Tuscan olive oil, not only on the table- Oro Liquido– Liquid Gold for beauty and health
Tuscany is one of biggest olive oil producer in Italy and olive oils within Tuscany are not the same. The land and soil, the weather, the processing, the varieties of olives… these are just some elements that can have an impact on the final product.
The oils produced in the area around Lucca, near the coast, tend to be yellow, light and fluid. In the Chianti region, near Siena in the heart of Toscana, the oil tends to be more green and spicy with hints of artichoke and pepper. Further south in the area around Montalcino, oil has deeper colors, more rustic, and has more intense flavors.
“Prima donna” of the Mediterranean Diet, it has recently become an important element in the world of cosmetics and wellness. We should say…it has come back as an important ingredient for cosmetics, as our Etruscan ancestors knew about its property very very well.
Nowadays we find it as precious ingredient in numerous beauty products as well as organic treatments in many wellness centers and beauty farms inspired to nature and organic life style. Its strong natural smell used to be a deterrent for using it in beauty recipes, but a few drops of essential oils can make it more gentle and pleasant.
We read a lot about olive oil nutritional properties and at every corner we find delicious recipes with olive oil as key ingredient. It really is a precious product for its countless properties ranging from being a healing agent, anti-inflammatory to a fantastic anti-ageing , thanks to the polyphenols present in olives, thus counter acting the effects of free radicals and stimulating collagen production (in simple words: fighting wrinkles!!!).
No wonder it’s part of several beauty farms and spa treatment lists in Tuscany! I had to “force” myself into a series of wellness treatments in order to really be able to write this post about Olive Oil. A tough job that somebody had to do!
Olive oil was very well known in old times: It was wisely called “ oro liquido” ( liquid gold) ; greatly appreciated by Egyptians ( they considered it a gift from the Gods) , Etruscans ( they produced and used it in their daily beauty routine ) and of course, by Romans. They loved olive oil massages after thermal baths. It is the only natural product easily tolerated by oily skin due to its high degree of acidity. Moreover, it is often present in sun lotions as, one of its components, has a photo protective action from harmful sun rays .
Going from a 100% Tuscan Bruschetta ( pane croccante sale, pepe e olio nuovo ) to a body treatment in one of the beautiful Tuscan spa, I believe we can plan a perfect day …or two) to relax in the countryside. The choice is wide. @Chiara’s Tuscany we have a complete list of spa we can suggest. I have tried some of them in Chianti , in Val d‘Orcia and in city centers where they offer several treatments with olive oil as their trademark but I am definitely in love with the beautiful Essere Spa at Castello di Casole, in Val d’Elsa, where they offer amazing body treatments using 100% organic body scrubs made expressly for you using sea salt –sale marino-from the tirrenian coast and olive oil- olio di oliva– from the estate . The result is a velvety skin to die for! And in case of dry skin, the spa therapist might decide to add a couple of teaspoons of honey- miele ( also made two steps away from the property) . That’s what I call at chilometro zero ! ( locally made and immediately used)
Facts: Tuscan extra virgin olive oil benefits from specific European legislation that guarantees its authenticity, quality and geographic link with specific areas.
Before being sold on the market, every batch of certified olive oil must undergo chemical and organoleptic tests by a panel, of at least eight tasters, in order to verify the absence of defects (like rancid, fusty or winey) and the presence of typical positive attributes (fruity, bitter and pungent). The chemical tests are carried out to check the product’s composition .
There are four protected Designations of Origin in Tuscany: Chianti Classico DOP, Terre di Siena DOP, Lucca DOP and Seggiano DOP. While the DOP in Tuscany relates to provincial and sub-provincial territories, the Toscano IGP includes the whole regional territory where every phase of production, growing and pressing of the product occurs.
I have in Siena just the perfect place to enjoy a great Olive Oil tasting with an expert lady who also has a shop where one can find bottles of the best olive oil producers in the area. Tasting and comparing is really interesting and fun.
From Wellness and Beauty , back to the table again! Can you think of a more complete product?