A time honored tradition: olive harvest in Saragano
In the rolling hills of Saragano in the region of Umbria, less than 100 meters from Aethos Saragano, Gianni Clerici’s family has been producing the finest olive oil for generations. ”We pick the olives from our 2000 olive trees, attentively cared for with great respect for nature, and we treat them for very few days,” says Clerici proudly.
CECI’s Head Chef Delfina Vincareti knows that creating the best extra virgin olive oil in the world requires time, attention, and the perfect climate. “The majority of our ingredients come from our very own garden or are regionally sourced from producers that abide by the principles of better eco practices,” says Delfina.
Olives in Umbria are ripe for picking between the end of October and mid-November when they are still green and full of oil. After a long, hot summer the local olive varieties of Moraiolo, Leccino, and Frantoio all come together to create a unique oil with distinct aromas and flavors.
Grinding the olives happens mainly at low temperatures in centuries-old family-run mills. Extraction using little to no heat is essential when producing virgin and extra virgin olive oil in order to maintain its purity.
In the first month after production, when the olive oil is still considered young, it has quite a strong and powerful taste with delicate notes of bitterness and spice. It’s almost like eating a handful of fresh olives. As the extra virgin and virgin olive oils mellow a bit, their flavors become more subtle and delicate.
As it is Aethos’ purpose to create meaningful connections between our guests and the local community, visitors are invited to participate in the olive picking process. From learning how to recognize the different kinds of trees to witnessing the process of transforming the olives into olive oil, guests will fully immerse themselves in this time-honored tradition.
And of course the true potential of this superb olive oil can be experienced by pulling up a seat at CECI. You will find that Delfina has many uses for the local extra virgin olive oil where it can truly shine. One of CECI’s signature plates that incorporates olive oil is a delectable pasta dish garnished with truffles. A special lemon-infused olive oil was also created individually for Delfina and cannot be missed. This one-of-a-kind olive oil was produced by mixing lemons with the olives during the grinding process. “The magnificent flavor and fragrance captures the essence of Umbria in a bottle,” Delfina says.