We were very pleased to take part in this years Maltese Bidni olive harvest with the owners of Ta Matti olive oil and also the Mediterranean olive oil academy last week.
Ta Matti is an established producer of fine Maltese olive oil and they have produced and sold their olive oils in Malta for many years, and they also have a presence the annual olive oil festival that is held in the village of Zejtun.
We first met Carmen and Joseph from Ta Matti last year when we were introduced to them by members of the Mediterranean olive oil academy and have visited their olive groves in Malta many times since then.
This year the olive harvest on Malta began on the 20th September which is a few weeks earlier than the harvest in Sicily and southern Italy, this is due to the Maltese Islands lying much further south than mainland Italy.
Salvatore Romano who is a partner in the Mediterranean olive oil academy and owner of the food company Tasting Sicily in Sicily went to Malta to help with the harvest of the Bidni olives along side the team from Ta Matti.
The olives were then loaded on to Salvatore's land rover and taken back to Sicily where he had them milled the next day by a Sicilian olive oil mill, this was because at the moment there is some difficulty at finding a Maltese mill which can produce olive oil of a sufficiently high standard. The reason for this is that Malta has only very recently started producing olive oil again in any quantity and also the total quantity of olives grown across Malta is still very small.
The Bidni olive oil that has been produced from this harvest is of a very high quality but is a very limited amount, this is because the Bidni olive only has a small yield as opposed to the more widely grown Italian varieties.
The Bidni olive oil has now been bottled and sent to an official panel in Italy to be certified as Extra Virgin, this is the final step before this excellent olive oil can be marketed as a very high quality extra virgin olive oil from Malta.
I future years Olivaverde together with the Mediterranean olive oil academy will be working with Maltese Bidni olive producers on our joint project to allow more Bidni trees to be grown and cultivated across the Island.
We believe that given the correct amount of promotion and marketing that in the future this fantastic indigenous Maltese olive oil will finally be sold not just in Malta but also to consumers in other countries in Europe.