Libera Terra and Olive Oil tasting at Slow Food UK

Slow Food Norwich together with Slow Food UK held an olive oil tasting and appreciation evening at the Slow food shop in Neals yard Covent Garden on Thursday 15th December. The evening began at 5pm and proved very popular with both the passing tourists in this part of London and many of the locals and office staff.
The extra virgin olive oils which were tasted included oils from Frantoio Montedoro which is from the Le Marche region of Italy, Gozo Cottage olive oil from the Island of Gozo and Cretan diamonds which is a fine olive oil oil from the Island of Crete. All the oils tasted were produced by small artisan producers and are certified as being organically produced.
As well as the five olive oils there was also a small selection of produce and wine from the Libera Terra organisation including an organic olive oil, passata, lemon and orange marmalade crushes and pasta.

Another objective of the evening was to promote the Libera Terra organisation from Sicily and southern Italy in the UK.

Slow Food Italy and the Libera Terra organisation which is based in southern Italy work closely together in many areas related to both food and social projects.
Libera Terra was originally established by the Italian priest Father Luigi Ciotti in March 1995, Libera Terra meaning "Free Land" in Italian. It is an organisation that coordinates the efforts of various Italian entities fighting against organised crime mainly in southern Italy.

The Italian state passed a law in 1996 which grants the use of assets, land and properties confiscated off organised crime, namely the Mafia to social co operatives for a predetermined length of time. Since 1996 more than 4,500 estates, vineyards and properties have been lent to the various co operatives, local groups and student bodies involved in the Libera Terra project.

Libera Terra, a non profit organisation now uses the land that has been confiscated to produce a range of totally organic foods and wines, including olive oil, pasta, marmalades and other fine produce.
They also have many small estates, apartments and villas which they now use as Agriturismi, Bed and Breakfasts and holiday apartments, offering a wide range of holidays, educational tours and visits in Sicily and southern Italy.