The Romans loved the olives from Piceno. In Medieval times, the Olivetani monks invented a special brine in which to best conserve them. No ordinary variety of olive, the Tenera Ascolana is now the undisputed symbol of the province of Ascoli Piceno. In the 18th century, an anonymous cook had the idea of stuffing the generously sized olives with a mixture of meats and cheese and then frying them in oil. Thus, the oliva ripiena all'ascolana was born. In 2005, the delicacy was awarded DOP status. A fantastic antipasto, when served together with fried artichokes, zucchini and bite-size pieces of lamb, Ascoli Piceno's stuffed olives are a great main course too.