Pieve dei Santi Giovanni ed Ermolao
- 7 May 2021
- Activ holidays, Holiday, holiday with children, Holiday with pet, Italian life, towns, visit Tuscany
As Angelica wrote in a blog a few years ago, it isn’t difficult to see nets and families do harvest in olive groves in October/November, so that they can bring the new oil from their own production to the table.
Here in Tuscany, but in Italy in general, extra virgin olive oil is neither missing on the table nor (in storage quantities) in the cupboard. And it is certainly one of the products that we are particularly proud of, not only in tourism, but also among ourselves.
But the question is, how is His Majesty created? How is the potion of eternal youth made?
To answer this question, we went to Alessandro in the “Frantoio la Visona” in Pieve di Compito. Alessandro explained to me in detail how to cold-press the olives using the millstones as before.
Let’s start by saying how the precious wording can be used. According to European legislation, an oil must meet certain quality standards to be called “extra virgin olive oil”. The acid content in the oil must never exceed 0.8% and must only be obtained through mechanical processes and then only cold-pressed once.
After harvesting, the olives must be brought to the mill in 24 hours.
Outside of the oil mills, it is not uncommon to find api loaded with
baskets or to see someone unloading them with great difficulty. First you weigh the baskets, then you start!
In the first machine, the leaves are blown off and the olives washed. At this point an olive paste is made, which consists of the pulp, the core and the peel.
Frantoio la Visona takes this step in two phases to speed up times. The first with a machine and the second with the stone mill.
Finally, we come to extraction, which is the heart of the process. The oil paste is distributed on synthetic fiber discs. These discs are stacked, positioned in the press and pressed with an average pressure of 400 atm. During this process, the paste is separated from the oily must made of oil and water.
The last step can be done in two ways: by a centrifuge or by decanting.
When you are decanting, you simply wait that the oil separate itself from the water. The centrifuge speeds up the process by separating the oil from the water.
Absolutely nothing is thrown away during the extraction process.
The leaves and the water divided by the oil are used as fertilizer, while the olive paste can be used in more ways. To produce pomace oil, as fuel in biomass boilers or for fermentation processes to produce biogas.
Liquid gold can be eaten in the kitchen or simply on a slice of bread as a bruschetta!
The new oil, “Olio novo” as we call it here in Tuscany, is tastier, a little bit spicy and opaque. After a few months, it will lose its sharpness, become clear and shiny as we are used to see it.
A big thank you clearly goes to Alessandro and to the whole Frantoio la Visona, for keeping the tradition alive and having put up with me, my questions and my photos. They sell of course extra virgin olive oil and offer tastings by reservation. For information contact them or ask us without any problems!
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