They’ve been making olive oil here for centuries, but since 2004, when Corsican olive oil was granted AOC status, morale was boosted and so began a passion amongst 178 olive oil producers to create good quality oil. They worked hard at improving their farming practices, such as pruning, refined their production methods and it worked.
Today Corsican olive oil has a taste and flavour truly unique to Corsica.
Imagine, some of the trees on the island are more than 2,000 years old and still producing olives. These are the older orchards where at harvest time, the fruit is allowed to drop naturally into nets spread on the ground. But there are also younger trees with younger oil producers who use either an electric comb allowing the fruit to fall into nets suspended in the trees or hand pick the fruit.
Even though most olives are picked when the fruit is black and ripe, Corsica boasts a broad range of
olive oil flavours. This is because the olive growing regions and the types of olives are so different; each cultivar or variety has its own flavour and aroma characteristics.
Training of olive oil tasters
In olive oil culture, taste and smell are important factors – vital to recognize good quality olive oil and to pick up any defects of the oil. Technicians and producers in Corsica learn how to recognize positive and negatives attributes of their oil through training sessions organized on the island every year.
As one official Corsican olive oil taster said: "Learning to identify tastes is important. With my training I can now participate in any national and international olive oil tasting competition."
In Corsica the olive tree is a way of life, the people of Corsica proud of their terroir, their very own Corsican olive oil.
|Ripe Black Corsican olives ready for picking|