Probably introduced to the island by the Greeks, this cultivar is highly appreciated for the fleshiness of its fruits which can be cured and enjoyed in a variety of recipes, as well as used to obtain a very fine extra virgin olive oil that is very low in acidity. It is widely grown in the Trapani area, particularly in the surroundings of Castelvetrano, Campobello di Mazara and Partanna, but it can also be found in the areas of Palermo and Agrigento. Harvested when the drupes are still quite green, Nocellara oil offers a delightfully fruity, spicy and slightly bitter aroma.

Nocellara is without doubt the best known and most sought-after Sicilian native, so much so that it has received its own DOP certification in 1998. It is known locally by the names Oliva di Mazara or Castelvetrano, Tonda and Trapanese – and it is typically very large in size. The Nocellara trees, on the other hand, are usually quite small but very hardy and highly adaptable to a variety of different environmental conditions.

Tasting notes and nutritional profile

The oil obtained from Nocellara olives generally ranges in colour from yellow to intense green, while its overall acidity is very low, never exceeding 0.5%. The nose is mild and fruity with notes of almond, green tomato, cut grass, artichoke and aromatic herbs. The taste is bitter, slightly spicy and with a hint of sweetness.