The Itrana olive cultivar
The Itrana olive cultivar is a typical variety of the province of Latina, where the temperate climate and the ph of the soil allow its optimal development. It is particularly appreciated because of the fruit generally used for the production of table olives, but also for extra virgin olive oil. The berry in fact reaches the maximum weight of 8 grams, which is why it takes on different territorial names such as Oliva Grossa, or Trana and Esperia. Like all regional varieties, each species differs according to the environmental conditions and pollinators that are used. In the case of this variety, the cultivar prefers hilly areas, possibly sloping, and as sterile they are the pollinators to give different aromas to the production of oil, different colors to the berry, different sizes.
Regarding the botanical characteristics, the first element to be emphasized concerns the level of growth of the plant. The species in fact has a vigorous development, especially with particularly fertile soils, which gives the plant a thick crown and pendulous fruiting branches. The internodes have different lengths, while the leaves denote a lanceolate shape of size between 5 and 6 centimeters. The little fingers are characterized by a length ranging from 2 to 2.5 centimeters, they develop within a number of flowers between 10-15, and the time of flowering takes a period of about 20 days. Its proximity to the Mediterranean scrub and mixed holm oak woods affects the production of the oil that preserves the aromas typical of the most common herbaceous species.
Olive variety itrana
This variety characterizes for its property of auto-incompatible species. Thanks to its free pollination, and to the strong winds that blow over the Pontine Hills, a place of cultivation, the plant develops a high setting after flowering. The drupe is spherical, of medium size and can count on a slightly conical apex. When the drupe reaches its maximum ripeness, it takes on an intense red color. Furthermore, the drupes are characterized by a late ripening and with the modality that can be defined to climb. This allows the olive growers to prolong the harvesting activity and preserve the organoleptic characteristics of the oil produced. The olives harvested that come together in the production of table olives, are preserved through the process of natural fermentation in brine. This process is called the itrana system. The harvest usually takes place in the months between November and December.
The cultivation of table olives and the transformation of the berry into oil, take on a very important commercial aspect for the territory in which the processing takes place. Over the last few years, in fact, there has been a continual increase in the number of different farms, which are not limited to the production of these olives, but they also operate the processing, packaging and release of the olives themselves. This commercial development has therefore brought about a marked increase in skilled labor, able to operate strict controls on the final product and therefore a higher quality of production. The most important cultivation of olives belonging to this variety can certainly be connected to the area between the municipalities of Itri, Cori, Rocca Massima and Sonnino. Moreover, many of the subjects operating in these areas are organized or in a series of individual firms, or have formed cooperatives.