The olive’s main product is olive oil, of which hundreds of varieties can be found. The farmers bring their olives to the local frantoio/ oleificio where they are pressed into oil.
Years ago, the olives were placed on a round stone, equipped with a trench. The olives were then pressed using a grind that was rotated by a donkey. This method didn’t produce a good quality oil, often because the olives were not well cleaned, leaving twigs and leaves mixed together with the olives.
Today, before being pressed, the olives are cleaned using various machines which also remove all the leaves and twigs. Then they are crushed and pressed into a pulp, then placed in a centrifuge, which separates the oil from the water. Finally, after the oil is filtered, it is collected in special bins.
The different types of olives determine whether the olive oil will be green or yellow. Extra vergine was formerly a designation for olive oil that was obtained by pressing olives the first time. The vergine oil was obtained by pressing the same olives twice. Today the olives are pressed only once and the terms Extra vergine and vergine are only used to show the difference in acidity: Extra vergine olive oil has a maximum acidity of 1%, while the acidity a vergine can reach 2%.