Crafted on site, which has been in continual use for making olive oil for over 2,000 years, the Mahjoub family produces a treasured Tunisian olive oil. Grown in the fertile Mejerda Valley of North Central Tunisia, the olives are hand-picked as they turn from green to black, and then crushed in the family’s ancient gear press. The oil that surfaces is then hand-skimmed and bottled. This organic unfiltered olive oil boasts a long peppery finish with notes of green bell peppers and freshly-picked vegetables.
Suggestions: This is a bold, green, rustic Tunisian olive oil that is excellent for dipping bread, poured over cheeses like feta, drizzled over grilled fish, like our Sea Bass from Veta La Palma, or with lamb.
From the Artisan:
The secret of Les Moulins Mahjoub olive oil lies in the choice of methods of grinding and pressing the fresh fruit, designed to preserve the full flavor of the olive: crushing time, grinding under cold conditions, use of scourtins (round pressing mats) in natural fibers, selection of oil according to pressing, decantation using a hand skimming process, storage, and maturation.
The oil is not then separated by centrifugation, but by natural decantation. As the oil is lighter, it floats to the top, above the vegetable water, enabling it to be skimmed off. Before bottling, the oil is left to settle and mature for some time until its flavor, odor, and acidity are perfect.
Les Moulins Mahjoub olive oil has two main original characteristics: genuine first cold pressing and hand decantation.
The oil mill has two sets of vertical presses; the first carrying out the most delicate pressing operation, called first cold pressing, for gastronomic quality oil.
History of Olives in Tunisia:
Since as long ago as Carthage, in other words, for almost thirty centuries, the history of Tunisia, and that of the olive tree, has been closely linked.
After affirming its maritime prosperity under the defining influence of the Magon family, namely from 550 to 450 BC, the Carthaginian aristocracy turned inland and devised sophisticated crop-growing systems. Vines and olive trees were planted, as well as cereals.
After the Roman conquest, Carthage became known as the province of Africa – corresponding to the territory of present-day Tunisia – and experienced one of the most extraordinary developments of the entire Empire.
Olive trees were cultivated on a large scale, making Africa the leading oil producer in the Mediterranean world.
Tacitus, the first century Roman historian, mentioned at the time that “the production of the province of Africa accounts for most of the oil in which the everyday fare of the Roman Empire bathes.”