As well as painting, sculpting, researching and writing, our award-holders can now include olive oil making in their repertoire of skills! Yukiko Kawamoto, our current Rome Awardee in Humanities, has a great deal of experience in making olive oil, as she makes it every year at home in Japan. She kindly agreed to give our residents a masterclass in producing olive oil by hand, made possible by our Maintenance Officer Fulvio Astolfi, who grew, picked and donated a batch of Lazio’s finest olives.
The first step was to wash the olives before using a potato masher to crush the olives into a rough paste, which was then spread out onto plastic bags. The most energetic part of the process followed: the olives had to be massaged for several hours to make them much softer and to start producing the liquid.
The paste was then put into pieces of fabric, the contents of which were squeezed into a pan, then decanted into bottles where the paste would be left to separate.
After clearing up the olive carnage and allowing three days for the paste to separate…
… the top layer of oil could then be very meticulously spooned out into bottles. We are hoping to have some labels for our BSR olive oil designed by our resident artists very soon!
A lot of work by many people resulted in three small bottles of oil. The highly anticipated tasting session is coming soon!
Ellie Johnson (Administrative Assistant (Communications and Events))
All photos by Yukiko Kawamoto