Umbria is also very famous for extra olive oil production. Umbrian olive oil is one of the best in Italy and it is very good for our health thanks to its antioxidants. Extra virgin olive oil is the most expensive type, and is made from the first cold pressing of the olives. It has a very low acidity rate (under 1%) and is best used for dipping or to dress salads – both because its superior flavour is impaired by heat and because it has a low smoking point.
Extra virgin olive oil- Umbria region
Umbria, east of Tuscany and west of the Marche region, produces some of the best oils. Familiar as the home of chocolates from Perugia, St. Francis of Assisi, light white wines of Orvieto, and the opera of Spoleto, Umbria has hilly terrain and great climate for growing olives.
Todi is a beautiful, Medieval hill town located in the central region of Umbria, overlooking the Tiber Valley. The town is located approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes north of Rome and 2 hours south of Florence. It is also conveniently nearby Perugia (46km), the University city, known for its annual chocolate festival, Orvieto (38km) and Montepulciano, the famous wine regions, Deruta, known for its classic ceramics, Spoleto (44km), Assisi and several other beautiful hill towns. Olive harvesting take place in October-November until the first weeks of December, a very special period to visit the Umbria region and to taste the new oil, just pressed.
Genuine – Natural Healthy Food
Olive trees in Umbria belong to three varieties: Moraiolo tree, Frantoio tree and Leccino tree. Near Trasimeno lake there is also a special variety called Dolce Agogia.
The olives from the different varieties can be mixed together to create a “blend” extra virgin oil or they can be pressed separately to produce a so called “monocultivar”, each one with a different flavour and aroma.
Umbrian oil makes up only about 2 percent of Italy’s olive oil production but wins a far larger proportion of awards. It begged for further investigation.
The quality of olive oil production—especially the stage of pressing—really does make a difference when it comes to health benefits. Recent studies have compared the anti-inflammatory benefits of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) obtained from the first pressing of the oil to the anti-inflammatory benefits of virgin olive oils (non-EVOO) obtained from later pressings. What researchers found was an ability of EVOO to lower inflammatory markers in the blood when non-EVOOs were unable to do so. (Study measurements included blood levels of thromboxane A2, or TXA2, and leukotriene B2, or LBT2.) This ability of extra virgin olive oil to help protect against unwanted inflammation is not surprising, since EVOO is known to contain stronger concentrations of phytonutrients (especially polyphenols) that have well-known anti-inflammatory properties.
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