March 3, 2010

Those are the last drops, or bubbles rather, of an olive oil from Portugal given  by a friend. A particularly tasty, fruity, mellow kind of oil. When I turned the bottle upside down to get the last drop of it,  honeycombed bubbles formed and gave the bottle an antique and precious look !

About a year ago I visited some parts of Andalusia in Spain and especially a museum of olive; visitors were led  from a garden of olive trees through the various ancient rooms of an hacienda where  the famous oil was produced. The visit ended in a shop ( very olive-minded 😉 and in a restaurant which offered numerous dishes where the delicious oil played an exquisite role !

“The olive tree is surely the richest gift of heaven” (Thomas Jefferson).  This is one of the 80 sorts of olive trees growing in this hacienda.

Those are the old  jars that had contained the precious oil years ago.

Words that express the respect and care people had for their olive trees’ plantations.

A wonderful book for the “aficionados” of olive oil (I am one of them). It will tell you all about the origins of the olive from Africa to the Middle East, from Europe to the Americas and even some parts in Australia. And last but not least,  some recipes  are shown whose pictures only make you hungry. Here is a special treat for you : Bruschetta.

It is prepared by rubbing garlic (if you like it) on toasted bread that is then covered with fresh tomatoes and basil and smothered with oil. Olive, of course 😉

In 1889, Vincent van Gogh staying in the Provence/France wrote to his brother Theo : ” If you could see the olives at this moment… The old silver foliage and the silver-green against the blue… The murmur of an olive grove has something very intimate, immensely old. It is too beautiful for me to try to conceive of it or dare to paint it”.


6 Responses to “Oil”

  1. ancientcloth said

    I use olive oil almost exclusively.
    I worked in a specialty food store at one point
    in my life and I learned about the different
    grades of olive oil and vinegar.
    We also make bruschetta too!
    Thank you for sharing the pictures and fun facts.
    I have a friend who is the “cheese queen!”
    lol 🙂

    • I see we are both fans of olive oil :)I like to try different ones whenever possible. The Andalusian olive oil was particularly tasty. We had it for breakfast on a toasted bread with a little bit of salt. Delicious !

  2. Gerry said

    What a beautiful post! I enjoyed the weaving together of present and past, flavors and images. I think tonight I must have pasta aglio-olio.

  3. I am glad you enjoyed this post, Gerry. I brought back so many pictures from Andalusia and wanted to share a few together. How was your pasta con aglio-olio ?

  4. Years ago I spent a day picking olives in Greece. It was quite the experience. Your images (I especially love the last one) and the quotation from Van Gogh all remind me of that special day.

  5. Thanks flandrumhill 🙂 What an experience it must have been ! Olive growing is so much part of life in the Mediterranean countries, a day such as you had there is really something special.

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