Antonietta's extra virgin olive oil
Our neighbour Antonietta has around 300 olive trees at her house in foglianise from which she produces a rich, green and peppery extra virgin oil.
Orchards will often have a variety of trees so that in any given condition or year, you will have something to show for it. There are six varities of olives growing in the orchard at Antonietta's house. These are blended to produce a rich, green peppery oil.
- Femminella - very popular throughout Campania, they thrive in hilly, mountainaous regions and produce a very high quality golden oil at 20% output. (20 litres per 100kg).
- Leccino - The most common olive grown in Campania, it's sturdy and can survive harsh winters but has a low output of 15%.
- Minocciola - A dense, heavily scented and slightly bitter oil, this is used in small quantities but gives structure. 20% output.
- Raccioppella - Makes a light, sweet, stunningingly bright yellow oil tasting of green olives and almonds. A very low output of around 10%.
- Rizzitella - An unusual variety in Campania , it's super reliable producing fruit pretty much every year. Output of 16%.
- Aspirina - Native to Foglianise, it makes extremely high quality, light oil but it's very unreliable. The last harvest it's trees produced nothing at all.
The olives were harvested in late October by Antoniettaand her family. The work is hard and takes a week, more if the weather is bad. All of the work is done by hand, no machines, and olives for the oil come only from the tree - not the ground. Once picked the olives are held in plastic crates with plenty of holes so that the air can circulate and keep them fresh. When the trees are bare, the olives are taken to the village mill.
Once the olives are cleaned, they enter a mill for around half an hour and are turned into a red pulp. This then goes into a centrifuge where the pulp, water and oil are seperated.
The oil is then stored in stainless steel containers before bottling.
We have a small amount of oil that we have brought over and bottled here in Margate.