Girl in Florence aka Georgette Jupe

I started this blog as a writing outlet for me to share what it is I adore about the beautiful city of Florence and Italy also sharing travel tips and stories along the way. Now 'Girl in Florence' includes advice for Florence, artisan features, interviews with locals, tips for life in Italy and travel posts from all over Europe. I'd love to think of myself as a fearless badass but If I am keeping it 100% real on this blog a quote that I sort of live by is"I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." I hope you enjoy this journey with me.

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Olive oil in Tuscany, how ‘green gold’ is made

04.12.2012

Olive oil in Tuscany, how ‘green gold’ is made

04.12.2012
stefanocasati-7960
Photo by Stefano Casati

The making of olive oil in Tuscany is an almost sacred process and I had the chance to be up close and center last week to see how Tuscany’s “green-gold” is actually made in a completely organic agricultural estate. This was after my absolutely delightful tour of Villa di Maiano – the historical villa featured in films such as “Room with a View” and “Tea with Mussolini,” which for this girl was a huge bonus. I absolutely adore  epic movies set in Italy. I took full advantage of knowing I was in the same setting as some of my favorite actors and might have even twirled a time or two. 😉

olive oil tuscany

The Fattoria or “farm” is still very much a working farm with origins that date back to the 15th century and covers about 300 hectares with 20,000 olive trees. That is a lot of trees. The olives themselves are picked by hand during November and December during olive-oil season. In fact, many friend with olive oil orchards organize “picking parties” during November to pick olives all together, by no means an easy or non-strenuous task.

The olive oil produced at the factory I toured  is called Laudemio di Fattoria di Maiano. Laudemio is actually the name of the trademark, olive-oil producers in Tuscany formed a consortium with very strict rules governing the process of the oil as to protect their heritage, a very Italian action. The easiest way to think of it is to imagine the oil being the equivalent of  a bottle of Chianti Classico (DOC) . This particular factory only produces enough oil at the moment of sale, to ensure the freshness of the product.You can read more about Laudemio here.

Unfortunately as I sort of already guessed, not all olive oil producers in Italy are 100% honest with how they process their oil and end up muddying the term “extra-virgin”. It is very worth it to ask around and see if you can buy your olive-oil directly from the source.  Sometimes when I go back home and browse the local supermarket in Texas, I am really shocked at what they dare call “extra virgin olive oil. Most of the time it looks less some cheap soybean version with the color and consistency of urine. Yummy

laudemio olive oil
Photos by Stefano Casati

They showed around the noisy processing plant and led us to a room to try the oil, which of course was situated in a beautiful viewing room with gorgeous panoramas of the sunset. YES! We crowded around to scrub our bruschetta with fresh cloves of garlic but not before taking the time to really smell and experience the oil. The color a bright green, the smell a vegetal odor I can only describe as earthy. I tasted a little of the oil by itself and it tingled, a sharp flavor – rich in texture and very tasty. It took me about eight garlic-scrubbed &  topped with oil bruschetta and a little salt before I could call it a day.

It made me think about how happy I am when t-mans mom brings us over a bottle of ‘new oil’ fresh and fragrant that we can fight over {real love is when you stop playing nice and start getting REAL posessive with your food}. That paired with a glass of vino novella (new wine), roasted chestnuts and zuppa di zucca (pumpkin soup) and you will thank the Tuscan gods for providing us with what can only be described as treasure. I know I talk about food as if I am in love, but well when it’s this good… it really kinda is. Don’t even get me started on my love of castagnaccio or traditional Tuscany ‘chestnut cake”. 

Fattoria di Maiano offers tastings, an olive mill tour (like I did), tours of the adjacent Villa that I blogged about previously and even ‘safari night tours) all of which you can check out here. We also happened to see a baby donkey at the fattoria  just born the night before and named “tempesta” {storm in Italian}, since the night was indeed very stormy.

I have a love for donkeys that you would not believe – and to see one just born, fluffy and curious was the icing on my cake! A perfect end to a blog post, with the baby donkey “tempesta”. Such a cutie and just as “new” as the fresh olive-oil we tasted, how fitting..

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GirlInFlorence

Georgette Jupe is a 'Tuscan Texan' digital social media marketing maven based in Florence, Italy. When she's not at her day job as social media manager and content editor at ITALY Magazine, she's creating social strategies for international clients and providing travel, foodie & life tips via her blog 'Girl in Florence'. Hobbies include plenty of reading, hiking, beagle cuddles, the hunt for the 'perfect' Moscow mule and laughs with the girls.

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About Me

About Me

Hi There!

Ciao, I'm a curious American "Tuscan Texan" who calls Florence, Italy home for the past 11 years. I am the editor at Italy Magazine and I also work as an established digital social media marketing strategist (5+ years) as well as a freelance writer. My bylines have appeared in Lonely Planet, Luxos Magazine, and International Living. This blog is my way to share what life is like living and working abroad, as well as provide up-to-date true advice on traveling and living in Italy, weekend trips around Europe, and a monthly roundup of interesting events. I'm married to a wonderful Frenchman and we have a Florentine beagle who rules the household. Keep in touch with our adventures with your favorite glass of franciacorta or espresso!

Georgette

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