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We can think of no more perfect, effortlessly simple aperitivo than a glass of your favorite wine and a little dish of olives. Unless of course, you’d like to whip up the world’s perfect Martini, in which case, go ahead and garnish your glass with those olives...
But they can also be used to add outstanding umami flavor to a whole variety of dishes - mix them into salads or pasta, slice them as a garnish for baked fish or fold them into a thick and spongy focaccia. And since olives contain all the outstanding health benefits we associate with olive oil - healthy fats, antioxidants, and polyphenols - you’ll be thinking of your own ways to add more Bella di Cerignola to your life.
The cultivar takes its name from the town of Cerignola, near Foggia in the region of Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot and a veritable olive paradise: acre after acre of olive groves dating back hundreds of years and stretching as far as the eye can see. Originally from Spain, these olives arrived in Puglia in 1500 - when Puglia was under the rule of the Spanish empire - and found their perfect habitat. Hot, dry, breezy summers and cool winters provide the perfect growing conditions, allowing the Bella di Cerignola to grow to become the world’s largest olive.
The Fratepietro family business was founded in 1890 by Giovanni Fratepietro, and today is run by Giovanni’s great-grandson Andrea. He and his father Giovanni oversee the entire production process, ensuring these olives are among the best you can find on the world market. They are perfectly shaped Bella di Cerignola are carefully picked in October at ideal maturity, sorted by size and gently rinsed several times in a soda wash to take away any trace of bitterness. Finally they are soaked in a brine made with local salt from the nearby Margherita di Savoia nature preserve. The salt will naturally protects the olives without impacting their perfectly balanced flavor.