Lake Como has a very ancient olive-growing tradition, which certainly dates back to Roman times. Although at a high latitude and outside the Mediterranean habitat, a high quality oil is produced thanks to the particular microclimate of the lake that mitigates the harsh winter temperatures, and to the fertile morainic soils. In 1997, the “Laghi Lombardi” (Lombard Lakes), under the name “Lario” was awarded the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status by the European Union.
The PDO oil of Lario is obtained by crushing the olives harvested by hand or with the help of small mechanical shakers in November. The olives are then cold pressed within three days. This produces an excellent quality oil with a very low level of acidity. The olives are pressed at the two oil mills on the lake: in Lenno, on the western shore of the lake and in Bellano, on the eastern shore. The result is a product with a very balanced flavour, a fruity scent of olives and a sweet taste accompanied by almond hints. It also has a herbaceous perfume with a slightly spicy and bitter aftertaste.