Oh Autumn, how much have we missed you! The rainy days, the laziness to leave the house, just wanting to remain indoors enjoying the sofa and a blanket over you lap. And while the body slowly gets used (or, rather, surrenders) to the daily morning fight against the ‘instinct to hibernate’ around lunch time a sudden enthusiasm overtakes you. Because it’s November. And the new oil is comingto our tables.

This time of the year every meal in any Tuscan household ends with bread and oil. It is not simply a habit, it is actually the body that requires it, craving it as if it were a primary necessity. Hunger, thirst, sleep, and “Fettunta”, that’s what bred with olive oil is called!

Olive oil is the main element of the Mediterranean diet and its beneficial properties have been extensively studied and proven. But we all know that not always what is good for us is also tasty. So why do we like so much bred and olive oil?

Because it’s part of the story of our lives. It helps us mark the seasons, the years, the memories. We travel, we move, we lose ourselves, but the smell and the bitter taste of the oil immediately takes us back home. It’s our madeleine. We have no choice: it is the very oil consistency that makes it so enveloping and not easily to remove. When you prepare a “fettunta” you are entitled to forget your manners and get your hands dirty. And as the ancient Greek athletes oiled their body before starting the competition, we too are getting ready to face any challenge of the day with our fettunta. Some say that an oily mouth never speaks evil, and even though the proverb is used in other contexts, it is true that bread with oil has, among other properties, a calming effect!

A fun and enjoyable way to understand the devotion towards olive oil in Tuscany is to try our tour “Between art and Oil” . You will be accompanied to visit the historic Olive oil mill of Saint Téa in Reggello, situated in the hills of the Florentine province and at the end of the journey through the history of the production of the green gold you will at last be able to taste the famous “Fettunta”!

PH Martin Bauer
Ph. Martin Bauer