Here are the olive trees. The green nets underneath are to catch the olives when they take them off of the trees.
Sabrina was our tour guide and she was very sweet! Here she is holding olives and leaves which are held in the green bins behind her.
The olives and leaves are then put in a machine that sorts out the leaves from the olives.
The leaves are blown out of a pipe outside into a large pile.
The olives are then cleaned.
The olives are then mashed in a blender.
They are then sent to different containers which mix them for several minutes.
This is then put through a machine that separates the olive oil from the rest of the olive mash.
The oil is then put into large containers to be filtered.
The olive oil is stored in large vats.
We then went inside and taste tested 3 different extra virgin olive oils.
It was like taking little shots of olive oil!! But there was a professional
process to it!
First, you warmed the olive oil in your hand. This is Jeanna, our battalion
commander's wife. She is super nice.
You then hold the olive oil in your mouth and suck in air through your teeth. This air breaks of the particles and makes the flavor of the olive oil stronger. After you do the weird air sucking thing a few times you swallow the olive oil. Have to say that I have never drank olive oil before and it was definitely an experience. After we drank it, we tried it on small slices of bread which was a much more pleasant experience.
One of the olive oils that we tasted was one of the top 20 chosen out of like 60,000 different olive oils in Rome this year. This small factory is very proud of this accomplishment!
We had a nice lunch afterwards and then got to go shopping in their little gift store. They made different flavored olive oils, pesto, soaps and lotions, and much more! I had such a great time and now I have a new appreciation for olive oil!