Monday, November 15, 2010

Olive Season in France

I am a very lucky girl to have actual family that lives in the South of France. People don't make it up when they say France is a beautiful country, it is the truth. France is a BEAUTIFUL country. I first went when I was a few months old. My mother bundled me up and took me on the long flight to see my grandparent's who were living there with their youngest daughter (my aunt). It has been a long time since that trip, and I have been blessed to go back several times. Both my grandparents passed years ago, but luckily my aunt stayed, married, and started her family. It is bittersweet since I don't get to see her as often as I like. The power of facebook though does allow us to keep in constant contact. 

Abuela and me in France

She posted some pictures the other day of her friend's harvesting of their olive trees. I thought all of you out in Rue land would love to take a behind the scenes peak at this annual ritual that takes place in November and December in the region. 

The production of olive oil is a long and delicate job. Olive oil cultivation takes place in only eight of the sunniest regions of France. The Provence Alps-Cote-D’azur region of France produces about 2/3 of the olive oil produced (source). The end result is pure liquid gold. The olives are harvested from the trees by a good simple shake. Netting is put down around the trees beforehand to gather all of them that fall. 

Once the olives have been harvested, all the misc stems and such have to be cleaned. In order to avoid oxidation, the olives have to be immediately crushed along with the pits. My aunt's friends drop it off at a local place, as it is quite involved and requires certain machinery. You have to give a LOT to get so little. 


The final product. Yum yum yum.

Check out the French kitchen as well. Wood counters, farmhouse sinks...

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