The mash was then cooked in this copper pot. The best quality nuts required less cooking time than the poorer quality ones.
The cooked mixture was pressed here and collected....
in a bucket.
The first pressing was the finer quality oil and used for cooking. The second time the mash was pressed, the resulting oil was used in oil lamps. The remaining mash was fed to livestock. It took about 10 kilos of nuts to produce 1 liter of oil.
Today walnut oil is still used in cooking and is a regional specialty in this part of France. I buy mine from an old lady at the Saturday afternoon market. It makes a delicious vinaigrette dressing for salad. I mix it with a little walnut-flavored vinegar I found at the grocery store, salt, pepper, and fines herbs. Then I add my secret ingredient...a bit of wild plum jam that I make myself. Yum! Guess the recipe's not so secret anymore, huh?