While coming back from Cilento, we’ve found ourselves in a small village between the rivers Calore and Sele: Albanella. We are not looking at the sea any more, but we can see the majestic centennial olive trees, moved by the hot summer wind.
We need to ask two farmers for information, as we are not sure about which road we should take. Salvatore e Germano – these are their names – have invited us to have a break under the shadow of their olive trees. Since we still have a long way to go, we’ve decided to accept their kind offer.
We have been informed by Salvatore that we are in the production area of the “Rotunnella”, an ancient variety of regional typical olives. Its name comes from the particular form, round and regular, that makes it unique.
The “tonnella” or “tunnella” (the regional word for “round”) has very ancient origins: it was introduced in the VI a.C. by the Focesi, the greek clonists from Asia Minor. It is so rare and specific that is used for the production of the PDO oils of Salerno.
The Rotunnella is a variety of olive that is really delicate and demanding and people have to take care of the olive groves all year. During the summer time, the farmes have to check the health conditions of the olive trees to keep them from the parasitics.
Salvatore and Germano have told us that the harvest here is only by hand: they climb the trees, take the olives off and, in the meantime, somebody down on their knees picks up the mature olives fallen around the tree.
Then the olives are taken to the olive-press within 24 hours from the harvest, while the milling is conducted only by grain crusher made of stone. The effort is then rewarded by tasting the fresh-made-oil directly from the olive-press with fragrant home-made bread.
This story has made us really interested in tasting this very special kind of olive!
We are lucky: in a few days the village is going to host the “Rotunnella Fest”, the gastronomic event that every year celebrates this specific kind of oil. During these days, you have the opportunity to taste some typical food of this area – ranging from the extra virgin olive oil to bread, pizza and typical desserts. There are also going to be music and cultural events.
Pasta Antonio Amato supports the “Rotunnella Fest” and the extra virgin olive oil to save and promote the immense cultural and gastronomic heritage of the area around Salerno. We contribute to promote and exalt our traditional products, tastes and places full of history.
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