Saturday, April 21, 2012

Jet Set Friday: Olive Oil Making Process at the Manestrini Frantoio

Happy Weekend Everyone!

We absolutely love our new apartment here in Basel and decided that we needed to celebrate. We had a wonderful evening tonight with some of our favorite friends here in Switzerland! Danny and I hosted a small get-together at our new apartment, and I made tons of appetizers as well as chocolate mocha mousse for a sweet ending!

One of my favorite appetizers from the night was fresh olives, olive oil and bread. I have always loved the taste of olives and olive oil, and I have always wondered how olives were pressed into olive oil.

A few months ago, I was given the chance to visit a frantoio in Northern Italy and see the process of olive oil making. Last year my aunt created her own online business, called Ortenisa Blu, which imports olive oils and other Italian-made products in to the United States. I tagged along on one of my aunt's business trips to visit her main distributor of olive oil, the Manestrini Frantoio. The Manestrini family was gracious enough to let us tour their small factory while they produced fresh olive oil. It was absolutely fascinating to see how quality olive oil is produced.

Here are some pictures from the olive oil process:

This is an olive tree. Some of the olive trees on the Manestrini property (Residence San Rocco) are as old as a couple hundred years.

Olives on the olive tree.

One of the workers uses a claw device to shake the olives from the branches.

That's a lotta olives!

The olives now begin the long (actually relatively short) process of becoming oil.

Here the olives are separated from stems and leaves, while also being washed. After this, they are ground and pressed (I did not take pictures of that machine. There wasn't really anything cool to see.)

Fresh olive oil! I tasted this raw olive oil, and it was absolutely fantastic! Yes, I realize it's chartreuse green, but it takes about 1-3 months for it to turn to the color we associate with olive oil.

The oil sits in these large silver tubs until it is ready to be bottled.

 I hope you enjoyed this Jet Set Friday! Feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks for visiting!

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