Get ready for some delicious bruschette. Olive season is upon us!
If you live out in the country like me, this time of year it’s all you talk about and all you hear about from friends, family, even fellow moms picking up their kids from school.
“Have you picked yet?”
“How many quintali did you get?” (A quintale equals 100 kgs, ca. 212 lbs.)
“What’s your yield this year?” (liters of oil per kg. of olives)
“This year the olives are smaller/bigger, don’t you think?”
And how can we forget the most worrisome thing about olive season: “Quest’anno è passata “la mosca”!” (that darn insect that likes to drill holes into my precious olives, making them shrivel up and fall off the plant . . . argh!)
Olives are picked by hand or with the help of a tool that shakes the branches so that the olives fall onto nets that you’ve strategically placed under the tree. Picking is time-comsuming but it’s all worth it to have your very own cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Olive oil is in basically every single Italian recipe, a true staple of the Mediterranean diet, therefore it simply has to be good. The best oil is obtained by the “metodo a freddo” (usually never over 80 °F / 27 °C), which presses the olives while keeping acidity low and retaining essential vitamins and nutrients.
If you don’t have olive trees, never fear. You can bring your own glass bottle and fill up directly at the frantoio (mill). The one in my neighborhood sells this year’s olive oil for 8 Euros per litre. Hurry while supplies last (and before the end of November, when Mario closes up the frantoio until next year)!
Buona degustazione! (Happy tasting!)