The unusual name of this variety comes from its traditional method of preparation. Before being eaten, the olives had to be cured, “ndosse,” softened with lye and then pure water, as linguist Gennaro Finamore explained in his 1880 Abruzzian dictionary.
The olives are oval in shape with a small protuberance at the bottom, medium in size and weighing around 3 to 4 grams each. The table olives are prepared using the so-called “Sivigliano” system, which involves lactic fermentation. The pieces of fruit are washed several times, then left to ferment in brine for around ten days.
The Intosso trees are scattered throughout a number of municipalities in the Maiella foothills, but are particularly common in the unique agricultural landscape of the Laroma plain, in the municipality of Casoli, an area whose soil is rich in limestone gravel. Here, on this 300-hectare plateau overlooking the town, at the foot of the Maiella, the Intosso variety has found its ideal environment. The tree is small, tolerant of snow and cold temperatures, and has adapted to live in the few centimeters of loose earth that characterize the plain; indeed, it struggles to produce much fruit at altitudes below 350 meters. Until a few years ago, the olives that did not reach their optimal size were milled into oil along with other varieties. Now, a significant share of the harvest is turned into a single-variety oil, with excellent results. Intosso extra-virgin olive oil is characterized by an intense green fruit aroma, with notes of cut grass and freshly picked artichokes. The strong flavor perfectly balances bitterness and piquancy, with hints of green peppercorns, fresh walnut and sometimes tomato leaves.
The olives for eating are harvested from the end of September, while the olives for oil production are harvested from late October.
Laroma plain, Casoli municipality, Chieti province, Abruzzo region
Presidium supported by
Municipality of Casoli
Contrada Piano Laroma, 3
tel. +39 0872 982248
Trappeto di Caprafico
Località Caprafico, 35
tel. +39 0871 897457
tel. +39 337 912814
Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
tel. +39 0871 897457