Olive growing in the Taranto area dates back to the Illyrian era, when the Messapii were the first to cultivate this noble plant in the first millennium B.C.. Later, with the advent of Greek and Phoenician colonization, olive growing continued to be just as important. Olive cultivation increased throughout the area and the extraction techniques were perfected. Today, in the Municipality of Massafra, there are no remains of the ancient millstones and presses. On display in the National Museum of Taranto are well-preserved hydra, kraters and amphorae, decorated with mythological scenes depicting the various stages of oil production. The extra virgin olive oil Terre Tarentine Dop is produced on the western side of the Province of Taranto. The southern exposure and the particularly mild microclimate provide all the pedoclimatic aspects necessary for a flourishing olive cultivation. The olive varieties best suited to the area are Leccino, Coratina, Ogliarola, and Frantoio.
Thanks to its delicate taste and fruity notes, extra virgin olive oil Terre Tarentine Dop is excellent on first course dishes with vegetables, such as orecchiette alle cime di rapa (pasta with turnip tops). Its quality makes it entirely suitable for more elaborate dishes such as second course meats and fish.
No special quality labels are required at the moment.