A perfect Extra Virgin Olive Oil it is obtained from the best processing before the “crushing” of the olives in the mill. Take for granted cleaning and hygiene of machines and environments, the extraction systems and the operations involved in the various phases will make a certain difference: temperature control, water quality, set up of centrifugal separators.
For historical curiosity, but also for the pleasure of searching in the material culture traces that help us to understand the present through the past, we will remember among the primordial extractive methods the stone mortars in which, in Syria, olives were crushed with a stick , and then mix the dough obtained in a terracotta container with hot water and collect the oil on the surface.
Or the “torsion” in Egypt: after having tied the end of a sack full of olives to a pointhead, the other was subjected to a mechanical movement that squeezed the juice of the olives into a container where it was left to settle.
With the Romans find the stone mills called trapeta, with beam presses for extraction and millstones operated by slaves.
Even the “blood” crushers dragged by quadrupeds are pure history, the water ones have faded away, today it is the electricity that supplies the necessary energy both to the plants, always bigger and faster, with great capacity of work. , and to small company installations able to break the olives harvested in the day.
The most widespread oil-making systems are based, according to the physical principles adopted, on pressure, continuous centrifugation, percolation or mixed systems. It is possible that the olives, depending on the methods followed for the harvest, are accompanied by extraneous materials – leaves, fragments of branches, earth, grass, small stones – which would contribute to bringing incongruous smells and tastes and to stimulate mechanisms of alteration: the impurities must be eliminated by using the defoliator before and after washing-drying machines.
And here we come to the crushing through which the peel, the pulp and the core are reduced to paste, consisting of more or less coarse fragments. The size, which should vary with the degree of ripeness of the olives, depends not only on the effectiveness of the extraction but also on the final quality.
By intervening on the granulometry of the pasta, some organoleptic characteristics such as bitter and spicy can be accentuated or not. The crushers with discs, not conceptually different from a coffee grinder, allow to continuously regulate the fineness of the pasta, brilliantly solving this need.
Always valid the traditional “molazze” crushers, the big stone wheels, especially of granite, which are still so much part of the oil iconography, even if their use is progressively decreasing.
The maximum quality of the “Taggiasca” Extra Virgin Olive Oil is obtained from the artisan processing of the Olive.