Just several days before the end of the olive harvest, Beatrice Peruzzi, the founder of Bertarello olive oil, shows FDL.com around the 18th Century ex-watchtower she lives in, perched in the midst of an ancient olive grove. «We began making olive oil almost by accident,» she explains, although she comes from a long line of farmers and cultivating the countryside is in her genes.
Peruzzi explains how over time, the process and timing has changed, with the harvest taking place much earlier in the year and, therefore, a much lower production than in times past.
Why is Bertarello oil made from olives picked just at the moment before ripening? Because picking the olives while they are still green, just before changing colour, means that the oil -- though there will be less of it – will be much higher in anti-oxidant properties than oil from more mature olives.
Another quality that makes Bertarello oil stand out in taste and quality, is that the olives are pressed within six hours of being harvested. Which makes the oil particularly valuable and makes Peruzzi, a woman who claims to be “impatient”, extremely excited when she brings her crates to the mill, twice in a day, and comes home with her giant flasks of oil.
Want to know more about oil and its secrets? Why not read FDL's article about oil tasting here: have a look at this new tasting experience...