Did you know that the olive harvest is also called olivaison? Or olivade in Provence. Like the grape harvest for wine, this stage, which takes place once a year, is crucial for obtaining good quality olive oil.
The olive grows on the thousand-year-old tree, the olive tree, which itself grows on dry, well-drained soil and needs sun and warmth to produce many beautiful olives.
The harvest is preferably done by hand
It can also be done with tools, such as combs that shake the branches of the olive tree to make the olives fall. But only on condition that these do not damage the leaves or fruit of the olive tree
Ideally, the olives should be picked when they are still a little green, i.e. 2 to 3 weeks before they are fully ripe. The oil will then keep all its aromatic power because it is when the olive is still green that there is the greatest concentration of aromas.
The olive is a fragile fatty fruit, which oxidises quickly. In order to avoid hyper-oxidation of the olives, they must be harvested during the day: once harvested, they must be taken to the mill and pressed immediately. In this way, they will retain their freshness.
When you buy olive oil, it is important to check the harvest date on the bottle. This will ensure that you enjoy the many benefits of your oil and its powerful flavour.
In general, the olive harvest takes place between October and February. But it all depends on the time of year when the fruit ripens: from one geographical area to another, this period can be very different because of the sunshine and the exposure conditions.
After the harvest, it's time to press the olives: Discover all the stages of olive oil production
As with wine, each olive oil has its own personality, linked to the combination of several factors: the soil, the know-how of the people, the varieties and the maturity of the olives used. Some like it sweet, others bitter or spicy, round, fiery, creamy... Olive oil is a pure fruit juice that offers a wide range of flavours and aromas.
All olives start out white, turn green and end up black. The ripeness of the olives at harvest time will therefore have an impact on the fruitiness of the oil produced from them.
At Oliviers&Co, we distinguish two types of fruity oils:
Grassy fruity: more or less intense, it is characterised by lively, fresh and vegetal notes such as cut grass, artichoke, green apple... (the olives are harvested very young, firm and green).
Floral fruity: more or less delicate, it is characterised by velvety and milky notes such as almond, butter, or even fruity notes such as citrus, pear... (the olives are harvested a little later when they become black and riper).
Each type of olive has its own harvesting maturity and specific fruitiness to reveal the olive's aromas to the honeys.
Oliviers&Co olive oil is an integral part of the kitchen. It is not used as a simple fat and could almost be described as a spice as its flavours enrich and nuance the dishes...