La Bella della Daunia DOP
La Bella della Daunia is a table olive (not suitable for oil production), obtained through the processing of the Bella di Cerignola olive cultivar and it represents one of the typical products of the Mediterranean diet. It is cultivated in the area of Cerignola, in the Province of Foggia, in the region called Tavoliere delle Puglie, an entirely level land in the North of Puglia, called Daunia in the past and already famous for its quality DOP products as Arancia del Gargano and Canestrato Pugliese. It is on the plain that this olive variety finds the best conditions to grow and become tasty. The cultivation and diffusion of this olive is very old, but it was only at the end of the XIX century that it had a boom with a huge quantity exported in the United States inside typical 5-10 Kg wooden containers called “Cugnett”, efficiently used to promote the olives for domestic use.
All over the XX century it went through a number of technical studies and received many acknowledgements as one of the best olives in the Mediterranean area and in the world. Finally in 2000 it got the European DOP label.
Cerignola olive is big, with a stretched shape, fleshy and with a thin pellicle. It is resistant to handlings and conservation. The taste is full and savoury. It is usually processed as a green olive, but in recent years, considering the requests, it also got results in the black version.
From the gastronomic point of view this olive, mainly the green one, is the queen of aperitifs. Thanks to its fleshiness it can be tasted alone, without cooking, but it can also be used in different recipes, mainly in the black version, as first courses with tomato sauce, olives and capers, or main courses with meat or fish as coniglio alla cacciatora (rabbit stewed in a tomato, wine and herb sauce) or sea bream with tomato and olives.