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Olive oil from Can Det

Mallorca's oldest 'trull'

In a small narrow street leading from the picturesque town of Soller leading up to the hamlet of Biniaraix you'll find Can Det, the oldest existing olive oil producer in Mallorca. It first appears in written records way back in the 16th century and apart from the addition of electricity to the production process, it still uses pretty much the same methods as 500 years ago!

Apparently, a scarcity of olives in the Soller Valley last year meant that it was uneconomic to start up production for the sake of so few olives. This year however, the situation has been turned on its head and olives are being processed from dawn until dusk.

Known locally as a trull, Can Det's mill and press is like a trip back in time with some rather impressive industrial relics, all cast iron and stone, used to smash, grind and press the many varieties of olives from the valley and surrounding area.

I was lucky enough to be given a private tour of the trull by a very friendly and knowledgeable lady who explained the whole process and how everything worked. In my photos you'll see the giant grinding stones which roll over the olives to produce a pulpy paste. Made of rock hard granite the three weigh 1500 kilos each!

The next process is to extract the lovely golden oil from the pulp by using a hydraulic press to force it through mat filters woven from dried esparto grass (also used in espadrilles) before being bottled. Known as esportins, the mat filters were so originally and elegantly designed that many people used them as floor mats in their houses!

The oil produced at Can Det is truly delicious, as I know from sampling it in situ and buying several bottles as souvenirs and presents. It comes in an unusual 'pyramidal' shaped bottle with a real cork stopper and is just perfect with crusty bread.

It is normally on sale at the airport or can be bought online at Fet a Soller – click the link.