A negative figure that’s difficult to ignore, the Sicilian production in the last oil campaign recorded a loss of 60%. But Sicily is a vast and heterogeneous land that this year managed to be talked about thanks to careful and avant-garde producers.
Extra virgin olive oil in Sicily
Messina, Catania and Siracusa are the provinces where olive trees have suffered the most. There is however a slight increase in production in Ragusa, with a +10%. However, special prizes were distributed by our Oli d’Italia guide, which in the 2019 edition assigned two important awards for the best monocultivar and the best blend of the year in Sicily.
The best producers in Sicily
Titone, a family of olive growers
Historical producer founded in 1936 by the will of Nicola Titone, who over the years was able to transmit to his daughter Antonella, techniques of olive processing and field maintenance, but above all a visceral love for olive trees and extra virgin olive oil, a profound respect for nature and a unique talent in the creation of blends. Today, the production has 5,000 plants spread over 19 hectares of land, all organic, and a recently renovated olive mill capable of guaranteeing maximum quality for each label.
The Titone olive oils
Always standing out for its extraordinary blends, the company in the last edition was awarded the special award for best blend of the year. The Dop Valli Trapanesi Bio is a medium fruity with notes of tomato, arugula, mowed grass and almonds, a green and persistent oil, elegant in its balsamic nuances and perfectly balanced sensations of bitterness and pungency. Merit also goes to the Olio extravergine di oliva bio, less bitter but equally aromatic, with hints of Mediterranean herbs, green apple and almonds, accompanied by vegetable nuances of arugula. The Monocultivar di Nocellara del Belìce Bio is also excellent, with its scents of flowers, tomatoes and the strong note of pepper completing the picture.
Frantoi Cutrera, the art of monovarietals
Producing a good blend requires technique, rigor and knowledge of the cultivar, characteristics necessary also for the production of exceptional monovarietals. Winning the prize for best monocultivar of the year is Frantoi Cutrera, a solid reality in terms of volume and quality located in the province of Ragusa, led by Giovanni Cutrera. He personally tends to the 50 hectares that include over 5,000 trees, many of which are cenury-old. Years of experience and a last generation olive press, combined with the adoption of the most advanced working methods and the conservation of oil under nitrogen, make it a model agricultural enterprise.
The Cutrera olive oils
Tomato, arugula, apples, almonds, pepper: these are the notes that characterize the Monocultivar Nocellara del Belice Igp Sicilia, a fruity medium green and persistent, that’s complex and well balanced. Try also the Primo Dop Monti Iblei Monocultivar Tonda Iblea, an olive oil with hints of flowers, apple and tomato, and then the Primo Monocultivar Tonda Iblea Bio, once again enveloping aromatic notes of tomato and apple, herbaceous and medium green fruity.
Olive oil restaurants
Excellent enjoyed in purity, drizzled on a fine slice of bread, but also within tasty dishes, such as those prepared by the most careful and sought after restaurants. Coria in Caltagirone, for example, offering seafood and meat-based cuisine that relies on local specialties, and which reinterprets the recipes of the past in a delicious and modern way. There’s also Duomo in Ragusa Ibla, the elegant restaurant of Ciccio Sultano where guests can try dishes boasting a baroque and satisfying style. The kitchen relies on various tailor-made tasting menus. In the province of Enna, there’s Al Fogher, with its gastronomic proposal that combines flavour and wellness, while in Licata we love L’Oste e il Sacrestano, for a taste of typical dishes of the area, enriched by personal insight, technique and original variations.
Olive oil shops
To buy Titone’s labels, Frantoi Cutrera and other specialized companies head to Picone in Pelermo, a guarantee for quality wine and olive oil, which, along with a careful selection of wines, also offers a good olive oil selection, with special attention to regional productions.
by Michela Becchi
Titone – Trapani – Locogrande, via Piro, 68 – titone.it/
Frantoi Cutrera – Chiaramonte Gulfi (RG) – ctr. Piano dell’Acqua, 71 – frantoicutrera.it/
Where to eat
Coria – Caltagirone (CT) – via Infermeria, 24 – ristorantecoria.it/
Duomo – Ragusa – loc. Ibla via, via Capitano Bocchieri, 31 – cicciosultano.it/
Where to shop
Picone – Palermo – via Guglielmo Marconi, 36 – enotecapicone.com/