Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 15 The olives have it

The olive harvest approaches. On the walk to Calimera today, you can see the olives hanging heavy on the trees. Olive groves line the old road on either side, grove after grove with the trees carefully arranged in rows with plenty of space between each of them.

Our hostess Paola, a natural philosopher, said the other day that Italy has a festival for every food group: polenta, sausages, grapes and naturally, olives.

I'm all in favour of celebrating olives. Apart from the wonderful fruit, olives trees are beautiful, especially those glorious trunks: charcoal grey, and each one a unique sculpture. Some look like long gnarled fingers digging into the earth; some of the very old trees have split themselves in two like Siamese twins, one hoary part reaching upward, the other bending elegantly in some other direction, the foliage rich and thick.

Tomorrow the nearby town of Martano begins the first of many olive festivals with a three-day sagra de la VOLIA CAZZATA. Do not, I repeat, do not plug the words  volia cazzata in Google translator's when children are around. It'll tell you in English cazzata is a four-letter word. After painstakingly reading Martano's description about its festival, I concluded the words are a local patois meaning crushed olives.

Paola promised us a lift into Martano so we, too, can enjoy a taste of their olives, oil and other local agricultural products. They'll have artisanal cheeses, local vegetables, such as a wild green called cicoreddhe. And also, of course, there will be samplings of vino.

Arrivederci, amici.

One of the olive groves on the way to Calimera.


In October the trees are becoming heavy with fruit

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