Eating and gastronomy
As with the Mediterranean in general, olive oil production is an iconic industry in the Var, produced by 142 villages (out of 153)! At least 32 varieties of olive are grown in the department, of which some are unique to the area, for example the rare La Belgentiéroise, a green, elongated olive with a firm flesh, excellent for cooking.
Established around 10 years ago, the ‘Provence Olive Oil’ appellation is a recognition of the excellence of this produce from a typical area: Provence. This oil contains many varieties of olive, so each bottle is unique.
Apart from its exceptional taste and aroma, olive oil is globally endorsed for its health benefits, aiding digestion, helping to prevent heart disease and protecting the human brain from ageing.
OIL MILLS AND OLIVE-GROWING ESTATES .
The Var is the department with the largest number of oil mills, with 41 mills, including 25 cooperative and communally-owned mills.
Although some of the mills are decidedly modern, others remain faithful to their roots. Some mills offer guided tours of the mill and olive groves.
Old mills to visit: Partégal mill in La Farlède, Flayosquet mill in Flayosc, Callas mill and the former oil mill turned into a museum.
Various modern mills are also open to the public, in order to learn more about the production process, such as the Domaine de Taurenne (olive grove also open to the public) or the Gervasoni oil mill in Aups, the Moulin du Haut Jasson in La Londe-les-Maures, Le Clos Saint-Martin in Roquebrune-sur-Argens, and many more.
For fans of Provençal history and tradition, the beautiful museums of Popular Art and Traditions will explain olive production, the life of local people, with beautiful pieces of the mill.
OLIVE TREE FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
In the Var, many villages organise festivals and events to celebrate the olive tree and olive. Here are some of the main ones:
Olive Festival – Varages – March
Olive Festival – Rayol-canadel-sur-Mer – April
Olive Tree Festival – Aups – April
Olive Festival – Draguignan – June
Olive Tree Festival – Tavernes – 1st Sunday in September
Olive Tree Festival – Ollioules – 1st weekend in October
Olive Tree Festival – Le Val – December