Olive, treasure of Provence @ Kessler

The olive, one of the treasures of Provence

Nuggets of gold in Vaucluse 

Growing olives is a tradition in Provence, linked to the land, the sun, and to the desire to make. The trees are covered in fruits which are more or less oval-shaped depending on the variety, and with a colour palette ranging from a light green to an intense black when ripe. Every autumn, towards mid-October, a curious ritual plays out at the gates of the oil mill: the long convoy of freshly-picked olives make their way towards the press. Whether from the olive tree in our garden or from an olive grove, the olive, emblematic of Provence and the Mediterranean region, flavours our dishes and our salads.

The olive, one of the jewels of our Provençal markets

The olive, a product of the earth cultivated in Vaucluse

Testimony

C’est à Saint Saturnin lès Apt, beau village du Luberon que, depuis 4 générations, nous produisons une huile d’olive réputée. L’olive Aglandau, variété locale, est au cœur de notre production. Pour agrandir leurs oliveraies, les générations successives de paysans de ce terrIt is in Saint Saturnin lès Apt, a beautiful village in Luberon, that, for 4 generations, we have been producing our renowned olive oil. The Aglandau olive, a local variety, sits at the heart of our production. In order to expand the olive groves, successive generations of farmers from this territory have planted new trees. This variety of olive is known for its smooth oil, which has a great aromatic richness and an excellent shelf life. We desire, through our hand-made family production, to be a reflection of the land between Luberon and Ventoux. Our first vat of organic olive oil dates from 2009. The entirety of our production is labelled Huile d’olive de France

Moulin à huile Jullien, Vaucluse

Tapenade, the Provençal caviar

A key ingredient in the culinary heritage of our region, olive oil becomes rich and grainy when mixed with the pulp of its fruit in a tasty tapenade.tapenade.

An emblematic Provencal recipe, tapenade gives pride of place to southern foods and the sea with its black or green olives, capers and anchovies… Besides, did you know that «tapena» means «caper» in Occitan? Into the kitchen! Peel and mince the garlic cloves. Drain the anchovies and pat them dry, then cut into small pieces. In a mortar, crush and mix everything. Then incorporate the thyme and the olive oil, gently mixing always in the same direction. Season with pepper but not salt (because of the anchovies). It’s ready!

Info pratique

Ingredients

Pour 500 g de tapenade environ :
For about 500g of tapenade:
350 g olives
3 garlic cloves
100 g capers
100 g anchovy fillets
150 ml olive oil
2 pinches of thyme
pepper– lemon juice

Tapenade, a typical Provançal recipe

How about an olive oil brioche?

The recipe for a typical Provençal brioche

Mix all the ingredients, finishing with the yeast, to create a supple and homogeneous dough. Then shape the dough into a ball and place into a mixing bowl. Cover and leave for three hours at room temperature. Next roll the dough into small balls and flatten with a rolling pin until 2cm thick, making sure to get rid of any air bubbles. Then shape the dough into whatever shape you desire (for example, with 2 to 3cm slashes as shown in the photo). Leave to rise for another hour before placing into a hot oven at 150°c. Halfway through cooking, brush the dough with an egg wash. Cooking time: about 15 minutes. Top tip: Placing a bowl of water in the oven boosts the rise of the dough 🙂

Ingredients

1 kg flour
250 to 300 grams olive oil
200 to 300 grams melted butter
4 to 6 eggs/ a pinch of salt
200 to 300 grams sugar
50 grams baker’s yeast
1 glass of tepid water

Pompe à huile, a typical Provençal brioche