Coratina Olive Variety
“Il cosiddetto Olio di Andria è olio di Coratina, molto ricercato dal commercio per il suo doppio uso di olio molto fruttato quando è giovane per tagliare e profumare l’olio rettificato, di olio saporoso e odoroso quando è maturo per l’impiego integrale sulla mensa” (Pantanelli e Brandonisio, 1937).
Olives, since ancient times, have always had considerable role in the Mediterranean basin. There are testimonies about an intense activity of production and sale of these products since the times of the Romans and Greeks.
The oil obtained from Apulian olive trees was also used by the Romans as an ointment for the beauty of the body, as well as an ingredient capable of feeding oil lamps. According to Greek mythology, the Goddess Athena planted the first olive tree in the land of Apulia. The Greeks considered it a sacred plant, a symbol of courage, strength and peace: those who caused damage or uprooted it were even sent into exile.
The merit of the diffusion of Coratina is of an entrepreneur of Tuscan origin Raffaele Perfetti who, at the end of the nineteenth century, was the owner of one of the largest oil mills in Barletta.
The Perfetti family was well known in the Oleario world.
Mr. Perfetti, understanding the potential of the Coratina variety, asked the University Professor Girolamo Caruso, who was professor of Agronomy at the University of Pisa, to study this variety.
The prfessor was extremely impressed by the robustness, strenght, high productivity and beauty of this new variety of olive trees. He was assured that it was a variety that came from Corato (hence the name Coratina).
Convinced by the results of his studies, he published for the first time in 1882 the botanical description expressing the high potential of Coratina. His words were not unheard of, the result was a great spread of the variety that will be planted continuously making the province of Bari and Foggia a huge sea of olive trees.
Today Puglia is most productive region in Italy of extra virgin olive oil, reaching 51% of Italian productivity.
Sensory profile characteristic of the Coratina Olive variety
Coratina is by far the most widely cultivated variety in Italy and the most represented at the National Review of Single Varietal Oils, giving an oil that is very rich in both oleic acid and polyphenols, intense, with a strong character and fresh hints of almond and artichoke.
It is intense, with a strong character and fresh hints of almond and artichoke. It is excellent drizzled over orecchiette pasta with turnip greens, where the decidedly bitter notes of the oil and the sweetness of the dish are wonderfully balanced.