At Boboli we are very proud of our beautiful olive trees, I bought the 4 lining the edge of the terrace along with the laurels some 12 years ago, the two smaller ones we inherited and the rather splendid affair in the middle of the terrace is shared ownership with my lovely friend Julia. . . well, the tree is hers but I have nurtured and tended to it for a couple of years now and it’s loving the love.
So, what about olive oil and virgins and all that!!! What really makes Olive Oil Virgin!???
Virgin Olive Oil means that the oil is made simply by the pressing of the olives and has not been subject to any industrial processes thus refining and diluting the finished product. Extra Virgin is made from cold pressed olives, it’s the highest grade of olive oil that you can lay your hands on and should really give you the flavour of fresh olives.
The whole process is extreme and requires great skill and commitment, using the freshest possible olives and all in prime condition, the pressing process is constantly monitored and then the actual storage is critical to ensure that the oil is kept perfectly stable and in it’s very best condition. Oil will always degrade over time, but the Extra Virgin examples even more so and they are generally best consumed within two years.
So, look for a grassy and peppery sensation in your mouth and you are onto a good thing. . . these are the unique qualities of the best olive oils, although some of the riper, black olives will present with more fruit and floral characteristics. Olive Oil is also full of nutrients and arguably one of the best natural fat intakes we can hope for.
When pottering around the Markets in Italy, Spain and France, I am magnetically drawn to the fabulous Olive, spice and tapenade stalls. . . just too good to miss!
At The Lighthouse and Boboli we use rapeseed oil too, but in a dressing where it really counts it has to be Virgin Olive Oil!
From trees to fruit to magical pressings, the oil is where it’s at, though I doubt that our trees at Boboli will bring in much of a harvest!
Ciao for now!
20TH ANNIVERSARY QUIZ
Q6 What year did I buy the olive trees at Boboli?
Just answer in the comments below and we’ll enter you into our prize draw celebrating our 20th anniversary! (Please be sure to put your email address on your comment so that we can contact you if you’re one of our lucky winners)
Look out for other 20th anniversary quiz questions on our future blog posts. Prize draw winners to be announced on 1st January 2020.