Casal Cristiana is the name of the villa of our first Italian home and where we drew inspiration to start making olive oil and importing to America. Our current home is only minutes away from where it all began which is a lovely villa with its olive grove perched above the Adriatic Sea in the region of Le Marche of central Italy. Our olive trees thrive in this region, their limbs blowing in the soft breezes from the Adriatic Sea quietly keep the fruit cool for optimum ripening. Extra virgin olive oil has always been a staple in our home. Our label showcases the view from our first home with a breathtaking panorama of olive groves, Torre di Palme and the Adriatic Sea.
Specifically, our olives grow along the Fermana coastline near Porto San Giorgio. This is one of the original towns that participated in the now famous Seven Countries Study. It is through this report, the term “Mediterranean Diet” was originally coined. This was the first research determining that a diet high in healthy fats – such as olive oil – and less animal fat – such as butter, contributed to lower mortality rates due to less cardiovascular disease and other maladies. Since 1958, ongoing research continues to support its findings.
For thousands of years extra virgin olive oil was prized in Italy because of its quality and varietals that are unique to this region. It is documented from medieval times that the Florentines and Venetians consistently asked for oil from the Marche for their households because of its superior virtues of taste and color. Frantoio, leccino, carboncella, and muraiolo are the olive varietals used to comprise our low acid, buttery and flavorful olive oil.
Situated about an hour away from the Ponzi family Italian origins, our trees grow on the grand, rolling hills overlooking the Adriatic Sea. It is this combination of sandy soil, mild ocean breezes, long warm summers and sustainable farming practices that produces this premium extra virgin olive oil we are now offering to America.
All olive oil is not created equal due to harvest methods, timing, farming practices, climate and micro-climates, terrain and production techniques. All of these components determine its quality and category. The health benefits of olive oil greatly discussed is from extra virgin olive oil. Other grades do not carry the same health benefits. Consumer education regarding labeling and authenticating extra virgin olive oil is on the rise as interest grows.
While there is massive potential for growth within the U.S. market there is also a need to create structure for the olive oil industry so that it can provide quality and consistency for optimum health to its end user – the consumer. As scientific research continues to uncover the numerous health benefits of consuming extra virgin olive oil, health and food producers are jumping on the marketing wagon to sell yet another “miracle” food. While we want to share with you the health benefits, our focus is enjoyment of quality food. Through our experience in the food and wine industry (Ponzi Vineyards, Bridgeport Brewing, and The Dundee Bistro), we strive to be a source consumers can trust for quality food products. Beyond the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil is its taste and importance in the kitchen.
We hope you will follow along through our blog and newsletters to learn more about the olive oil industry, labeling, health benefits and new ways to use olive oil. We have created the brand Casal Cristiana to produce a premium extra virgin olive oil for your enjoyment. It is our desire to provide a product you can trust, so if you are seeking to improve your health through diet and other healthy activities in your life, you can be assured that our olive oil is real and not diluted, nor chemically enhanced. While there are numerous health reasons to use extra virgin olive oil, there’s simply one good reason we use it --- it’s flavorful, complex and elevates an ordinary meal. A highly versatile kitchen staple – extra virgin olive oil is a must for every well-stocked pantry.