Oil freaks such as you and I are always eager to learn new details of how the liquid gold we cherish makes it to our table. In the next few lines I will tell you about the extraction process used to obtain olive oil. You will learn why it is of such high quality, but also how innovation continues to respect tradition.
I have chosen a picture of an old mill to illustrate this post as a metaphor of the craft and mastery of old applied to modern times, because the process really hasn't changed that much over the centuries. Let's go:
PRESSED AND STIRRED
Once the harvest has ended and the best olives are selected, the extraction process begins. Our raw material, gathered from olive trees while the olives are still green to ensure maximum quality, should not be stored for more than just a few hours, in order to avoid the commencement of fermentation.
In the oil mill, the olives are crushed, including the olive pits. Next the stirring process begins, agitating the product obtained from the pressing in order to separate the oil from all the solid particles. This is a key procedure, because the temperature must not exceed 27° C (80° F) in order to maintain all the benefits and the maximum quality of the oil.
The next step in the process of extracting the oil is centrifugation. The purpose is to separate any excess water and residue. Here machines work at full throttle to achieve a premium result.
Last of all comes the decanting process. This is done to do away with any remaining water in the oil, and finally we have a high quality extra virgin olive oil.
As you can see, each of these stages is essential and a series of specific steps must be taken to ensure that the end product is exceptional. This is how they do it at Carapelli, where they showed me the entire process in detail and meet their commitment to certified quality. Now it's time to bid you farewell till the next post. Sorry you can't join me--I'm about to indulge in the taste of the finest olive oil.