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With visiting an oil mill…

Author: Data Wpisu: Monday November 9th, 2015

The moment when there comes a scarcity of good self-made olive oil is a critical one…

In the south of Italy olive oil is used for absolutely everything: for frying, seasoning salads, preparing sauces for fish, for barbecued vegetables or simply as an addition to fresh bread eaten for breakfast.
In Sicily olive oil is pressed from October until December. The time of picking depends on the microclimate, geographical location, variety of olives and weather conditions which change every year.

The best and most sought-after olive oil, for anyone who knows its health and taste properties, is the extra virgin olive oil, which means that it comes from the first, cold pressing (its temperature cannot exceed 27 degrees centigrade during the extraction process), expelled from healthy olives, preferably delivered to the oil mill no later than 24 hours from picking.
Usually small farmers do not have their own oil mills, therefore they go to the nearest “frantoio” where they queue and wait for their olives to turn into fragrant, aromatic olive oil. Most of the oil mills nowadays have machines which allow continuous, three phase oil pressing. What does such process look like?

Olives brought to the mill are first put into a machine where they are cleaned from leaves with a blower and washed in water. Olives are then moved further on to a part of the system called “frangitore”, where they are crushed and ground. Such pulp goes to “granmolatrice” where water is added (this is a characteristic feature of three phase systems). In such form the mixture moves to the most important part of the system – the centrifuge (Italian “decantazione”), which divides the mass into 3 components: water from the olives, olive waste material (solid in form, in Italian known as sansa) and olive oil known as mosto di olio. Water and olive oil are put through the centrifuges again from which comes filtered olive oil.

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