Video provided by Rogers Collection
Les Moulins Mahjoub award-winning products are made the slow way—with organic farming techniques, olives picked by hand, all-natural ingredients and the dedication of a family with deep Tunisian roots.
Many other olive regions have a hot, humid, and short harvest season. Tunisia benefits from the dry, cool climate from the arid desert and the Mediterranean Sea, which allows for a bigger harvest window. Nearly the entire town is employed during harvest season. The older women of the town climb the trees while the younger women do the more strenuous work of scooping up the olives once they have fallen onto the fabric laid out at the base of the tree. They often sing traditional songs while working. The men transport olives to the production facility.
The Les Moulins Mahjoub family aims for a self-sustainable and organic farm that does not rely on petroleum and outside resource, but rather adheres to the principles of community and tradition. The tangible result is a delicious, apple-green, vegetal, unfiltered, soft clean olive oil–but more than just olives go into a bottle.
HOW IT’S MADE
Les Moulins Mahjoub uses hand-methods for their olive oil production dating back to Carthaginian times.
1 Chetoui olives are harvested just as they turn from green to black and then crushed in the family’s ancient stone mill in a first cold pressing.
2 The olive paste is then layered in a vertical press between round natural fiber mats, or scourtins.
3 Next, the oil is decanted by hand, or à la feuille, rather than by suction or draining.
Before production comes cultivation.
4 The detritus from the production of the oil goes back to the groves in a lovely closed-loop system. The “olive water” left over from the decanting process now irrigates the olive trees while the olive pulp is used for compost.
5 For further soil enrichment, nitrogen-rich fava plants are grown and tilled into the soil of the groves. No commercial fertilizer needed!
After cultivation, comes the harvest again.
Adapted by Dalya Assa from original version written by Leska Tomash for Rogers Collection.