Every year around this time, the medieval village Ollioules in Haute Provence celebrates all things olive -- a two - day olive festival – a time to celebrate with food, music and scenery.
This year, celebrations kicked off on Saturday 6th October.
Traffic was closed off for the weekend; numerous stalls lined the old streets in the different squares; all welcoming, all bright, all very Provencal.
Olive oil producers welcomed the opportunity to show off their range of extra virgin, visitors delighted in sampling and buying not only olives and olive oils but also the wide range of olive specialties from Provence.
This was also the perfect venue to have the professionals answer all the olive oil questions:
- Can you fry in olive oil?
- How do you use fruity green, fruity black and fruity ripe in the kitchen?
- What is the best way to store olive oil?
- What do you look for on the label of a bottle of extra virgin?
This year there was even a competition for kids under the age of 14 on how to make aioli; the kids pounded their garlic while the adults encouraged and cheered.
There were other stalls of course, other demonstrations, all in keeping with the Provencal theme – the love of the people for tradition.
So what's aioli?
The name ‘Aioli’ is formed from the French ail (garlic) and oli (Provencal dialect for oil)
Aioli is a garlic mayonnaise that features in many traditional Provencal recipes but that also makes a delicious dip when served with a selection of raw or lightly cooked vegetables.