Monday, October 1st

It was a dark and stormy night …

The loud claps of thunder and bright lightning flashes passed during the night and we were awakened by sunlight streaming through the window.

September has flown by with most of it spent in this beautiful country.

Susan relaxing on terrace

Today we had another “take it easy” day.

Oscar grabbing a nap

I finally got caught up to date with posting my blog … we’ll see how long that lasts!  Susan did some laundry and some reading.

At 5:00, as promised, Keith provided us with a tutorial on olive oil.  He explained in some detail the process from harvesting the olives, through the pressing, then the centrifuging to remove the oil, and the bottling.  While they do try to separate out the leaves, twigs, etc. from the olives before they are pressed, invariably there are still some mixed in when the olives are pressed.  It is actually the chlorophyll from the leaves that gives the olive oil the greenish tinge.

Extra virgin olive oil seminar with Keith

Boggioli’s extra virgin olive oil is organically produced.

We then moved on to the tasting of several oils.  The first was an example of a “bad” or undesirable oil.  On the nose it smelled a bit like machine oil, a bit like the old “paint-by-number” paints.  Surprisingly it had very little flavor.  The second was lighter both on the nose and on the tongue.  Although it had a bit more flavor than the first one it still didn’t have a lot of flavor.  The third sample was a Boggioli oil.  It had a lot more aroma to it: a bit like cut grass with a faint hint of almond.  The taste was very interesting. The immediate sensation was of a fairly light oil then suddenly it hit the back of the throat with a bit of pepper taste.  This is fairly common among Tuscan oils according to Keith.  I was much longer on the finish than the first two oils.  It was quite a tasty oil.  Then Keith brought out a two year Boggioli oil for comparison.  It still had the aroma of fresh cut grass but not as pronounced.  The peppery taste was not as strong as with the younger oil: in fact it kind of snuck up on you.  However it was still quite a good oil.

Keith & Susan discussing olive oil

Who would have thought we would be sitting around tasting olive oils like you might sit around tasting wines!  It was a great experience and we learned a lot.

For dinner we went back to Borgo Forra.  This time we tried their mushroom soup and a couple of different pizzas, accompanied of course by a very nice Chianti Classico.

Who know’s what adventures tomorrow will bring.  But we can pretty much count on it being another wonderful day!

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