Our journey in search of the flavours and aromas that only Italy can offer, takes us to the province of Livorno. Far from the scent of cacciucco and the sounds of the city you will find the rows of olive trees of the Tenuta San Guido, in that arc of land between the province of amaranth color and Grosseto that was made famous by the immortal words of Giosuè Carducci.
We are therefore in the Maremma, land of vines and olive trees, so centered on these two fruits of the earth that we almost forget the other crops, such as wheat that stands towering in the most internal part of the territory.
Farmers know well the joys and sorrows that only those who grew up growing grapes and sheepfolds can understand. From the weather, which is hitting the crops harder and harder, to the meetings of relatives to collect the fruits, days when people came back and still come back to be one big family.
Before appreciating the strong and decisive taste of Sassicaia Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Tenuta San Guido, guest of today's meeting, and even before praising the bottle that recalls wine so much, another typical product of this farm, it is therefore important to remember the history that lies at the base of this crop.
How Sassicaia Oil was born, which you will then taste at your dinner table.
This is because in Tuscany, especially in the small villages overlooking the sea, such as Bolgheri itself, where Tenuta San Guido is located, but also Castagneto Carducci, Suvereto and others, time seems to have stood still, set in the ageless stones that cover these fascinating villages.
And it is here that you can commemorate the attention and love that lies behind each individual olive: the entire year of preparation, the double-colored leaf that seems to dance when the fresh sea wind pulls and the olives that grow in the hand of the farmer until they become too heavy for the small stem that ties them to the knotty branch of the tree.
And this is the long-awaited moment: when the fingers tighten around the sharp branches of the olive trees and make the fruits fall into the net lying on the ground, while the elders collect the few olives that have managed to escape from its nets.
Fruits that are piled up, one on top of the other, and then passed through a sieve by the calloused hands looking for leaves and branches that may have fallen during the harvest, so that each box is a small casket of a thousand shades of green and without any intruders, before the pressing.
The new oil, as they call it in the houses, is bitter, spicy, strong on the tongue and on the bruschetta, just warmed up on the embers. Anticipated by a small clove of garlic melting on a slice of hot bread, oil is all you need for a king's meal.
And time can change many things: the hands of older farmers who harvest olives can change, replaced first by young and strong arms and then by highly specialized tools. The pressing methods can be changed, using the best techniques, such as low pressure, which gives the product a veiled appearance and its green reflections. Many things change, but not the taste: delicate and fruity, ideal for raw use on salads and cooked vegetables in all their forms.
Or simply on the dear and old bruschetta, perhaps kissed by the garlic, to recall the love for simplicity that the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Sassicaia has not lost despite all the attention to detail and the quality of its producers.
Because many things change, but not the love for one' s own land, for one' s own fruits and for one' s own tastes.