The cultivation of the olive tree dates back to ancient times (12,000 BC). Although many consider it a typical Mediterranean plant, its cultivation might have South Caucasian origins. The point is that it grows perfectly in the Mediterranean basin where it is widespread. In Apulia there are traces of the cultivation of these botanical species dating back thousands of years.
Among the dual-purpose cultivars that are present in the Cerignola area, the Leccino variety definitely has a prominent place. Its presence is justified by the fact that the typical environmental and territorial characteristics of the area positively affect the growth of the plants and the quality of the olives to the point that it is one of the most appreciated dual-purpose cultivars in Italy.
Dual-purpose cultivar means that the olives can be used both for the extraction of extra virgin olive oil and for the production of table olives.
The oil made from it, has an intense yellow color with green shades and it is fruity and tasty with a rather sweet aftertaste.
The olive itself can be processed as “untreated” table olive. The olive that is obtained, has a typical rather bitter taste, a variegated color from mustard to wine red, a moderately tender texture and it is small to medium sized.
The Cooperative has seen the possibility of using olives of the Leccino variety to obtain a paste, whose characteristics such as color and flavor, are attributable to the just described olive in brine.
The Cooperative has decided to realize a sweeter mixture of olive paste that can satisfy a wide range of consumers. It has therefore decided to use a part of its own “Bella di Cerignola” olives for the production of the olive paste. The result is amazing. The paste has unique characteristics: delicate, sweet, with herbaceous tones.