Fruit and Vegetables

Olives from Ascoli

The olive tree from Ascoli

When we talk about fruit trees, we distinguish between genetic and natural varieties, and those that have been created over time on the basis of grafts and human interventions. The latter are called cultivars, and in general the improvements they have tried to achieve are aimed at greater fruit production. As far as olives are concerned, we know that the oil, which is obtained by pressing them, is a highly sought after product all over the world, and is typical of the Mediterranean areas and therefore of Italy. One of the most prized varieties of olive trees is the olive Ascoli, whose fruits are good to be consumed alone, put in brine; they are used in the kitchen, to prepare the typical stuffed olives; and finally they give an excellent olive oil, since they are very rich in juice and pulp.

How olive is grown in Ascoli

This variety is cultivated almost exclusively exclusively in the territory of the province of Ascoli Piceno, because it is a very delicate cultivar, which needs very specific characteristics of climate and soil in order to take root and then thrive. First of all, it needs a calcareous and clayey soil, strongly draining, because water stagnation is fatal to it. The gentle hills of the Marche region are therefore ideal from this point of view. It loves to be exposed to the sun and instead tolerates the cold a little, however it shows resistance even at low temperatures. As for the necessary irrigation, the best regime is that of micro-rain, which guarantees a constant supply of water but never too abundant. Fertilization must be done with manure before planting, and then repeated when the warm weather arrives.

The characteristics of the Ascoli olive tree

A tree of this type has characteristics similar to those of other olive trees, with peculiarities that distinguish it. Its maximum height can reach up to 7 or even 8 meters. Its foliage is usually very thick and luxuriant, with rather large leaves, more than those of other varieties. The leaves can in fact reach up to 6 centimeters in length, and a centimeter and a half in width. They have a beautiful dark green upper page, while the lower one has silvery reflections. The bark appears smoother than that of other plants, and the wood is light and tender. The circumference of the trunk, in the older specimens, can also reach 6 meters in diameter, and often the tree is branched to the roots. This is why sometimes this variety is also suitable for ornamental purposes, to make bonsai.

Olives from Ascoli: the fruits of the olive tree from Ascoli

In the cultivation of this variety, great care must be taken to carry out correct pruning. In fact, if the hair is excessively cut, there is a risk that it will not produce enough olives anymore. To keep it healthy, it is sufficient to eliminate dead and dry branches. We must also pay close attention to pests: in particular the fly and the cochineal are the most dangerous ones. Flowering begins in spring, and when it produces its olives they are harvested with the shaking technique. The olives produced have the DOP certification; or Protected Designation of Origin, which is attributed to olives packed in brine or stuffed, known as Ascolana Tenera. Their color is between green and yellow, they have an elongated shape and a slightly bitter and acidulous taste.