Regional 2020: Basilicata & the city of Matera
Our Regional extra virgin olive oil for 2020 comes from Basilicata. Learn more about this delicious oil below and to enjoy yourself Adopt an Olive Tree before October 1st to receive this oil later in the month.
Basilicata is the region of Southern Italy sitting between Puglia in the east and Campania in the west, then meeting the Ionian Sea’s crystal-clear waters in the south where the small sandy beaches dramatically alternate with steep promontories.
Inland the region’s mountainous landscape is covered in thick forests and small villages at high altitudes overlooking over the land. This is likely why Basilicata’s ancient name, often still used by those who live there, was Lucania derived from the Latin “lucus” meaning “sacred wood”.
In 2019 the ancient city of Matera became the European Capital of Culture. This prestigious award created renewed international interest in the region of Basilicata and the city of Matera which is thought to be the third oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. Matera has been a UNESCO site since 1993 and is an extraordinary place to visit.
traditional regional oil
Basilicata is a very traditional region where olive producers often still use the old style stone wheels to mill their oil. Unlike its neighbouring regions, Basilicata’s extra virgin olive oil is still relatively unknown with most of it only used locally. But it is excellent.
The olives for this oil are from groves around Montescaglioso, a small town just adjacent to Matera. It is a blend of local olive varieties Ogliarola, Frantoiana and Majatica, which is the unique haracteristic cultivar of Basilicata.
The taste is medium fruity and is more peppery than bitter. Its aromas are reminiscent of fresh cut grass on the Matera hills with a unique and intense herbaceous aroma.
tasting your basilicata oil
agnello al forno
Traditions are kept passionately alive in Basilicata and as region has always been a land of sheep, naturally a local culinary tradition is lamb. Try this delicious recipe for roast lamb with oregano and pecorino.
- Lamb leg or shoulder
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Carrots and potatoes
- Pecorino cheese
Cut your vegetables, toss with salt and oil then arrange in a roasting tray. Mix a few teaspoons of salt and oregano and rub with your oil into the lamb joint. Place on top of your vegetables and sprinkle pecorino cheese over the top. Roast for 20 min per 500g/1.1 lb at 220°C/425°F.
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