Since1810 the Lépine family have made walnut oil at Availles-en-Châtellerault, perpetuating an ancient tradition and a unique taste. Yesterday was open day at the huilerie, so even though it was raining slightly (and Simon still has the world's runniest nose) we went on a small excursion.
The nuts are shelled, then ground under an enormous millstone to obtain a thick paste. This paste goes into a pot where it is cooked just enough to go brown – a delicate stage because the art of obtaining a tasty oil depends on the cooking. The resulting gunge is then tipped into the hydraulic press, and out runs a wonderful golden coloured liquid.
then taken to the press
oil running into the silver pot