It is that time of year again and all our thoughts turn to Olive Oil – but it has many uses – not just for salad!

Maybe you have just bought a bottle of wonderful extra virgin oil from a supplier close to Montisi or perhaps you have a bottle hidden in your kitchen cupboard. Now – you wonder, what can I do with this ?

Well, of course, that special new bottle of extra virgin olive oil can be kept to use in a dressing for your salad. But in Italy, the best oil is used in many different recipes from bruschette, ribollita, pappa di pomodoro as well as traditional casseroles and other meat dishes. It is the condiment of choice and has its own place on the table at every meal. There is even the option to marry two of the greatest things in Italy – olive oil and ice cream and have a cona or coppa of the best extra virgin olive oil ice cream! Our own resident chef in Montisi, Alessandro Piccinini, has more recipes on this web site or can cook a magnificent meal for you using the best olive oil in the area see his website for more information.

You can use extra virgin olive oil as a cosmetic. It’s gentle enough to use as a cleanser and moisturiser and if you add some salt, you have the best exfoliating lotion ever! You could even be adventurous and have a go at making your own soap too.

However if the thought of using precious extra virgin olive oil this way fills you with horror have a look at commercially available brands that use olive oil as a base. Alessandra at Decoranda in the village sells Idea Toscana,

It’s also not just about extra virgin olive all – although that’s the best. Second pressings or the more refined oils have other uses too. They are a great shoe or leather restorer. They can be used as a furniture polish perhaps even on those olive wood chopping boards you may have bought in the olive oil festival here! It’s good for pets too and can help heal broken or chapped paws.

Finally, olive oil doesn’t taste good for ever. If yours has been around too long then don’t just throw it away. It can serve as a very useful lubricant for tools and machinery long after its use in the kitchen or in the bathroom has finished.

We would welcome any other ideas you have too!