EVO Bruzio DOP: The Olive Oil


Bruzio DOP (so called “Denominazione di Origina Protetta”, protected denomination) extra virgin olive oil is a genuine manufacture, coming from gastronomy deep experience of Calabrian people. The native cultivars of the provincia of Cosenza (Calabria) give raise to an olive oil with a fruity flavor, more or less intense, depending on the percentage of olives used (there are four varieties of olives: “Tondina”, “Carolea”, “Grossa di Cassano”, “Rossanese”).

This golden liquid is an extra virgin olive oil produced in four main types, each accompanied by a specific geographical mention:

  • “Fascia Pre-pollinica” (Pre-pollinic band),
  • Valle Crati,
  • Presidium of Jonian Hills,
  • Sibaritide.

Precisely, the Prepollinica Band Bruzio DOP has the following composition:

  • Tondina, not less than 50%;
  • Carolea, not more than 30%;
  • Grossa di Cassano, not more than 20%.
  • Other varieties present in the olive groves can contribute to a maximum of 25%.

The “Valle Crati” Bruzio DOP is so composed:

  • Carolea, not less than 50%;
  • Tondina, not more than 30%;
  • Rossanese or Dolce di Rossano, not more than 20%.
  • Other varieties present in the olive groves can contribute to a maximum of 20%.

The “Colline Joniche Presilane” Bruzio DOP:

  • Rossanese or Dolce di Rossano, not less than 70%.
  • Other varieties present in the olive groves can contribute to a maximum of 30%.

The Sibaritide Bruzio DOP:

  • Grossa di Cassano, not less than 70%;
  • Tondina, not more than 30%.
  • Other varieties present in the olive groves can contribute to a maximum of 30%.



Homer called olive oil “golden liquid”. In ancient Greece, athletes ritually rubbed it all over the body. Its mystic glow illuminated the story. Olive oil was more than just food for the people of the Mediterranean: it was a medicine, an infinite
source of fascination and wonder, source of wealth and power. The branches and leaves of the olive tree, symbol of abundance, peace, have crowned the victorious in friendly games and bloody wars.

Crowns of olives and olive branches, emblems of blessing and purification, were ritually offered to the gods and to the powerful: some they were even found in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
With the expansion of the Greek colonies, the cultivation of the olive tree has reached Calabria (the “Brutium”) in the 8th century B.C.

Olive trees were planted in the entire region under the Roman Empire and, according to the historian Pliny, the our land had “excellent olive oil at reasonable prices” already in the I sec. a.C .: “The best in the Mediterranean”, he argued.

The belief that olive oil conferred strength and youth was well widespread. In antiquity it was infused with flowers and herbs to produce both medicines that cosmetics: a list was found at Mycenae he listed the aromas added to the olive oil in the preparation of the ointments.
Olive trees have a titanic resistance, a vital force that almost makes them immortal. It is not strange that Christian Catholic religion identify the oil with one of the symbol of the Holy Spirit, who is immortal.

Despite the harsh winters and the torrid summers, they continue to grow proud and strong, reaching out to the sky, bringing fruits that nourish, heal, inspire and amaze, and stones, drought, silence and solitude are their habitat.



The area of ​​production and processing of Bruzio DOP extra virgin olive oil falls in several municipalities in the province of Cosenza, while packaging operations can be carried out throughout the province of Cosenza, in the Calabria region.


Bruzio oil is obtained from the fruits of the species Olea Europaea, varieties Tondina, Carolea, Grossa di Cassano and Rossanese, accompanied by additional geographical indications based on the area of ​​production: Fascia Prepollinica, Valle Crati, Colline Joniche Presilane, Sibaritide.



The olive harvest must take place from the beginning of ripening and until December 31 or January 15 depending on the variety. The milling must be done within two days of collection. Packaging is allowed within the province of Cosenza.


Pre-pollinic band olive oil is obtained from the Tondina varieties (at least 50%), Grossa di Cassano (up to 20%), Carolea (up to 30%).

The oil has a green color with yellow reflections, a medium fruity smell and a fruity flavor.

Valle Crati is obtained from the varieties Carolea (at least 50%), Tondina (up to 30%), Rossanese (up to 20%); it has a green to yellow color, a medium fruity aroma and a fruity flavor.

Presidium Joniche Hills Bruzio olive oil is produced from the Rossanese varieties (at least 70%); it has a golden yellow color with green reflections, a delicate fruity aroma and a fruity flavor with a sweet almond aroma.

Finally, Sibaritide is obtained from the Grossa di Cassano (at least 70%) and Tondina (up to 30%) varieties; it has a yellow color with some green reflections, a light fruity aroma and a fruity taste with a slight hint of bitterness.


The Pre-pollinic band Bruzio DOP has:

  • Color: green with yellow reflections;
  • Smell: medium fruity;
  • Taste: fruity olive;
  • Maximum acidity: 0.70%;
  • Total polyphenols: > or = 200 p.p.m.

The Valle Crati Bruzio oil DOP:

  • Color: from green to yellow;
  • Smell: medium fruity;
  • Taste: fruity olive;
  • Maximum acidity: 0.70%;
  • Total polyphenols: > or = 200 p.p.m.

The Colline Joniche Presilane Bruzio oil DOP:

  • Color: golden yellow with green reflections;
  • Smell: delicate fruity;
  • Taste: fruity with a sensation of sweet almond;
  • Maximum acidity: 0.80%;
  • Total polyphenols:> = 150 p.p.m.

The Sibaritide Bruzio oil DOP:

  • Color: yellow with some green reflection;
  • Odor: light fruity;
  • Smell: light fruity, with a slight bitter sensation;
  • Maximum acidity: 0.70%;
  • Total polyphenols:> = 150 p.p.m.

In all cases, this extra virgin olive oil is an easily perishable food, it should be kept in a cool place away from sources of heat, light and products that give off special odors, at a temperature between 14 and 18 ° C.

It is advisable to consume it within 4-6 months of pressing, to enjoy it during the period of maximum expression of its flavor.

Bruzio DOP extra-virgin olive oil is delicately aromatic and therefore particularly suitable for dressing boiled vegetables, grilled fish and salads, as well as an ingredient for first courses of Calabrian gastronomy.

Finally, Bruzio DOP extra virgin olive oil is characterized by a maximum total acidity level that varies between 0.7 and 0.8 g per 100 g of oil and a total polyphenol level greater than or equal to 200 ppm.

The true face of Calabria: Food Sharing in Maida



The “ciciarata” began some 500 years ago with the arrival of the Hermit Francesco di Paola in the town. The Saint would apparently share out food to the needy, a tradition re-enacted each spring up here on the hill. It has, needless to say, grown a little in scale since then.

This ancient tradition reveals the true face of Calabria: food sharing.

After you first walk into the wood-smoke chaos of the feast of “ciciarata”, the midnight before the day of the celebration, you see, under a shower of fireworks, many  men snapping dried olive branches over their knees, to stuff them under great cast-iron pots.

In the meantime, orange peel is thrown into the fire adding a citrus tang to the existing smell of wood, male sweat and cigarettes.

A secret recipe for a pasta “that needs to sleep” is not revealed, but at midnight the chickpeas are heated on the fire, at 3am are added the 200 kilos of tomatoes, at 5am they add the wild fennel and oregano foraged from surrounding fields, at 10.30am they start to cook the pasta and just before midday the whole thing is mixed together to the cacophonous sound of 2,000 hungry people rattling their pans.

It’s an all-night, all-fiesta of carbohydrates and community spirit that will make your eyes sting and your mouth water.


The location is an old monastery in Maida, Calabria. Every year, the whole of the Maida community gets together to stew up buckets of pasta over open fires for 12 hours, before dishing it out to waiting, shouting, pushing, grainy-faced hordes wielding their own cookware.

The climax is when the local priest blesses the tonnes of chickpeas and tonnes of pasta with a scattering of holy water.

Then, the bells ring, and a smell of wood smoke coiled among the olive groves, lemon trees and cacti lining the roads.

A stall beside the monastery sells limoncello from the top of a little wooden table; there are men selling belts and plastic dolls; whole families arrive with picnics and wine to drink under the trees in a nearby orchard.