Olive Oil Soap

A few days ago I happened upon my neighbours stirring a huge cauldron over an open fire in their garden lean-to.

Turned out they were making olive oil soap, the traditional way, by the  hot method, as opposed to the cold method, which I gathered was a somewhat inferior approach.

Eleni, who was in charge of proceedings, is in her early 80’s and says that soap production by this method is a skill that is dying out. 

Here’s the result of several hours of standing by a hot fire and stirring, stirring, stirring. 

I love the soap so much I can’t bear to use it. It is so delightfully organic and has so much character, that I had to do a drawing of it!

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2 thoughts on “Olive Oil Soap”

  1. I thought we were going to get a recipe and instructions!
    What exactly is boiling in the cauldron? Can we buy the soap in the village?

    1. The recipe is: Lots of olive oil in the cauldron…..then add something called ‘petres’….which is diluted in water….then boil and stir for hours. It will eventually thicken so it is the texture of total farge yoghurt, and is then poured into the containers. The skill is in the amount of petres/water/oil and the timing! You can ask Kiria Eleni (the pandapoleon opposite the car park) as she knows the secrets. Failing that, you could look it up on the internet! Here’s a link: http://www.soap-making-essentials.com/hot-process.html

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