The farming day starts early when the sun hasn’t show itself, and women with food baskets and men with long cloths, wooden stairs and eucalyptus wood sticks are already walking towards the olive groves. The cloths are laid on the floor and the nets around the olive trees to collect the fallen fruits after the trees have been beaten and the branches slatted. No olive is left behind, all are collected into big wicker baskets until they move on to the next olive tree. The hard harvest lasts until the time when the Sun is at its highest point for a pause and goes on until it gets dark. After been cleaned, olive trees are taken to the mills as soon as possible to maintain their properties. Between October and January, rural communities join efforts for the season of the olive harvest, maintaining this secular tradition in Portugal, using the artisan method described here and the more mechanized methods. The extraction techniques, the state of the olives’ maturation, the variety of olives, the climate, temperature and the mills conditions are conditioning factors of the olive oil features. Portugal has the ideal conditions for olive oils of excellence, so the Portuguese olive oil is among the best and most awarded of the world. The extra virgin olive oils of superior quality is soft on the palate and has a fine texture. They have the taste of tradition, authenticity and history. There is no moment like when one dives into a piece of home-made bread into new and fruity olive oil.
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