Near Verona, Bonamnini sits surrounded by vineyards and orchards of olive trees.
They get a lot of visitors.
It's very easy to get a tour of the olive oil factory. First they show you the old way of crushing the olives with the large granite stones that would roll around and around to press the olives.
They explain to you the old way of spreading olive paste on these white circles then having them be pressed by that large machine. The machine would then spit out olive oil and water, which are separated. The oil left behind is extra virgin olive oil, the water they use to irrigate the trees and the pits of the olives they burn and use as fuel for heat and such.
Then she took us to the new olive press.
It's made out of stainless steel instead of granite. She explained that this is much better because the stainless steal doesn't contaminate the olives like the granite would have having been used for only one season.
After everything is pressed and separated the new way they store the olive oil in these large vats. Then they eventually bottle it and sell it.
Interesting fact: olive oil people are liars. The experation date on the bottle is not the date from which the oil was pressed, but the date from which it is bottled. This can make for not so fresh olive oil sometimes.
Another dirty lie: there is no such thing as extra extra virgin olive oil. Just like there is no such thing as olive oil light. There is only extra virgin (which is what our lady guide produces and is the very best) and olive oil. There is no spoon. Name that movie. Olive oil has had chemicals added to it to make it palatable. Extra virgin has not.
After explaining to use the process of bottling we got to the good part. The tasting.
Small amounts to start.
It's best if you warm the oil up in your hands first a little before tasting. It releases the flavors. Also, you know a good olive oil if when you swallow it burns your throat.
Did that sound official or like I just made that part up? I'll let you decide.
After the olive oil we got to taste a few of their olive pastes and some pesto made with their oil. Oh my holy smokes the pesto. A.MAZ.ING.
I came home with some olive shampoo, pesto and artichoke hearts stored in olive oil. I'm saving the pesto for the winter time since I can easily make it now with so much fresh basil around.
Can't wait to take my love here when he gets back.