Cooking at hotel Villa le Barone is done with Extra Virgin eco-labeled olive oil produced in Tuscany, both in Villa le Barone and in our own farm.
From this historic boutique hotel in the heart of Chianti, you can admire the olive groves that, together with vineyards, mark the famous Tuscan landscape.
The olive tree is indeed a fundamental plant in the culture and the economy around the Mediterranean sea; it is synonymous with peace and victory. In the Old Testament, the olive branch that the dove brings back to Noah after the flood means the return of peace. In Greece, winners of the Olympic Games received as prizes crowns made with olive branches. The “wild” primitive olive tree is a shrub that existed in the Mediterranean since the last glaciation and was “domesticated” in the Near East from the Neolithic. It was probably the Phoenicians who spread the cultivation of olive trees in the Mediterranean. In Italy, this cultivation has emerged in the second half of the 2nd millennium BC. An etruscan olive oil cruet dating from the 7th century BC attests to the production of olive oil in Tuscany at that time.
Olive oil, like wine, is a symbol of wealth. Ulysses kept his treasures in the Ithaca area as reported by Homer in the Odyssey:” Telemachus went down to the high-roofed treasure-chamber of his father, a wide room where gold and bronze lay piled, and raiment in chests, and stores of fragrant oil. ”
Olive oil has multiple functions.
Firstly, it is an essential element of the Mediterranean cuisine. oleic acid and mainly the unsaponifiable fraction of olive oil, such as phenol, tocopherols, chlorophyll, squalene and aroma components, exhibit a high nutritional and biological value, resulting in good human health, preventing heart diseases and aging. Moreover it contains vitamin E, pro-vitamin A, mineral elements and microelements. At Villa le Barone, typical Tuscan cooking is served, prepared with extra virgin olive oil, DOP (“Denominazione di Origine Protetta”), produced on our own properties. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil that you will savor at Villa le Barone is synonymous with the highest quality, keeping intact all the oil sensory characteristics and health properties. In fact, olive oil is just an olive juice, without any additives or preservatives. Our olive oil received the bio eco label “Agriqualità”.
Olive oil has also always been used in cosmetics and as an ointment. Athletes in ancient times were already using it for massages. Guests at Villa le Barone use toiletries made with olive oil: soaps, shampoos, shower products.
Finally, we must mention that olive oil has long been used for lighting, but we do not use anymore oil lamps at Villa le Barone!
In the month of November, the olive harvest will begin, and olive trees at Villa le Barone are covered with beautiful olives. 2012 promises to be a good year for olive oil, served in the Tuscan cuisine of our historic hotel!