A very big thanks to the true believers who braved the journey to come and help us pick the olives this year.
Total 785kg resulting in nearly 100L of very fine extra virgin olive oil. Low yield but great flavour.
Each time I get to see the processing I am amazed at the generosity of this humble fruit to give up its free flowing oil. But even with the new technology available there is still a great deal of expert experience needed to get the best out of a crop. Karen who is running the show at Camillo Olives near Teesdale explained the intricacies of the process over a few hours that were needed to extract our oil.
The perfectly engineered hammer mill makes the fruit into a pulp/paste that can then be “malaxed” or kneaded until the oil pools. Over malaxing can cause the temperature to get too high excluding it from Extra Virgin status. Sometimes a little water is added to help the oil separate from the paste. After the malaxing the pulp is pumped into the centrifuge and its now that the fine tuning begins. Link here to the first time we pressed our olives.
With the help if a micrometer Karen adjusts the inflow pipe to get maximum oil and also minimum grey water. If you have run a coffee machine it’s a little like adjusting the grind to get the best extraction. Karen had to adjust the spinner at least 20 times during the day to get the correct “Veil” [Baristas read Crema] seen here on a spoon ,the line of clear oil in the middle of the flow is the correct indicator.
The best parts of picking and processing are the conversations around the trees and press that make an otherwise dull repetitive process into a joyous communal affair.Time to catch up with mates- break some bread, spin some yarns.
Verdict? Come and taste it yourself......
Thank you all again.