7 thousand producers with an equal number of hectares covered by olive trees.
The golden trail of Pistoia’s olive oil is worth much, also from a social point of view. This is, perhaps, the peculiarity of a movement that involves more than 7,000 producers who are mostly small and mostly made up of amateurs and retirees. If you then add the quality of the olive oil made in the Pistoia area, you realize how many people are behind each kilogram produced.
There are many technical experts who work the fields and the oil mills; many of the latter are for commercial or strictly personal use. There are more than one hundred oil mills, and the stream is unending of citizens who use their own trusted producer to get “olive oil from the farmer”. All of Pistoia olive oil falls under the designation of “indicazione geografica protetta Toscana”, or “protected geographical indication Tuscany”, which guarantees that it meets requirements for its quality and unique characteristics as demonstrated by specific committees of expert tasters. There is also the sub-regional Montalbano olive oil that has been recognized for its unique features. The local olives are pressed for personal use and so, not much oil leaves the province, although there are producers with the capacity to bottle it for sale in the region.
Owing to its quality, the oil is certainly an asset because it protects consumers from buying products of uncertain origin. It is also a question, of quantity and habits. On one hand, there is a province with almost 7,000 hectares dedicated to olive trees; on the other is the Pistoian practice of immediately finding what has been produced in the area.
The tradition has deep roots to the entire movement of enthusiasts. If, over time, Pescia has become the home of olive-tree production, it is not by chance. Nor is it chance that the more than one million trees harvested each year play a vital role in the, by now, classic rural landscape of the hills surrounding the province of Pistoia. Moraiolo, Frantoio, and Leccino are the names of the cultivars most widely used historically: words that are now recognized by everyone. Because here, we talk about what we eat.