The Red Bella di Cerignola Olive
Like its green and black counterparts, who are certainly the same olive, the Red Bella is grown in Puglia, Italy. The curing process is what makes this delicious olive stand apart with its red, red hue.
- The Bella di Cerignola Olive is exclusively grown in the Foggia province of Puglia, Italy. The olives are named for the town in which they originated - Cerignola.
- This tree bears fruit in its fifth year with medium yield productivity and alternating crops from year to year with the approximate annual average per tree being 30 kg.
- Harvest begins as early as the first week of October, yet sometimes a little later and extending through the middle of November, at the latest.
- After standard color and size selection, the olive are placed in a caustic soda, or lye, solution for approximately 10 hours. The olives are then thoroughly washed and put into brine tanks of a 9% salinity for a minimum of four weeks.
- Curing is relatively quick compared to other fermentations because of the caustic soda process, leading to a fresh bite that needs to maintain a pH of 4.2 or less.
- During the process, the Red Bella di Cerignola Olive is dyed with erythrosine, a food coloring. This dying is a patent process of the La Bella di Cerignola Consortium.
- An ovid fruit, slightly asymmetric, the Bella di Cerignola has a rounded apex and a nipple present.
- These olives are cherry red due to their dying process with a green flesh under the skin.
- Size distinguishes this olive, as it is abnormally large in comparison with other varities. There is specific sizing with Bella di Cerignolas, as designated by the DOP (Domination of Origin Protection) with three primary sizes being: GGG (71-80), GG (81-90), and G (91-120).
- The olive's texture is semi-firm, crisp to the bite with yielding flesh. The flavor, due in part to the de-bittering is extremely mild and buttery.
Pairings & Recipe Ideas:
- Cheese pairing: Parmigiano-Reggiano, mozzarella, mild asiago
- Wine pairing: Bardolino
- Italian cured meats: casalingo, Genoa salami
- Crusty breads
Did You Know...?
- Because of its mild flavor, the Bella di Cerignola Olive is often considered a beginner olive.
- All certified (DOP) Bella di Cerignolas are grown within the Foggia province of Puglia, Italy.