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Old 09-14-2005, 03:39 PM   #1
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Has anyone tried to make their own olive oil

Olive oil? It seems like you press and crush the olives, then add some water to the pulp, than press out the oli/water mixture, and finally separate the liquid from the oil. Seems easy enough. Has anyone tried this on their own? If I had access to olive trees I'd be all over this one.

Drew

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Old 09-14-2005, 04:54 PM   #2
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The pressure that is required to 'press' olives is immense. They also use 'skirts' or thick mats to help with the filtration. It's not the sort of equipment that one just has to hand in a run-of-the-mill suburban kitchen, even it Italy, Greece or Spain.

I have a small olive tree in my conservatory - it has 7 olives on it - don't think it's worth the effort to press them!
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Old 09-14-2005, 05:08 PM   #3
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7 olives! Sweet. When are you going to try it out???
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Old 09-14-2005, 05:34 PM   #4
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Listen, if you knew what the Scottish climate was like, you would be full of admiration that I managed to grow SEVEN olives!

I've got a friend on the Greek island of Crete - perhaps I'll airfreight them to him, he's got an olive press
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Old 09-14-2005, 05:50 PM   #5
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Yup, airmail to Greece. Well, because they have to be pressed within 48 hours after being picked. I'd bet those Scottish olives would be the tastiest olives ever.
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Old 09-14-2005, 06:01 PM   #6
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Tasty? They'd win a Michelin star, all on their own.

On Greek islands, in Spain and in Tuscany, I've seen the nets spread out below the olive trees, and little old ladies up the trees, stripping those olives which don't fall to the ground. The 'nets' are gathered up and loaded into the oldest lorries I've ever seen and they proceed to the pressing plants... The smell is heavenly. And being able to dip a little local peasant bread into the pressings from your (well, in my case a friends!) own olive oil..... BLISS (even if it still has a fairly 'musky' flavour!)
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Old 09-14-2005, 06:03 PM   #7
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Some day I'll hopefully get to see that. I can only imagine being able to taste the glorious oil right from the press. Sounds fantastic.
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Old 09-14-2005, 06:11 PM   #8
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First pressings are very, very green and very very PUNGENT. I love it.

On Corfu, our friends live in a small village by the sea called St Stefano (Agios Stefano) - all the locals are in a cooperative and they all take their olives to the local press. They mark 'your' batch and you can either watch (as most of the local men do to ensure fair play and honesty) and the wives turn up with local bread, tomatoes, pitted olives from last year and feta and haloumi cheese and local very, very pungent sausages.... wonderful.
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Old 09-14-2005, 07:07 PM   #9
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It's much easier in "theory" to press olives into oil than in practice. As much as I like "homemade from scratch" cooking when I can do it ... I'll buy my olive oil.
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Old 09-15-2005, 06:18 AM   #10
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You're right, Michael... the size of the presses and the thick skirts or pads are required in order for exert the full pressure required to gert 'juice' from those hard untreated olives!
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