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The Oil Mill

Along with flour, one of the foodstuffs of prime necessity in people’s houses was oil. Like most products, this too was obtained in the past either in households or in village mills. Oil mills were used for grinding seeds of oil plants, like linseed, squash, sunflower, which were then pressed in order to extract the vegetable oil. These oils could be used both as foodstuffs or for cooking, as well as raw materials, as lubricants for greasing certain tools and mechanisms. Moreover, oil was an important foodstuff that couldn’t be missing from daily nutrition during days of fasting. The leftovers following the pressing were used too, as animal food or fertilizer. Consequently, oil mills could meet many of the community’s needs.

In the Plopiș Mountains villages, at the beginning, the most widespread was the oil obtained from linen. This was due to the fact that the lands here were propitious for cultivating linen, but also to the fact that linseed oil had special properties. Housewives certainly knew these properties and used it as a raw material both for cooking and for its curative properties, linseed oil being utilized up to this day for its antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and antitumoral qualities. Later, however, linseed was gradually replaced with grains, which were less costly and had a greater production yield, in the detriment of nutritional quality. Little by little, the squash, but especially sunflower, became the main oilseeds used in oil production.

At Huta Slavia you can visit the Oil Mill, an attraction aimed at presenting the old craft through which oil was produced from cereal, as a live sample of this region’s tradition. The mill is ready anytime to make a demonstration of its utility for the visitors. By visiting the Oil

Mill, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about every stage of the oil-production process, from the harvesting and pressing mechanism all the way to the bottling.

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