"Olive Harvest and Making Oil" Calasetta Travelogue by giampiero6
Calasetta Travel Guide: 29 reviews and 98 photos
Here we are engrossed in the fun task of picking olives. Industrially large nets and shakers are used to dislodge the olives. We used out hands cause the trees were low and we were having fun just chatting in the nice weather and picking. For oil, olives are generally picked when they are green. This yield less oil, but the oil has a much lower acidity and has a fresh fruity flavor. We collected about 275 Kilos of Olives which we brought to a nearby olive press for our oil.
Here olives are placed on a conveyor belt and are washed on their way to being mashes. You'll notice some dark olives here, and that's cause they're not the olives we picked, but the guy in front of us.
Here our olives are being ground into a thick paste. The aroma at this point of fresh fragrant olives is pretty wonderful. The mash is a lovely bright green color.
The first filtration and separation. In this press process, the cold water is used to extract oil from the wtery liquid of the skins and pits. The brighter green next to the red part is oil the darker near the blue is watery remainders.
Second filtration. At this point the oil is filtered again before being expelled for bottling. This is extra virgin olive oil...it's just oil. In some oils, the watery substance and the left over mash is used again and again and every ounce is extracted. The quality is lower, but it's useful for lower grade cooking oil.
Into the pitcher. The oil looks so nice when it comes out. It's fresh and fragrant and if you dip your finger in and have a taste, you'll be surprised at how strong and flavorful the oil is. Most 'extra virgin' oil you buy in the store is the pressed and re-pressed kind with a little coloring.
Different types of olive render different percentages of oil per kilo of olive and different types of oil. Olives grow from Sicily in the South to the mountainous shores of Lake Garda in the North of Italy. A good percentage is about 16-17%, ours were about 12-13% but the quality was very high.
This man is very happy and proud of the fruits of his labor :-)
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