It's time to make olive oil!

Italian olives.

Italian olives.

There are many wonderful events that take place in Italy during this time of year. In a previous post I talked about the vendemmia, or grape harvest. But there is another amazing harvest that is currently underway and that’s the olive harvest. Yes, this is the time of year in Italy when olive oil is produced…Italy's liquid gold.

Traditionally the olive harvest has been accomplished in 2 ways. Either nets are spread on the ground under the olive trees, the branches are combed and the olives fall down onto the nets. Or, the olives can be picked by hand and put into baskets tied around one’s waist.  The olives are then taken to the local frantoio, or oil mill. Here they are pressed and transformed into olio nuovo, or new olive oil. This young oil is thick, a beautiful green in color and tastes amazing!

Of course, you can participate in all aspects of the olive harvest if you visit Italy during this time of year. Just like with the vendemmia, visitors can help with the picking of the olives, they can visit the local frantoio for an up close demonstration of the pressing process and, of course, partake in a sampling of the olio nuovo.

So yet another wonderful reason why visiting Italy in the fall is a great idea!                                 

What are you waiting for?

Arrivederci,

Teresa

Happy International Coffee Day, Italian style

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Italians are well known for their espresso.  Baristas in all different parts of Italy take great pride in how they make and serve caffé in their bars.  It is a national phenomenon that is taken very seriously.  I am a big fan of espresso, always have been. I drink my fair share of it when I visit Italy.  A few years ago I was introduced to what I can only describe as a game changer as far as my espresso drinking goes…crema di caffé.  This cold beverage is served mainly during the summer months.  The best way to explain it is to liken it to a creamy, smooth, more drinkable version of coffee gelato.  And depending on your barista, it can be served with chocolate lining the cup, with chocolate drizzled over top, with nuts, or just plain.  Whichever way it is served, you will lick the cup clean and be back for more, guaranteed!  So do yourself a favor the next time you visit Italy during the summer…order a crema di caffé (or 2, or 3…).

Arrivederci,

Teresa