Mednin, Sfax and Sidi Bouzid are the best known cities for their olives in Tunisia. They have the most olives in the country.
When should olives be harvested?
You get the best oil when you harvest it in October and you wil get the most concentrated oil. Most people start in November until April because if you start so early less oil comes out of the olive.(Olive harvest in tunisia)
I tasted oil pressed in October and it is definitely the best olive oil I have ever tasted.
Tunisia is at the top of the world with lots of awards for its oil.
The tragedy is that this year the farmers had big losses so they did not get a part of the “cake” as usual. Many farmers give up their agriculture when the country does not support them and it is sad.
How olive oil is made
Time needed: 3 hours and 30 minutes.
We will show you all the stages of olive oil production
- Picking the olive
The pickers collect the olives in straw sacks that are weighed and measured in «Gelba» which is the equivalent of 14 kilos and gives about 3.5 liters of olive oil.
- Cleaning the Olive
The olives are put into a container where they roughly clean the olives from branches, leaves and stones. The better the pickers are, the easier this job is for the machine.
- More cleaning
The olive is brought up on a circular chain where stones, as in the first process, branches and debris are manually removed while the chain runs.
- Washing the olive
The olive is washed and blown from sand and remaining debris . Only then is it ready for the process to continue.
- Crushing and kneading
Here the olive is crushed and kneaded into a dough.
- The Separating
The dough enters on a strip and there the water is squeezed out and the oil is separated from the water.
The yellow is the oil and on the other side it’s water and remnants from the olive.
- The Filtering
The oil comes and flows into an Aluminum tank where it is bottled in Plastic cans. This is a process that is incredibly fun and you can be part of. Here you see everything from raw material to finished product.
Olive oil pressing temperature
The olive is heated in an oven and this process takes time. You get the best oil at 37 degrees.
Some people want more oil out of the olive so they increase the temperature and then the quality of the oil gets worse.
We do not do this in Samira’s Farm which is our part of Hadeira, we want the best quality.
The mood is according to how good the crop is and how the prices are. I felt very welcome and very grateful that I was allowed to watch.
Where the Olive oil go
Many people sell the oil to the olive press and only take what they need for their own use. That’s why an incredible amount of oil is used in cooking recipes in Tunisia so alot of liters are needed for a household.
Many who give away oil to the underprivileged so the rumor spreads when the press starts to run.
It is common to get a phone call from someone who knows a family and ask about contributing.
It is a pleasure to be able to help a little.
The olive press sells the oil they buy to “Diwane“, which is a public collection point for olive oil around the country. There the olive oil is stored, exported abroad and sold to the businessmen who resell it.
“Diwane” fixes the prices locally.
Written by Carita
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