orWine Tastings in the Comfort of you own villa or B&B while on holiday in Tuscany or Liguria
To book an informative and fun wine tasting whilst holidaying in Italy or arrange for a wild food walk in your area contact me on tuscanytipple at libero dot it or check out my Facebook page
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
At the Frantoio Part 1
we finally got a whole day's worth of olive picking in on Tuesday, the day before we were due at the frantoio, the olive mill. Here are some views of my co-workers as seen from the top of a tree:
Anyway they got there without me having to send out the search troops. We unloaded the car onto the scales:
Let me take you through the process at the frantoio. Unfortunately they no longer have the old stone presses to grind your olives. They are only left as reminders of more romatic times:
First the olives get separated from any leaves and stalks you may have been mixing in with them:
This is what it looks like from the inside:
Finally they are pumped into the press where the oil is separated from all the other components:
This is an overview of the control centre:
This whole process takes a little over an hour, during which time you wait in anticipation:
Finally the green liquid appears:
and you gather it in your containers:
Finally the result, but... big disappointment! This year's resa or oil content is a mere 10 % as opposed to last year's nearly 20%. This means out of every 10kg of olives you get only 1 litre of oil. Hardly more than last year, even though we have gathered twice as many olives!
Apparently we are not the only ones with that problem. All that recent rain has meant that, whilst the olives looked nice and big, even healthy (apparently olive flies don't like the rain much either, as we haven't noticed any signs of an attack at all), most of it is just water bloating up the fruit.
And the taste test? Not as good as last year. If you want to be kind you could call it 'delicate', but frankly it's rather on the thin and short side. It has some fruity and grassy notes, but much less of the spicy notes we had last year. And, so far at least, still not enough to last us through the year.
We are looking to get another appointment mid-December, but I can't help feeling quite disappointed. The cost of the pressing and the petrol for going up to Popetto a few times and then to the frantoio works out at the same price as some cheap supermarket oil, and whilst the quality is better than that, it's not exactly exceptional. The vagaries of nature... At least we know WE made our own oil.
So any helpXer's out there wanting to help gather our harvest mid-December, as Cat will be leaving us tomorrow. We've got quite used to having her around and she was definitely a help achieving what we did. So thank you Cat, come back any time (in 3 weeks would be good... :) )