The Iconic Taggiasca Olive

Taggiasca.

Taggiasca olives are one of the most prized varieties of Italian olives. Practically synonymous with the region of Liguria, taggiasca olives are a defining ingredient in Ligurian cuisine, think Pesto Genovese; it just wouldn’t be the same without a strong dose of taggiasca extra virgin olive oil.

These olives grow in the north. While most of Italy’s famous olive varieties are cultivated in central and southern Italy, taggiasca olives grow in the northwest.

Liguria is taggiasca olive country. Taggiasca olive groves line the small strip of land that connects Italy to France, from the Alps to the sea.

The microclimate in Liguria is remarkable. The seaside breezes and calcium-rich soil are responsible for this olive’s unique and amazing flavor profile.

These olives are picked exclusively by hand. Taggiasca olives are known for growing on hilly terrain with steep inclines. The only way to harvest these olives is by hand.

The Benza family is a Taggiasca family. Mother and son team, Claretta and Gigi Benza, are experts of cultivating, milling, and curing taggiasca olives. Located in Imperia, their family has been working with this world-famous olive variety since 1853 and they are an authority on everything taggiasca.

Taggiasca, both for olive oil and table olives. Taggiasca olives are celebrated both as EVOO and as table olives. Taggiasca EVOO is famous for being mild and smooth. While on the other hand, as a table olive, the taggiasca variety is known for its strong bitter flavor.