The oil mill is the meeting point between the European Union and the Ottoman Empire, between the clean oil and the greasy machines, between eagerness and perseverance. Inhabiting the villages nearby, with most of them being pensioners, a bunch of people check the blackboard in anticipation for their turn to get their olives ground. As they sit patiently on the plastic chairs, one can sense there’s something serious going on here: the oil about to be extracted will see them through the year. Even a potential breakdown in the machines will be unlikely to prevent the oil from eventually dripping into the canister; different figures for the drupes, the extracted oil, the acidity and the percentage complete the ensemble.
The producer will load the drums containing the oil into the car and drive off. “Can you give me a hand taking this to the car? I mean the big jug, I can take care of the others.”
Olive oil production
There are seven oil mills on Chios island, and 800 tons are expected to be extracted this year. Production residues are then shipped to Lesvos to be further processed.
Translated into English by Nikos Loutraris