My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Learning how Olive Oil is made at Terra Creta on Crete

on January 22, 2013

12/22/12 a.m.

For my birthday I wanted to do something extra fun (not that the entire trip wasn’t fun) so we headed to Terra Creta Olive Farm to watch how they make Olive Oil.  Once again, there was not another tourist in sight and we got the royal treatment including a gift bag with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  It was very sweet.  So, if you have ever wondered how olive oil was processed, I will try to decipher my notes and show you how it happened with some photos.

  • Olives are harvested between Nov. and end of February.
  • Most often (but not always) farmers put a net on the ground then use big rake like tools to hit the big branches and of course catch the olives.
  • Once they are on the ground, the olives are put in burlap bags as soon as possible; each bag holds about 50 kilograms of olives.0196401967
  • After the farmers deliver the olives they are immediately, or at least as fast as possible, placed through a machine that takes the leaves and branches out of the mix.0197001968
  • Our tour guide is one of the analyzer’s of the olives and she helps decide which kind of oil each would make, they look at 2 parameters:

1.  How many olives per kilometer and
2. The acidity of the olives

  • There are 3 containers that the olives are placed in once the acidity has been determined.  The lower the acidity level the better oil it makes. 01976
  • One of the things we learned is that after pollination, bugs might start to eat the olives and when this happens the acidity goes up.  They are trying to balance pesticides and finding organic ways to keep bugs off of them.
  • The olives are then washed.0198201983
  • Once washed they are made into paste01998
  • Then the magic starts; they mix the paste with water, at 27 degrees C (80 F) to make the extra virgin olive oil.01989 01991 01994
  • Bottling occurred in pipes that run underground to another building on site.

After the oil is separated, the pumas is reused for heating their building OR returned to the farmers to feed their animals.

This facility was built 3 years ago and uses solar power for lighting.

All and all it was a great experience and I am really glad we stopped in to tour the plant.  It sure is fun to travel on off season, you get lots of 1:1 attention.

One response to “Learning how Olive Oil is made at Terra Creta on Crete

  1. kathy grisinger says:

    I will save this for June trip. Thanks Kathy


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