Sunday, 15 November 2009

L'Huilerie Lepine Walnut Festival 2009

Even though we have been to this walnut festival for 5 years and seen it grow we are never without excitement. Despite the rain we and hundreds of folk had a wonderful afternoon at l'Huilerie Lépine. The family have been making this wonderfully flavoured oil since 1810. They have a very slick, simple, automated but human-controlled procedure as only the French know how. The walnuts are cracked, conveyed to be crushed by the millstone then cooked or bruléed but not burnt, and this stage requires constant stirring. Then the ground mixture is pressed and transformed into the oily liquid. Walnut oil is full of vitamins and helps to reduce cholesterol and that is why one should have just a little on 'le salade avec le fromage'.

Traction engines rattle branches whilst walnuts shake free.

Walnut shells are cracked
and Walnut kernels are conveyed to a vast container
Taken to the millstone and crushed into a mash
(click on the next photo to read the manufacturer's label)
the ground mush is kept moving
and then the pressing machine squeezes...
trickle, pour, drip
mmm. the sweet smell of nut oil.

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