Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Making Olive Oil

This past weekend we harvested the olives from the trees in the garden and took them to an oil-mill to be pressed into oil. We only have 16 trees in our yard so it took my husband and a friend just one day to climb into the trees, shake them and pull on the branches to gather the olives. They spread large green nets (see photo above) on the ground below the tree to catch the olives as they fell.
At the mill this machine separates the olives from the leaves and twigs.

This machine grinds the olives down to a paste.

I don't know what this machines does (don't ask difficult questions!), but isn't it shiny?

And, ecco, out comes our extra virgin olive oil for the next year!

16 comments:

Pietro said...

Interesting process: I think your oil is good and tasty, isn't it?

Saretta said...

Very delicious!

Tanya said...

Wow, that was a cool tour, thanks!

marley said...

Olive oil from you own garden! Brilliant! You say for next year, does it mature or is it seperation?

Ann said...

Ooooh yum!

Virginia said...

Oh I want that olive paste to spread on baguettes! I love olives. Send me some???

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

beautiful stuff!

Bibi said...

Wooo, I woulld like to do that. I love olive oil and everything Mediterranean. My husband and I spent three weeks on Corfu last summer, and saw that they spread out nets under the trees for when the olives fall...then I guess they just roll 'em up, and it's off to the press!

(Do you know I have to type ourgyn to leave a comment---our gyn?) Ha, ha

Hilda said...

Cool! Thanks for the interesting and very informative tour! I only ever see them in bottles. ;D

Saretta said...

Tanya & Hilda - you're welcome!

Marley - I meant that we'll be using this oil from now until next fall. The oil is ready for consumption as soon as it's pressed, although the flavor does mellow with age.

Ann & Kiwi - yum is right!

Virginia - I don't know if that olive paste is edible. It's what's left over after they squeeze out the oil.

Bibi - yes, in some places they let the olives fall onto the nets, but not in Molfetta. Here the technique is to lie out the nets only at the moment when you are ready to knock the olives off the tree.

Livio said...

Di passaggio da Andria, sono rimasto impressionato, questa estate, dalla distesa di uliveti di quella parte di Puglia. Per rispondere alla tua domanda "Che festa è in queste foto? giusto x curiosità..." Devo dirti che non c'era, un paio di domeniche fa, alcuna festa particolare, solo una serie di intrattenimenti danzanti nella più grande e bella piazza di Torino.
Amo moltissimo la Puglia (il Gargano e il Salento in particolare) la prossima volta non mancherò una visita nella tua Molfetta di sicuro. Ti ringrazio delle visite e dei commenti.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

nice to read a bit about the process of something I use daily, but have never really thought much about in terms of how it gets from tree fruit to bottle!

the italian market I go to here in cleveland - gallucci's - has it's own label of olive oil that comes from italy - it's divine and affordable. they keep it cloudy though perhaps a little clearer than what's coming out in the last photo.

Tash said...

Thanks for taking us on a tour of a modern pressing process. fascinating.

Ming the Merciless said...

Hmmm...I can smell the peppery virgin olive oil just looking at it.

What happens to the pulp of the olive after pressing? Are the used for anything else?

Patsy said...

No Virginia you can not eat that pulp; it is grouded olive pits.It is like hard sa stone.

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