In a place named Zhuanjing in the north of Shaanxi, there are four brothers, who are the leading roles of this story. They are the owners of the Family Cao Oil Mill, which titled after the brothers’ family name. The mill has been operating for several decades, and now it is the only old-style oil mill around.
Nowadays, people in Zhuanjing are no longer hungry at all. What they are striving for is how to lead a better life.
After autumn harvest, the busiest period each year, the business of the Family Cao Oil Mill start again. It usually keeps running from October till next March or April.
These days, the mill has to wait for customers’ coming. While in the past, when the business was in its prosperity times, customers used to wait in line outside the mill to exchange their oil seeds to oil.
The mill has a cave of more than 30 meters long. The length of the big beam of oil press is more than 20 meters and the oil pit is as deep as a man’s height.
The process of extracting oil consists of nine steps, including stir-frying, milling, steaming and so on.
People often yearn for past and have a sense that the oil produced by old-style mill is more tasteful than that by advanced machine. It maybe because there is more toil contained in old-style.