If you have a passion for the very best of Italian extra-virgin olive oils, and especially organic extra virgin olive oils you won't want to miss this chat with the mother and son owners of the generations old Erredi Perrone organic olive oil producer in Puglia. It's the first year the Erredi Perrone olive oil company appears in the 2020 Gambero Rosso olive oil guide with a prized three leaf rating, although they have been in a number of other top olive oil guides for years including Flosoleil and Biol.
By the way, Gambero Rosso also does wonderful Italian food and wine guides each year.
Erredi Perrone is owned by Silvana and her sister Flavia, but it's Silvana‘s son Arrigo who is the energy behind the company. His passion for Erredi Perrone extra-virgin organic olive oil came from his father who was instrumental in transforming the company into a high-quality extra virgin organic olive oil producer.
Arrigo‘s father Gianni passed away some years back. It was after his retirement that he took his passion for olive oil, and his wife’s company, and turned it into a top quality extra-virgin organic olive oil producer.
Gianni had a passion not just for olive oil, but for all things relating to Italian cuisine and when he was still working as an engineer for the Olivetti company he spent his free time cooking and creating recipes. For a few years the family lived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania while Gianni was on an international assignment with Olivetti. His passion for Italian cuisine and his recipes was noted in culinary circles in the United States. In 1970 a New York Times article written by renowned food journalist and cookbook author Craig Claiborne featured Gianni and some of his favorite recipes.
Arrigo lives in Rome with his family and works full-time as a pediatric dentist. About 50% of the company's olive oil production is sold to dental clients who have tasted the oil and have become customers for life: the oil is that good! You can also purchase Erredi Perrone olive oil in Rome from a few restaurants and Vivi Bistrot is the best source. And of course you can purchase the olive oil directly from Arrigo: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Erredi Perrone company has 1000 trees and each tree is 10 m from the next adjacent tree. This helps the plants grow healthy and strong because each tree gets plenty of sunshine and air circulation.
You might be wondering how an organic producer handles issues like insect infestation, in particular flies that deposit their larvae right into the tree’s fruit, the olives. Obviously pesticides are not an option for an organic producer but certainly the 10 m distance between trees helps. In addition Arrigo places buckets around the trees with a natural hormone that attracts the flies and in part this combats unwanted insects.
If you have olive oil trees, or other fruit trees and garden plants, you can make your own organic fly traps with simple ingredients you probably have at home.
Arrigo has two sons and he says the olive oil passion is gradually transmitting to them too. Arrigo says it’s almost inevitable because when you are in Puglia on the land with these gorgeous, ancient olive trees you can’t help but be captivated by the olive oil passion.
Arrigo spends a lot of his free time in Puglia following the health and care of his trees, and then of course at harvest time. Once he retires he envisions spending more time in Puglia. Probably not full-time but certainly a lot more than he’s able to spend in Puglia now. The Peris don't have a home on their land but stay instead in Acquaviva delle Fonti where the family has a modern apartment as well as a historic palazzo, soon to be restored.
There are many olive varietals throughout Puglia and Italy; the varietal on the Erredi Perrone Estate is coratina which takes its name from the southeastern Pugliese town, Corato.
Here’s some additional information about Italian extra-virgin olive oil and some of the better known Italian olive oil varietals, including coratina.
Here are some wonderful experiences and tours:
If you'd like to learn more about extra-virgin olive oil in general check out this article.
You also might want to check out Extra Virginity, by Tom Mueller, full of some unexpected information about olive oil.
The best recipes that take full advantage of great olive oil are ones like this Bread and Tomato Appetizer. Also, there are many olive oil containers on the market to choose from.
Are you tantalized by Puglia? Then join me on my May 2021 trip to Puglia!