We got an explanation of each machine and then went to the tasting room. We started with a small sample of 'ordinary extra virgin olive oil' to sniff before we got a lesson on how to prepare, smell, and taste the oil. We started with a 'light' oil that they would use to garnish fish. The amazing thing to me was that olive oil is used to drizzle on everything and there are pairings just like wine. Then we got a much more intense oil to try, one that he suggested using with steak, and the difference was noticeable. Finally, the ordinary oil was passed around again and we realized how bland it was compared to the other two.
|This is where the 15% of the product that is oil gets separated|
from the 85% that is not oil, which is recycled as biofuel and
|This machine does the final filtering and we could look in the|
rectanglular metal vat to see what got filtered out. YUCK
Don't be fooled into thinking unfiltered olive oil is somehow
more special! It is really icky.
Back in the bus, we headed to the home of Christina, a l chef for a cooking lesson. Her house has been in the family for 9 generations and they can't imagine why it would ever be sold to a non-family member. We helped prepare roast pork, fresh orecchietti (little ears), and raspberries with mascarpone. Everyone who wanted to got a chance to chop or knead or create pasta shapes or whip up the mascarpone with sugar and milk. Then we got to eat it all. Lunch was wonderful and we bought her cookbook and took a short walk before heading to a local potter.
|The house Christina and her family live in.|
|The valley view from the house|
|Chris (right) learns how to make the pasta |
dough under Christina's guidance.
|An artist painting in the pottery studio|
|The next several photos show the very short|
process of throwing a pot (IF you know
what you're doing....)
|A pot ready to be fired. I really liked the way the handles|