Sunday, March 27, 2016

Stopping at Mama's

Mama's Olive Farm
This region of Italy is known for olives, and coming in on the train, you can see the distinctive grey/green of the olive trees everywhere. Some of these olive trees are hundreds of years old, and a tree that produces good olives is a valuable investment. They prune and trim these trees every year to get the best harvest, and in the fields you see everything from little thin new trees to ancient, knarled twisted veterans of many harvests. We were told that trees have been stolen, dug up and planted in someone else's farm, so valuable trees often have GPS transponders hidden in them so thefts can be tracked.

Ancient Olive
On a tour of the Region, the friends who were visiting us asked the guide about how to prepare olives to eat. She has an olive tree in her yard and tried unsuccessfully to make the fruit edible. He tried to explain, but with the English/Italian, and his actual lack of first hand knowledge, he took out his cell phone and called his Mama for advice. As a result we ended up being invited to her house which was on the way, for advice from an expert.

It was obvious she was an expert, as we drove down a long narrow driveway lined with fields of freshly pruned olive trees leading to a big old white Italian farm house. Mama lives here with her 90 year old parents, and her two boys, one who was our guide and the other who was carrying on the family olive growing tradition.

Posing with the Family
We were served two large plates of mama-made olives, red and green,and as the cheese man arrived we also got to sample some local cheese. Then via translation we were given a detailed explanation of the art of olive processing.

You need to soak them in what kind of soda?

They need to be soaked for how many days, and the water has to be changed how many times a day?

Laurel leaves, where do I get Laurel leaves?

I think our friend has decided that her olive tree will remain largely ornamental.

1 comment:

    The Soda is referred to in this blog ... it's caustic soda, and is not environmentally friendly, but his method is!