The quality of DOP Garda extra virgin olive oil is the result of age-old passion, accompanied by skilled artisanal processing and the strict controls imposed by the DOP mark.
The work of the producers and the particular features of a production area set between the lake and the mountains make this oil truly unique, loved at the tables and envied the world over for its fresh, delicate flavour.
In every bottle a mix of culture, history and tradition
Olive trees have been grown on Garda Lake and the surrounding area since the earliest settlements, and their fruits have been traditionally processed by all the populations and cultures to obtain one of the most precious ingredients in Mediterranean cooking, the extra virgin olive oil.
On Italy's largest lake, the ancient tradition of olive growing dates back to Roman times. DOP Garda Extra Virgin Olive Oil comes from the territories of the provinces of Brescia, Verona, Mantua and Trento, and the main varieties are: Casaliva, Frantoio and Leccino.
The "Bollino", guarantee of safety
All products sold on the market as DOP Garda Extra Virgin Olive Oil must have a numbered mark on the package. This mark is issued after passing an inspection to check product and processing conformity, following the application made by the company wishing to bottle the product.
The use of numbered marks is not a new practice, indeed as early as the Middle Ages Garda oil was renowned for its high quality and high economic value compared to oils from other places, and was used with excellent results in both food and medicine.
Use for food purposes was only for the privileged, as in the Late Middle Ages 4-6 Kg of Garda oil was worth as much as a very large pig. The high price obtained by Garda oil compared to other oils led to the need for control and protection against fraud.
As early as 1200 seals known as Sigillum Comunis Veronae were used to mark the oil for exportation, and inspectors were appointed by the "Captain of the People" to control and record all quantities of olives and oil owned each year by each person and each community in the Garda area. Oil sales were also controlled by a specially appointed officer, the Superstes oley, the oil superintendent.
The quality culture means carrying a project beyond simple pressing and bottling, it means understanding and conserving the environment, establishing and ensuring a production system that offers guarantees for the end customer through strict, certified controls.
The Protection Consortium was founded by the producers and processors of three regions, Lombardy, Trentino Alto Adige and Veneto, and four provinces Brescia, Mantua, Trento and Verona, aiming to implement an appropriate control programme to guarantee the origin of DOP Garda Extra Virgin Olive Oil, monitoring the compliance with the production specification, collaborating with the control body (CSQA Certificazioni srl of Thiene) and performing the checks required to obtain product certification.
In addition, the Consortium assists its members by providing training and technical assistance, recovering and offering incentives for olive growing, in the belief that this age-old crop is a necessity for maintaining the biodiversity of the Garda territory. The strategic objectives of the Garda economy as a whole include the enhancement and protection of olive farming, in this period marked strongly by the reassessment of the territory and a strong focus on the environment.
DOP Garda Oil is distributed directly by the companies in the supply chain, in Italy, Europe and the United States.
A perfect blend with all food cultures and traditions
The main characteristics of DOP Garda oil are its light to medium fruity aroma and the equally fruity flavour with a hint of bitter spiciness, with a slightly almond after-taste. Production quantities are quite low, and the fresh delicacy of this rare, sophisticated oil is becoming increasingly sought after throughout Europe.
DOP Garda Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a touch of class and elegance that allows it to adapt well to even contrasting gastronomic traditions. Its pleasantly fruity, almost grassy sensations make it perfect for any dish.
These precious features, along with the well-known peculiarity of being rich in oleic acid, vitamin E and bio-phenolic compounds, make Garda oil the ideal accompaniment for a wide range of uses, fully satisfying the demands of even the most selective gourmets.
It can be used in many dishes, both crude and in cooked dishes, and thanks to its fruity notes, its light or medium intensity and its delicate flavour goes well with many dishes, and is excellent with lake fish dishes, crudités, meat, soft and lean cheeses, salted meat, meat and fish carpaccios, cooked and raw vegetables, sauces, bruschettas, and in desserts, blended with chocolate, sorbets, ice cream and much more besides.