When you think about dirty jobs, food does not generally come to the top of the list, however traditional olive pressing is just that. It's a dirty job and there are people that truly love to do it.
Where is all begins
Step 1 pick and bring olives to the factory, not so dirty.
Step 2 pour olives into the grinder. This is where it gets messy real quick. The grinder is made up of 2 giant Granite Stone wheels, that sit in a large basin. When turned on, the wheel turns and spins to grind olives, pits and all, into a black paste.
Step 3 place paste on the donut. The donut is made from woven palm tree fronds. The airy weave allows the oil to fall through when pressed. Putting it on the donut is like spreading a think pizza sauce on a large pizza dough. The paste is black, oily and messy.
Step 4 Stack the donuts filled with olive paste on the center dowel of the press
Repeat steps 3-4 about 60 times
Step 5 Once donuts are loaded, place the top metal donut and turn the press on. Warm water is poured over as the Press begins squeezing the donuts together. The oil and water fall to underground drains where the oil and water are collected in a final reservoir.
Step 6 pure chemistry properties has the oil float to the top where you can drain the oil Into jugs.
Step 7 Clean the mats - Its a dirty job to scrape each mat clean removing all the pits and skins stuck to the mats. Pro tip we use this mash to cook with. It makes everything infuse with olive flavors.
Fun Olive Oil facts
- These olive press factories run 24/7 during the harvest season November to January.
- Tunisia is a top producer of olive oil and often ranked in the amongst the top for quality.
- 2020 - Ranked as top
- 2019 - Tunisian olive oil voted the world’s best
- In 2020, Tunisia's production of olive oil doubled in a year, to about 350,000 metric tons, turning the country into the world's second-largest producer after Spain. This was in part due to the heavy rains during the growing season.