Oliva Ascolana del Piceno DOP is an olive, in brine or stuffed, made in Marche and Abruzzo using the fruit of the Ascolana Tenera olive tree. Thanks to the closeness to the sea, the climate in this area makes it possible to grow excellent olives, big, soft, sweet and rich in flesh.
They were regarded as a delicacy by the Romans, and they were sung also by Cato; Giuseppe Garibaldi tried them during a short stay in the region and was delighted.
The Oliva Ascolana in brine has a yellowish green color, a peculiar fermented smell and an acidic taste with a slightly bitter aftertaste. It is picked before ripeness, and passes through some steps to remove its bitter taste and finally put in brine with some wild fennel.
Stuffed Oliva Ascolana is a particular kind of the olive in brine, which is pitted, filled with meat, coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried. It is an exquisite dish unique in the whole world! Its origins trace back to the beginnings of the 1800s, when cooks of rich families came up with this recipe as a way to reuse the leftover meats of banquets.
This one of the most representative dishes of the Piceno area: it is found on every corner in the city of Ascoli, and it is a must ion the table of Ascoli citizens during festivities, when their preparation is a real ritual. They can be served as an appetizer, or they can be the main course of the meal as well: they are often server with other fried vegetables, traditionally artichokes and zucchini, or with crema fritta (deep fried cream), creating an interesting contrast between sweet and salted.