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I'm going to Naples, Matera and Puglia: help me in my quest for excellent olive oil

This March I will visit Naples, Matera and Puglia (Lecce, Ostuni, Alberobello, Trani and Bari). I have a thing for olive oil. I really, really like it. Can you help me find local, seasonal olive oil in these regions? Markets or small shops are great. I don't go to fancy restaurants but I like street food. And I'd be pleased to eat pizza that's cooked with amazing olive oil. Thanks!

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  1. Henrietta do you know that SlowFood publishes a guide to the "best" oils in Italy? I believe it comes out in the spring each year but not sure of the month. The guide is in Italian but you can decipher the names:

    http://store.slowfood.it/store_it/pag...

    You certainly do not need to buy the book, though. I've not been to Bari city but I can tell you that it will be easy to find food shops with various local oils in all the cities/towns on your route and in Bari as well, I'm sure. Keep in mind that the shops in the far south close for a long midday break. In my experience, shopkeepers and market vendors will be more than happy to recommend various oils for purchase.

    1 Reply
    1. re: erica

      Thank you erica. No, I did not know about that SlowFood guide. It's just what I was looking for--what a great resouce! Yes, I will keep in mind the midday closures. When I first started travelling it took me by surprise and I would have a growling stomach all afternoon....

    2. In Naples, you might stop by La Stanza del Gusto/Squisitezze Cheese Bar on Via Constantopoli - in addition to good food at a good price in the historic center they offer select local products for sale, very friendly, a little bit of english spoken.
      http://www.lastanzadelgusto.com/index...

      in addition, you should be able to find oils in the shops in the street market along Via pignasecca going down to Montesacro station - perhaps along via Tribunali, tho I havent looked there. Both of these are good areas for street food - pizza and fritti along via Tribunali (great pizzerie there), lots of different items in the Pignasecca market including taralli (very good with lard, almonds and black pepper) fried things, porchetta, not local but hey, etc.

      -----
      La Stanza del Gusto
      Via Santa Maria di Constantinopoli 100, Naples, Campania , IT

      1 Reply
      1. re: jen kalb

        The phrase "cheese bar" is certainly one of the better things I've ever heard in life. Thanks so much for the Naples tips. This will be my first trip there and I'm planning on eating myself silly.

      2. Check this:
        http://www.oliveoil.it/pg/elenco_prod... Type on the region at the top of the page for a link. Also, www.guidaolio.com has a region by region list, linked to producers' web sites.

        9 Replies
        1. re: bob96

          This is wonderful, bob96! Most of the cities I'm visiting are listed.

          1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

            Let us know what you loved. Buon soggiorno e buon'assaggio.

            1. re: bob96

              Sì, lo farò. Grazie, bob96!

              1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                you best guarantee anywhere on your trip is to go to local FRANTOI where everyone local takes their olive oil for pressing.They will let you taste too.

                1. re: 2friends

                  Not sure how much oil is being pressed in March, but it varies by region. Many frantoi are not fully commercial operations, serving (as you note) local needs, and may not have any bottles/samples after the local pressing.

                  1. re: bob96

                    Olive oil museum near Ostuni; the oil sold here, perhaps under the name Amati, has a very good reputation; these 2 links refer to the same museum:

                    http://www.oliveoilmuseums.gr/ecporta...

                    http://www.borgosanmarco.it/prodotti_...

                    1. re: erica

                      Thanks 2friends, bob96 and erica. I've bookmarked this info in my traveling documents. Can wait!

                      1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                        I'm back! Although I succeeded in consuming an epic amount of olive oil, I confess I did I poor job recording the names of the oils and the places I bought them. My favorite was also the cheapest: a bottle from a grocery store in Matera for 3.50 euro. I found the olive oil from Matera and the Bari area to be distinct, with a sharp taste that kicks in about 10 seconds after you put in in your mouth. It almost burned, I loved it! Also enjoyed some olive oil made in Sorrento, which was mellow and grassy.

                        I assure you I will be back to these stunning towns and their fabulous olive oils, and I slow down long enought to record everything. Thanks again for your advice!

                        1. re: Henrietta Stackpole

                          Thanks and welcome back. The Bari oil was likely made from coratina olives, which do have a sharp, throaty kick, but are also rich and fruity. Puglia is Italy's largest producer of olive oil, by far.