Much of life in Tarragona revolves around food and one of the base ingredient is the superlative olive oil which is produced in this part of Catalonia.
There are many small producers which grow olive trees in orchards, just outside the city, and late autumn is the time when families and friend join forces to help with the local harvest.
The yield can vary, depending on the nutrients in the soil and the rain pattern during the year but this is a very social event which is followed by a hearty lunch cooked on an open fire.
The plump olives (in our case mainly Arbequina which look like ripe berries) are ‘combed’ off the tree branches with a hand held rake and fall on to the netting which is spread around the trunk of the tree.
The olives are then decanted in to plastic container which are emptied inside a shed; once the harvest has been completed the olives are taken to a local cooperative where they are fed to the olive press. The result is one of the most remarkable, nutty, packed with flavour olive oils you will ever come across.