Soft and buttery with a lovely extra virgin olive oil Ligurian flavor, this oil is filtered. Although it is now the prime cooking fat of Italian cuisine, the use of olive oil only became widespread in northern Italy after the Second World War; prior to that it was just used in salads, never in cooking. The olives for making oil are harvested in November, December, and January, before they are ripe. They are collected by pickers, either with large wicker baskets, or by spreading large nets around the base of each tree and shaking it. As soon as they are harvested, the olives are taken to the frantoio - or mill - where the oil must be extracted within a week. The best oil is produced from olives processed one or two days after picking. The olives are then cleaned in cold water and then crushed. The kneaded pulp is layered on fibrous mats and pressed between huge stones or metal plates. The whole process takes place without using any heat or chemicals!