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Olives in Provence

The olive tree, symbol of Provence

Olives de ProvenceA Greek legend says that the olive tree is the result of an altercation between Athena and Poseidon.

To tie the gods who disputed city, Zeus asked them to make everyone a gift to humanity, the gift most useful enshrine the winner. Poseidon then brandishes his trident and created a superb horse capable of until prowess on the battlefield. Athena then hit a square of land and it springs a tree with an eternal life and allowing people to feed and care for the sick. The olive tree, named Athena, as well as the tree out of land, was considered "the most useful gift to humanity" and Athena, winning its dispute against Poseidon, got any power over the city that still bears his name: " Athens ".

There are over a hundred varieties of olive trees, only a fortnight subject to a culture in France. Each species bear fruit and the choice depends on the desired final production (oil and table olives). Récoltées one by one, the olives for the table must have a certain size. The size is measured by the number of olives to 100 grams, but the content of sugar, oil and consistency of the pulp are obviously taken into account.

The Picholine is the variety of table olives most frequently encountered. It is green.

The Caillette is a specialty of the Alpes-Maritimes. On the black harvest is "black olives of Nice" which won an AOC.

The Négrette and Vermilion are against olive oil specifically grown in the Var.

On the day of harvest, and after sorting, we must immediately press the olives. The oil mills will then three successive operations:
-- Crushing of the olive and its nucleus (the latter is crushed with the fruit because of its antioxidant that promotes conservation of oil).
-- Pressing the dough resulting in "scourtins" which will retain the dough and leave to drain the oil.
-- Decanting, finally, that separates oil from water.

The oil virgin olive oil is a pure fruit juice, and natural. It can not be achieved only through mechanical processes to get this title. Any oil obtained by mixing or chemical additions can claim this designation. The designation "first cold pressed" no longer means much nowadays, but it is still commonly used.

By cons, olive oil refined are obtained from virgin olive oils with an acidity (oleic acid) which can not exceed 0.5 g per 100g.

The "simple" olive oils are made by mixing the two previous categories, the acidity can not be exceeded in this case the 1.5 g per 100g.

Finally, oil-pomace olive (crude or refined) is achieved by the use of solvents in the treatment of pomace, the rate of acidity in the case of a refined pomace oil can not exceed 0 , 5g per 100g.

Cooking in Provence

Provencal Cuisine - Recipes of Provence - Herbs of Provence - Wines of Provence - Honey from Provence

Towns in Provence