The Story of the EVOO in Calabria
In Calabria, the olive tree arrives – or returns, according to some historians – with the ships of the first Achaean settlers who, in the 8th century BC, landed in the area between Kaulonia, Kroton and Sybaris, while the Locrians arrived almost simultaneously in Lokroi Epizephyrioi and the Chalcidesi in Rhegion.
But as some archaeological evidence shows, the presence of the olive tree in Calabria is much older. These studies, backdated the introduction of olive cultivation to the recent Bronze Age (XIII-XII century BC) as would emerge from studies conducted in the excavations of the protohistoric center of Broglio di Trebisacce (CS) and neighboring areas. In this area of excavation and study, were found hazelnuts and olives, as well as footprints of Olea europaea leaves in the plasters, and traces of olive oil inside the characteristic containers (pithoi). All this would date back to the end of the second millennium BC the practice of olive growing along the coast of Calabria.
And since then it has been a crescendo that has led, to the present day, to differentiate a Calabrian olive-growing heritage that can count on a vast germplasm of at least 33 olive cultivars, different in characteristics and area of origin..
Grossa di Cassano, also known as Cassanese, is a variety grown in Calabria, found mostly in the province of Cosenza and around the area called Sibari. It is mainly used to make olive oil and it can be made as both monovarietal and blended olive oils. It has an intense fruitiness and a well-balanced level of spiciness and bitterness.
The Indicazione Geografica Tipica (protected geographical indication PGI) is issued only for extra virgin olive oils obtained from olives grown in the region of Calabria.
A minimum of 90% of these olives must come from one or more of the following regional cultivars: Carolea, Dolce di Rossano, Sinopolese, Grossa di Gerace, Tondina, Ottobratica, Grossa di Cassano and Tonda di Strongoli. A maximum of 10% of the olives can come from one or more of other less widespread local varieties such as: Nostrana, Spezzanese, Dolce di Cerchiara or Tombarello.
Sensory profile characteristic of the Grossa di Cassano variety.
With an intense and persistent perfume, the oil of the Grossa di Cassano has a fruity green olive, with hints of wild herbs and unripe tomato. Balanced are the taste sensations, with a bitter and spicy of medium/low intensity, light impressions of artichoke and clear perceptions of bitter almond.