Extra Virgin Olive Oil: gold into the kitchen
Olive harvest & Oil production
Olive oil is produced from olives and it is a precious and fundamental ingredient for the Mediterranean diet. For those who want to drizzle it over their dishes, olive oil makes them healthier, tastier and more nutritious.
There are several steps to get this gold bottled. It begins with the harvest that starts in October and it ends in December of each year. Our olive trees are a few kilometres away from holiday houses Residence BfB San Marco. There are around 200 of them, and of course you can visit and take part to the olive harvest 😏
The olive harvest can be done either mechanically, by a machine that “hugs and shakes” the olive trees, or manually. Here in Sciacca like in most parts of Italy, the harvest is carried out manually. Farmers are involved in first person in olive harvesting in fact, they use networks on the ground to make sure that olives do not go to waste. Manual labour allows a more optimal choice of olives, as the growers personally choose the best ones, discarding those ones that are not good for oil production.
Once the olives are harvested, farmers put them in small boxes and take them to the oil mill, where they weigh them box by box in order to have an estimate of the harvest.
After removing all leaves and dirt, the olives get washed via a procedure of immersion in a tub of water or using special mechanical washers that keep the liquid moving: because of the quality of the product, it is good that the water is changed often.
The milling or pressing is a mechanical process done inside the crusher or oil mill that is used to extract the “raw” olive oil and it’s the first real phase of olive oil extraction: it’s the moment when olives become oil paste through mechanical action, a mass composed of a solid part (fruit of kernels, peels and pulp) and a liquid part, the juice of the olives.
The kneading is instead the process that, through a machine called “gramola“, it separates oil and paste, collecting the liquid in larger drops thanks to a slow movement of the mass, where the water tends to separate spontaneously. It is a key moment in the processing of olive oil, which somehow will decide on quality, taste and quantity.
The extraction is the process where you can see a product as the olive oil: the traditional method involves extraction by centrifuge and is also known as a decanter.
The last step of olive oil production is the separation of oil and water, this one is separated mechanically thanks to centrifugal separators, which perform the separation due to the high speed rotation and at the end you can finally see it: the olive oil.
The oil obtained from the separation process is the finished product; however, it’s “turbid” because of the natural solid residue contained within it. For this reason, it generally let it rest before placing it on the market. We let it rest for several months in special temperature-controlled steel drums and let the product become clear in a natural way. In spring, we bottle our BfB San Marco extra virgin olive oil in bottles that preserve its taste, colour and aroma.
We will be waiting for you to follow us to the next olive harvest and to taste our certificate EVO oil! Don’t miss the opportunity to cook yourself one Sicilian dish, where the main character is our olive oil: “pane cunzato”