We are in a beautiful land even if still little known and "off the beaten track". Here we produce one of the best Extra Virgin Olive Oils from all over Tuscany. Among green hills, lush woods and ancient olive groves there are magnificent medieval villages which have always been famous for the production of yellow gold. We are talking about Trequanda and Castelmuzio that every year celebrate the New Olive Oil Festival: the best time to taste the new Extra Virgin Olive Oil and to visit these beautiful villages. In this article we explain you why the olive oil produced here is so special, we suggest you to visit Trequanda and Castelmuzio especially on the occasion of the New Olive Oil Festival of which we will give you all the information. In the end some tips on the use of Tuscan oil in the kitchen!
The olive tree has been cultivated in these lands since the time of the Etruscans and in 1427 the ancient statute of the municipality of Trequanda said "each worker of lands [...] every year must planting at least four olive seedlings ... " The oil has always been part of the Sienese Valdichiana culture, in particular of Trequanda and neighboring areas. A countryside cultivated in the ancient way, with a favorable climate, ventilated and rather cold, has always produced a very high quality olive oil. The dedication of local olive growers has raised quality over time. The care in the production processes combined with the complicity of the territory, gives an oil with exceptional organoleptic characteristics, including low acidity and fruity aftertaste. There are two quality brands of extra virgin olive oil produced in the Valdichiana Senese area: Toscano IGP and Terre di Siena DOP.
Trequanda and Castelmuzio are two delightful villages that will amaze you, as well as for their exceptional extra virgin olive oil also for their beauty and their history. Trequanda is a jewel in one of the most beautiful corners of the province of Siena. We are between the Crete Senesi and the Valdichiana, in a "hidden" place. Perhaps this is the reason why Trequanda has remained intact over time. A big tower stands out on the castle with embattled walls. The walls surround the entire village and protect the square. Here you will find the atmosphere of the most typical Tuscan village, just as you imagine it. A small church with an unusual facade ocher and white and many small shops on the square and in the alleys of the town. At about 8 km you'll find Castelmuzio, a delightful medieval village, with the typical structure of a fortified castle surrounded by walls and around it the "sweet siege" of the most authentic Tuscan landscape. You can easily visit the village and in the main square you will find the most important buildings such as the Tower which today houses the Palazzo Fratini, the Spedale di San Giovanni Battista and the Confraternita della SS. Trinità and San Bernardino where pilgrims who used to travel the Via Francigena in the Middle Ages stopped. Trequanda and Castelmuzio every year held the New Olive Oil Festival!
The New Olive Oil Festival of Trequanda and Castelmuzio is the first event of the season in the whole of Tuscany that proposes new olive oil. Numerous events are scheduled during the festival organized by the Proloco, including meetings, conventions, markets and of course olive oil tastings. This year the festival will take place in Castelmuzio during the weekend from 11th to 13th October while Trequanda will host the event the following weekend from 19th to 20th October. To give even more charm to the event, there is the Treno Natura, an ancient steam train that will take you from Siena to Trequanda on Sunday 20 October, along the ancient railway, through the most beautiful landscapes of the province. An opportunity not to be missed to taste the new olive oil in Trequanda and Castelmuzio!
Needless to say, how important extra virgin olive oil is in Tuscan cuisine. A poor cuisine, made of few ingredients but of great quality. The extra virgin olive oil is the great protagonist in so many dishes symbol of this marvelous land like the ribollita or the pappa al pomodoro. These dishes would not be the same without the Tuscan oil that gives them body, substance and above all taste and aroma. But how? First of all quantity: it takes a lot of oil in cooking. Naturally quality: it must be good quality olive oil to give the dishes the intense flavour. Finally it should be used both in cooking and raw to enhance the aromas of the oil in every variation. But do you know what is the maximum satisfaction? Taste the new olive oil with a slice of toasted bread.
Visiting the Sienese Valdichiana when these small miracles happen that transform simple agricultural products into world-renowned excellences, is a truly unique and exciting experience.
Photo Credits: Cover Image by Podere Il Casale