History and Traditions

Treasure of culture and cuisine of Calabria:

The story of 'oil and olive trees in Calabria is the story of the peoples who inhabited those lands and the first signs of cultivation can be traced around the beginning of the first millennium BC by the Etruscans, Phoenicians and Greeks in particular in the Magna Graecia colonies of Locri, Sybaris, Croton, Squillace and Reggio Calabria; these territories assumed a central role in economic relations and civil rights in the Mediterranean and the cultivation of oil was the fulcrum of their wealth to the point that the plants were attributed healing and religious powers as testimony to the symbolic meaning it had in these lands and that still remains unchanged. The crop is then developed in the plain between the crater and the Coscile, (the current area of the province of Cosenza) with Bruzii and the Byzantines and later with the Romans who made the South the "land of the oil." L 'olive blossoms again after 1300 and reached its peak during the Renaissance. Since then, the landscape and the Calabrian tradition are covered of green and silvery olives foliage

Stories of work in the fields, cooking and culture.

The story of 'oil and olive trees is therefore also the history of the peoples who inhabited these lands and for a long time the main annuity for the Calabresi was the olive oil. The owner of the fund was to estimate the olives to "tumanu" and the settler who was picking at his own expense had to pay him from 7 to 12 liters of oil for every "tumanu" and half of the pomace. In the "trappitu", crusher of the old times (lat. Trapetum, id.) The olives were crushed in a stack called "squèda" with one or more stones wheel-shaped, made from animals turn around a central pivot. The pasta that they obtained was called "conzino" and was sent down before in "u mastedu" and brought in "to maj'da"; here was put in "baskets" that two workers called "conzini" transported to "Conzo", the press, for pressing. The presses of the press were driven by hand, making recourse finally, for the final pressing, to a winch operated by several persons. Oil down in a tub and here was separated from the "natima" (scum aqueous grinding) using the "pilla", which was kind of a big spoon of tin, provided with a plate. The oil still floating on "natima" was separated with the "spike", a sheaf of "cannizzole", which are small reeds.

The workers, who worked in the mill, had different skills: there was "u Punteri" (who will score points), who was the head and had the task of collecting the oil, the "sporteri", who were engaged in the carriage of "baskets", and "u PALERI", the contractor of oxen during the grinding of the olives.

The unit of measure of the oil could vary from area to area were as follows: "a cortareda" equivalent to ½ liter; "On cannata" equivalent to 1 liter, "umicannu" equivalent to 2 liters, "on pignata" equivalent to 5 liters; "U Cafisu" equivalent to 12 liters, but elsewhere also reached up to 24 liters; "U ricipenti" equivalent to 18 liters; "uterzu" equivalent to 135 liters, ie 12 "Cafisi" which was the amount of what was being said "nu carricu of ogghjiu".

Source: http://www.cittanovaonline.it/cix3.htm