Our journey continues through the scents and flavours of the Bel Paese, those fragrances that take us home, wherever we are. We have already dedicated a chapter of this section to oil, but it takes on so many forms and facets along our peninsula that we could never consider the topic complete after a single article.
As we have said in the past, when we talk about food, especially in Italy, the personal experience plays a fundamental role in giving value to what we have in our plate.
Oil, so common in our kitchen (sometimes too much), for many people is yet another product to be purchased at the supermarket, choosing from various brands and types.
For those who grew up in the countryside, the story is very different and it is a story we want to share with you, so that you can discover or remember the joy associated with the pressing.
The story of the author is similar to that of Savino Muraglia (and his descendants) who wanted to firmly believe in the potential of the two-toned leaf tree and time has proved him right: nowadays the Muraglia oil is known throughout the world, but only those who have harvested the olives with their own hands can see the true value of this liquid.
The olive harvest is a tradition in peasant families and transcends the regional boundaries that sometimes seem so well-defined: from Tuscany to Apulia, through all the towns and villages surrounded by olive groves, as autumn comes, we prepare to collect the fruits of their work.
"Capatosta" is the term that was given to Savino Muraglia for his stubbornness and that his descendants still carry with pride: because you must be stubborn and also a little tenacious to face the challenge of the olive harvest year after year.
To overcome the adversities given by the water, always too much or too little, by the animals, by the wind, by the hail and sometimes also by the fate that crosses the peasants.
Perhaps it is true what the sacred texts say: God reserves the greatest tribulations for His most adored children, because overcoming these difficulties we are face with stretches of multicolored olives, ready to join in the liquid gold of the Italian countryside.
The words of Nonno Savino, who lovingly gazes at his own oil mill, or of Savino Jr., who remembers the joy of sticking his hands in the olives and seeing them slide between his fingers, are those of a thousand other farmers, perhaps of a more modest size, who show that beyond all the progress and size of their plantation, the heart remains the same.
And sitting at the foot of the patriarch of the Muraglia family, a coratina olive tree of four hundred and fifty years old, it is easy to go back in time, wondering how many stories and how many harvests those knotty stems have been through.
The eyes ajar, a slice of bread and oil spilled from one of the ceramic bottles typical of the Frantoio Muraglia, because the oil, sadly, ends but the memories remain unforgettable.