NEWS: Olive picking in Provence
1 December 2008
***NEWS: OLIVE PICKING IN PROVENCE***
We escaped the city this past weekend for a little sun & olive picking. Despite a very trying train journey… apparently booking a ticket does not automatically include a seat…. and the fact that it poured rain all of Saturday (hail was an added bonus!), we still managed to get in some quality olive picking.
After the grape harvest comes the olive season in Provence. I am always astonished by how abundant the trees are and the wide variety of olive colours… from a pale to rich green, aubergine, burgundy, black and ochre – sometimes all on the same tree!
Olive picking season: October to December (depending on the type & use of the olives)
There are more than 100 types of olives however in France one of the most popular and those that grow in our grove are picholine olives. We were a little late in the picking season this year, so many of them had shrivelled like raisons & were lighter in weight as their water had evaporated. This apparently will give us a smaller quantity of olive oil, but with a richer consistency & stronger taste.
Now the decision is weather to send them to the cooperative where they are pressed with other people’s olives, giving you a % of oil based on the number of kilos you picked. Or we may decide to use a local press, who will make the oil with only our olives – the output is smaller but in my opinion the quality is better!