the perks of vis­it­ing the shin­ing port city for the annual exhi­bi­tion at the Stazione Marittima in Trieste’s har­bor near the mag­nif­i­cent Piazza dell’Unità with its his­toric cafés.

With its 8th edi­tion, the fair con­firms itself as a suc­ces­ful show­case for Italian excel­lence in extra vir­gin olive oil. Since its open­ing cer­e­mony Saturday, attended by Japan’s ambas­sador to Italy, a steady crowd of Italian and for­eign buy­ers, pro­fes­sional tasters, jour­nal­ists and extra vir­gin enthu­si­asts have streamed through the pavil­ions packed with dis­plays of olive oils, table olives and other del­i­ca­cies.

The exhi­bi­tion once again posted an increase in the num­ber of exhibitors to 300 — 25 per­cent more than last year, accord­ing to its orga­niz­ers.

We are very sat­is­fied,” said Cristina Scarpa, event man­ager for Aries, the com­pany that orga­nizes the event on behalf of Trieste’s Chamber of Commerce. This year we had many buy­ers com­ing from abroad, even from Japan and Canada.”

228 extra vir­gin olive oils com­peted in the annual Olio Capitale com­pe­ti­tion, and 15 of them were selected by the local Chamber of Commerce’s tast­ing panel as final­ists. They will be eval­u­ated by the tech­ni­cal and pop­u­lar juries, and the win­ners will be awarded on Monday.

The national asso­ci­a­tion of Città dell’Olio, which eight years ago helped launch the first edi­tion of the fair, chose to cel­e­brate here in Trieste the first stop-over of the annual Girolio itin­er­ant event on the occa­sion of the 20th anniver­sary of the asso­ci­a­tion.

Trieste, Italy

The fair is open to the pub­lic who, with an inex­pen­sive ticket (€6, or €4 if pre-reg­is­tered on the web­site), can taste as many oils as they wish, even tak­ing advan­tage of the renowned Oil Bar,” where expert tasters of ONAOO offer assis­tance. Visitors can then buy their favorite ones to take home. However, most of the vis­i­tors were com­mer­cial buy­ers.

There are many chefs and restau­ra­teurs com­ing from the near­est coun­tries such as Germany, Austria and Slovenia,” Scarpa added. They can taste and maybe buy some spare bot­tles of olive oil, to then assess which ones they want to order.”

A good chance to taste and value oils was also offered by the fair’s Cooking School led by Emilio Cok, pres­i­dent of the local chefs’ asso­ci­a­tion, where the dif­fer­ent extra vir­gin olive oils hail­ing from var­i­ous regions were used to pre­pare and sea­son local spe­cial­i­ties.

The fair also opened to French cui­sine, thanks to a col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Commanderie des Cordons Bleus de France who on Saturday morn­ing con­ducted an edu­ca­tional work­shop about high qual­ity prod­ucts, cook­ery and a healthy diet.

And extra vir­gin is lit­er­ally spread­ing all over the beau­ti­ful city of Trieste. Thanks to a part­ner­ship with the local restau­rants’ and chefs’ asso­ci­a­tions, many eater­ies are offer­ing a selec­tion of oils that show­cased at Olio Capitale, and there are events focus­ing on the pair­ing of regional cui­sine with extra vir­gin olive oils.

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