We arrived in Amelia on November 17th after taking a train from Rome to Terni and renting a car. It was an incredibly warm and picture perfect day as we drove through the autumn coloured countryside
When we arrived at the olive mill, frantoio, we were greeted by Francesco and his parents Anna and Vincenzo. They had already pressed the olives from their own trees and were now in the middle of pressing the olives from neighbouring farmers who seemed to be arriving non-stop. I could see our visit had not come at the most convenient time for them but you wouldn’t have known from the hospitality we were shown. Aside from showing us in detail the steps of pressing the olives, we were treated to a fabulous lunch in the frantoio, which happens to boast its own private kitchen. Anna prepared us lunch that was mostly cooked in a huge open fireplace beside our table. The meal consisted of pasta, sausages, grilled meat, bruschetta, salad and pastries. This was all washed down with their own wine and limoncello. Several dishes showcased the fresh olive oil, which was drizzled freely. Yum!
I can definitely say that this year’s oil is delicious. According to Francesco it was a hot summer and the oil is of excellent quality but the production volume was far less than last year. I found it to have loads of grassy fruity flavour. This is typical of good Umbrian extra virgin olive oil.
The Suatoni family speak very little English and my Italian is even more challenged; however, they had a charming new English speaking helper, Riccardo, who was able to bridge the gap for us. In the past Rachel has been along on these trips and I could get by with her excellent Italian translations.
We took loads of pictures and Ricardo was kind enough to take us to another farm where his family were still picking olives. We had a go at it and soon realized that it is back breaking work. It made us more respectful of the amount of labour that is involved in each harvest.
We had a wonderful day in Amelia and wished we had much longer to stay and soak in the smells and ambiance of this pristine Umbrian town. Our visit renewed our sense of connection to this wonderful oil which has become the number one staple in our kitchen. We are proud to be able to share it with our customers in Canada and the United States. Stay tuned because Rachel will be expanding the American side of Amelia Oil in the new year.