Whilst visiting Andros it is imperative you try this delicious ingredient.
The Cyclades Olive Museum in Chelmis Olive Mill, located at Ano Pitrofos is one of the top attractions in Andros. Click on this link for more details: Cyclades Olive Museum.
For reviews of this attraction in Andros visit this tripadvisor link:
Andros Olive Mill on Trip Advisor.
The Cyclades islands are well known for their quality olive oil. It is worth pointing out that some view olive oil as a potential contributor to longevity of the mediterranean people. In fact scientific studies have shown a link between reduced cardiovascular disease (1) and even cancers (2).
Below is a step by step guide to make olive oil, followed by a video of the process.
The trees are shaken or combed.
Once collected, large twigs and excess leaves are removed by hand.
The olives are taken to the island press and loaded in to the hopper.
The olives are then washed and pulped. This paste is then ‘malaxed’ for 30 to 60 minutes in order to allow the small olive oil droplets to agglomerate. Water is added to facilitate the extraction process with the paste.
Afterwards the paste is pumped into an industrial decanter where the phases are separated. The decanter is a horizontal centrifuge, rotating approximately 3,000 rpm. The high centrifugal force created allows the phases to be separated according to their different densities.
The result of this is liquid gold!
The video below shows a village press in the north of Andros. The machinery used is an example of decanter centrifugation extraction of olive oil. There are a number of other methods to extract olive oil however this method can be run continuously, requires limited labour and has a high percentage of oil extraction and is therefore favoured.
(video courtesy of Mark Schultz)
So remember, when you are served one of these, don’t be offended if it is drenched in olive oil! That is how it should be eaten, and that is why the locals live so long….