Today we went to an organic farm in Fiesole, a surrounding province of Florence, called Fattoria di Maiano. The whole farm is about 300 acres and the only product they produce is extra virgin olive oil. It is estimated that there are over 20,000 olive trees on the farm and about 110 of the 300 acres are used for the olive cultivation. The oil is completely hand made, no chemicals or pesticides are used in the process. During our visit we learned about the process of taking the olives from the trees, sorting, washing, and pressing them to get the olive oil. First, they make a paste out of all the parts of the olive including the skin and the pit. Then through the use of movement the centrifugal force separates the oil from the paste. The process is very short, only taking about 30 minutes.
In order to produce extra virgin olive oil, the color, taste, and the acidity must be perfect. The level of acidity defines what kind of oil it is; in order to be extra virgin the acidity must be between .80 and 1.50. The taste cannot be musty or moldy and the color is usually a light green. The Maiano Farm does not supply directly to restaurants or vendors, but rather to private buyers and locals. The percentage of production is low because the farm wants to produce the best quality olive oil.
My favorite oil was the Laudemio Oil, which is a combination of two different types of olives. It has an acidity of .15 and is the highest quality oil the farm produces. Only the best olive oil producers in Tuscany are able to sell Laudemio Oil.
“Special control bodies and two very strict tasting committees make the final selection: only the best extra virgin olive oil from the best producers, a perfectly genuine, complete oil, with an extraordinary organoleptic personality will be able to boast the noble and sought-after Laudemio trademark.”
The taste is very strong, but fresh, and overall is just delicious. (I might have snagged some, or a lot, to bring home!)