In Italy, aperitivo is a true pre-dinner ritual. It’s a time to socialize, relax after a hard day, and exchange opinions with one’s friends. Though admittedly more typical of the northern regions, it is now gaining increasing popularity in the South too. The iconic aperitif here in Veneto is the so-called Spritz. It seems that this drink dates back to the days of the Austrian Empire: because our wines were much stronger than the beer that Austrian soldiers were used to, they were in the habit of diluting them with fizzy water or Seltz. And what is more natural and healthy than pairing a fresh, light drink with some plump, mouth-watering olives!
Not all olives can be eaten: in fact, only a few varieties, such as Nocellara and Taggiasca, are dual purpose. Most varieties are either used to make oil or produce table olives. The difference lies in their chemical composition, which however also depends on their ripeness, oil content and size. Table olives are harvested, using special combs, from mid September to mid November, when they are a yellowish green colour. These olives are slightly larger than those employed to make oil, and since they are picked before they are fully ripe, their oil content is still low. Their pulp however has a firm texture, and contains high sugar levels that play a fundamental role in the subsequent fermentation process. Our pitted olives are harvested at the ideal stage of ripeness and stored in thyme-scented extra virgin olive oil. They are without doubt the ideal complement to our traditional Spritz.