TASTING THE NEW OIL: PART 2
Okay, let’s see, where were we…..on the shuttle bus, heading towards the last frontoio of the day, "IL FRANTOIO". This frantoio had a large parking lot, tables set up on one side, and long tables full of interesting foods. I think there might have been a restaurant there, serving meals, but I’m not sure.
As we walked in from the parking lot we checked out the tables with the food….oil being poured on freshly toasted bread, beans with oil, cups for wine and water, and now, the strangest food of all…..GELATO made from olive oil!!!! Strange as it sounded, I couldn’t resist trying a bite. Although you could smell the olive oil, it had a very light, refreshing taste! Wow! I don’t expect to find this at my local gelateria anytime soon, and it sure doesn’t replace chocolate gelato as my favorite, but it was good, and I wouldn’t turn it down!
We had a nice chat with the shuttle bus driver while we waited for the rest of the group to wander back to the bus, and before long we were back where we’d started from, Trevi. We walked back into the centro to buy some celery and a pumpkin, then got in the car and to take a drive around the area. Our main goal was to find the tiny frantoio in Pigge we’d stumbled upon a few years earlier.
On a small side street, on the lower level of their home, this family has a tiny frantoio, probably the most ‘authentic’ I’ve ever seen. Of course electricity is used, but you can watch the huge stone wheels crush the olives, watch the mats becoming saturated with the pulp, and even see the oil dripping out of the mats as they are every-so-slowly squeezed together.
And yes, at this point the crushed olives DO look red
There are certainly more modern frantoi. Here’s a picture of the machinery used by the COOPERATIVA di TREVI
And at "IL FRANTOIO"
But in the end, it’s all about the oil. The owner of the mill in Pigge told us that he used 100% Moraiolo olives, so this is an oil that has bite! It’s a strong, almost bitter oil, perfect for bruschetta or drizzling over soup or cannellini beans.
And beautiful to look at too!