Pian di Boccio was originally founded in the 1980s as a campground. In 2001, the agriturismo (bed and breakfast) Belsito was added. The entire property includes approximately 175 acres of forests, olive, nut and fruit tree groves, vegetable gardens and the campground.
Since the beginning, we have produced extra virgin olive oil. We also introduced a variety of fruit marmalades, pickled vegetables and tomato sauces.
Our products are made with the same techniques used by our grandparents and are completely natural and free of preservatives.
80% of the dishes served in our restaurant are made with food grown on the property.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Extra virgin olive oil can only be obtained during the pressing of the olives and is consumed directly without any additional modification or processing. Like other oils and fats, extra virgin olive oil is made from approximately 98% triglycerides. This includes oleic acid (65-80%) and monounsaturated fatty acids. It also contains, in small but significant quantities, numerous natural components derived from the olive fruit (Olea Europea).
With respect to seed oils which contain poly-unsaturated fat, extra virgin olive oil is incomparable: it oxidizes less because it is rich in mono-unsaturated fats and is the only oil extracted solely with mechanical procedures (pressing, centrifuging).
We begin the olive harvest in mid-October to assure that the oil, pressed in cold temperatures, will have a low acidity of 0.1%. By law, the acidity of extra virgin olive oil must be below 1%. The lower the acid content, the better the quality.
We have approximately 5,000 olive trees and the harvest is completed partially by hand and partially by a machine which shakes the tree trunks and catches the falling olives in a sort of upside-down umbrella. This technique cannot be used with young trees or in areas where the trees have grown too close together.
A small portion of the olives harvested are sold or served at our restaurant, the rest are used to produce olive oil.
Before the olives are pressed, the leaves and stems are removed and the olives are washed. The pressing is completed in the following four stages:
1) Grinding to form a paste comprised of oil, water and solids
2) Mixing to form a pulp
3) Extraction to separate the water/oil emulsion from the solids (skins, seeds, pit fragments)
4) Separation by centrifuge of the oil from the water
In Umbria there are many varieties of olive trees. Our groves contain three types: Leccino, Frantoiano and Moraiolo, which produce oils ranging from delicate to strong in flavor. Leccino is more delicate and is recommended for fish dishes; Moraiolo is stronger and makes wonderful bruschetta. We sell bottles of each oil but also a blend of all three oils which can be used for all types of cooking.
Pickled vegetables and sauces:
With our vegetables harvested at full maturity in season, we make delicious pickled vegetables and sauces. We have Sicilian caponata (a family recipe made with eggplant), vegetables, onions, basil, black olives and tomato sauce (several kinds, including spicy and for pizza). All of the ingredients come from our farm, including the extra virgin olive oil we produce.
Preparation begins with the cleaning and cutting of the vegetables. The ingredients (all listed on the labels) are mixed and brought to boiling in large pots. After 10 minutes the mixture is canned in hermetically sealed bottles.
The preparation of the caponata is a bit different. First the eggplant are washed and cut into pieces. After being salted to remove extra water, the eggplant is fried in peanut oil, drained and set aside. Next, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil and basil are sautéed together. Tomato sauce and black and green olives are then added along with the eggplant and the whole mixture is brought to boil. When cooking is complete, the caponata is canned.
With regard to black olives, they are washed and placed in large barrels with salt and are mixed on a daily basis. After 10 days, they are washed again and left to dry. Once dry, they are ready to be bottled with extra virgin olive oil. The best way to enjoy the olives at home is to add crushed garlic, oregano and lemon or orange zest immediately before eating. We do not add these condiments during packaging as they can darken. Fresh is better!
Preparation of the bottled basil begins with careful washing of the leaves following by drying. They are then bottled in alternating layers with “sale grosso” (coarse salt) and extra virgin olive oil.
Like with the vegetables, our fruit is harvested at full maturity and makes delicious marmalades and jams. We have many of the traditional flavors including apricot, pear, apple, peach, cherry and prune as well as several mixtures (pear with grape and apple with grape). We also have new recipes that are delicious served with cheeses – green tomatoes, winter squash, onions, peppers and watermelon.
The preparation of the marmalades begins with the cleaning and cutting of the fruit. Sugar equaling approximately 20-30% of the weight of the fruit is added and the mixture is boiled followed immediately by canning.
In every case, be it for the olives, the sauces or the marmalades, the glass bottles used for canning are placed in boiling water and then in special boxes to cool slowly to room temperature. This system allows for a freshness seal that allows long-term storage without loss of color, taste or scent and without the use of preservatives.
Our products are not yet certified “organic” but we guarantee our clients the absence of preservatives or additives.