Puglia Evo World – All the Puglia of oil in one click
Welcome to Puglia, where the agricultural landscape, culture, and cuisine are sculpted everywhere by olive trees and extra virgin olive oil.
Quantity and quality go hand in hand in Puglia because the peculiarities associated with the diverse climates of a region with Two Seas and 800 kilometers of coastline are expressed in the numerous olive cultivars. Puglia is the right place to find the extra virgin olive oil that we prefer and want to pair as we please with our dishes.
The Pugliaevoworld portal, curated by the Department of Agricultural Resources of the Puglia Region led by Commissioner Donato Pentassuglia, presents Puglian olive production as a world to discover. Puglia is a territory whose cultural, landscape, enogastronomic, and productive greatness coincides with the greatness of its extra virgin olive oils, whose producers, on this portal, will be showcased in a single virtual space in both Italian and English.
The initiative is part of a broader project called Puglia Good World: the goal is to encapsulate Puglian agri-food under a brand, divided into eight main production sectors.
It is, therefore, an umbrella brand for the Puglian agri-food sector with multiple brands for individual sectors, following a line of graphic and naming continuity and coherence.
PUGLIA, THE ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL VALUE OF OLIVE OIL
The economic universe in Puglia has an estimated value of 1 billion euros in gross saleable production of extra virgin olive oil.
Puglia has a landscape dominated by olive trees covering over 370,000 hectares of cultivated land, producing 5 PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) extra virgin oils and 1 PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) oil. This makes Puglian olive cultivation the largest green “factory” in the South. In Puglia, approximately 40% of the olive tree surface area in Southern Italy is concentrated, representing 32% nationally and 8% within the European Union.
In the past, Puglia was the birthplace of lampante oils used for illumination.
Today, Puglia boasts highly prized and extremely varied extra virgin oils that have been collecting prestigious international awards for decades. This has recently led to the creation of the PGI “Olio di Puglia” that safeguards and enhances an olive heritage of extraordinary value.
EUROPEAN UNION, THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
The Mediterranean has a millennia-old history of olive oil production and consumption, initially for lighting, medicine, and cosmetics, and later increasingly for food consumption. Extra virgin olive oil is among the pillars of the Mediterranean Diet, recognized by UNESCO as a cultural heritage.
The European Union, as per the European Commission fact sheet, is the largest producer, consumer, and exporter of olive oil in the world. Translated into numbers, the EU produces approximately 67% of the world’s olive oil on 4 million hectares, mainly in Mediterranean member countries, destined for traditional, intensive, and super-intensive olive cultivation.
Italy and Spain are the largest consumers of olive oil in the EU, with an annual consumption of around 500,000 tons each, while Greece records the highest per capita consumption in the EU, at around 12 kg per capita per year. Overall, the EU represents about 53% of the world’s olive oil consumption.
Commonly available in the market are mainly extra virgin olive oil and olive oil. According to current legislation, there are eight different categories of olive oils and olive pomace oils, but not all categories can be sold to consumers.
The European Commission has prepared an information sheet with further details on the categories, characteristics, and production of olive oil, which is attached here as a FACT SHEET .
This portal is exclusively dedicated to Puglia’s extra virgin olive oil.
THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EXTRA VIRGIN AND OLIVE OIL
But what is the difference between extra virgin olive oil and olive oil? In brief, extra virgin is a superior category oil obtained directly from olives solely through mechanical processes (olive pressing), with an acidity that must not exceed 0.8 grams per 100 grams. Among the common misconceptions about oil, there is often confusion between acidity—which can only be determined through laboratory analysis—and the more or less intense “pizzicore” (tingling sensation) of the oil, which, beyond personal taste, is a sign of lively oil with good qualitative characteristics for our health. Additionally, extra virgin status can be defined after meeting correct organoleptic parameters measured by the human “nose” through a panel test.
On the other hand, olive oil, which obviously has a much lower value than extra virgin, according to the law, contains olive oils that have undergone a refining process of oils obtained directly from olives.