Hiking into Autumn, the most amazing Spanish landscapes -

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Hiking into Autumn, the most amazing Spanish landscapes

November 11, 2018

Hiking sounds like the perfect match for Autumn, chilly weather, friends, family and chimney with an olive snack at the end of a trekking day. After a long week of work in the city, everybody embraces a relaxing weekend in the mountains.
Spain gives us a full range of possibilities for hiking, suitable for everybody.
Here below more than a couple of ideas for all the audiences. Hiking, trekking, climbing, caving, canyoning, biking, horse-riding and quad-biking routes, kayaking, mountaineering, fishing, orienteering, Do you dare to a new adventure in an environmentally friendly way?

Picos de Europa.
Everything is stunning in this northern Spanish landscape: the rocky peaks, the gorges, the valleys, the vast glacial lakes, the leafy forests…and the best way to see them is on foot.
The protected surroundings of the Picos de Europa mountains lie across three provinces in northern Spain: Cantabria, Asturias and León. This was the first National Park to be declared in Spain and there is no doubt that its natural diversity and outstanding scenery make it a truly unique place. Hiking is the ideal way to explore all its beauties, just do it !

Region of Valencia.
The city of the world-known Paella and Mediterranean sandy beaches can be much more than that. The Valencian region has more than 20 nature reserves, various internationally important wetland areas, more than 280 official walking trails covering 4,000 kilometres, and a wealth of endemic flora that brings some seven million visitors to its mountains every year. Surprising right?
You can enjoy as you stroll amidst aromatic plants such as rosemary, thyme and lavender. You will also love the sound of birdsong, this region is chosen by a huge variety of migratory birds in search of warmer climes. But first, make a stop in the path an enjoy some olive snack.

La Rioja.
La Rioja, in northern Spain, is a land of vineyards and wine, art and culture, and of course, countryside. You will love the variety of its landscapes. Here you will find Mediterranean forests along with high mountain landscapes that rapidly give way to semi-arid areas with an almost lunar look.
Mountain boots and clothing, water bottle, hat, rucksack, a jar of olives from Spain to enjoy along the ride and, above all, a desire to experience the countryside. In La Rioja, you will find many easy routes with good access. Trails running through the Obarenes Mountains, dominated by vineyards; or those to be found alongside pine woods, lakes with icy water, and waterfalls in the Picos de Urbión Mountains. Nature, breath in, breath out.

Alcudia, Castilla y León
The Alcudia Valley, the area that Miguel de Cervantes immortalised in his novel Don Quixote. In this huge Mediterranean forest, there are archaeological sites, a host of animal species to be seen, cave paintings, thermal springs, lakes, rivers, tracks and trails.
Don’t miss: the Retamar Lake Paleolithic remains, in Almodóvar del Campo; the Iberian-Roman ruins of La Bienvenida, one of the province’s most important archaeological sites; the prehistoric cave paintings at Peña Escrita and Bataner. A lot to see, and a long way to walk, a small and tasty olive snack will help to restore your flagging energy, remember they are the favourites of the sportive tribe.

The Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park.
In the Ordesa National Park you’ll find routes suitable for everybody, so you can explore, at your own pace, the valleys, pastures and rivers which lie at the foot of Monte Perdido, the highest peak (3,355 metres) in this part of Spain. A series of easily accessible trails will lead you to natural wonders such as the waterfall known as the “Cola de Caballo”. Amazing, you will come back to your routine with another spirit, promised.

As we have already said olives are the chosen snack for the sportsperson, olives are nutritious and healthy. They stimulate the cardiovascular system, they are antioxidants and they have dietary fibre, minerals and all the essential amino acids, a good food for athletes and a basic Mediterranean appetizer. What else?

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Olives from Spain go abroad

November 20, 2018

Olives from Spain are a great ingredient to any dish, the final touch to a tasty recipe all around the world.
Spanish olives are present in more than 120 countries and, therefore, you can find recipes as different as those shown below where the local cuisine of the destination country has included the Spanish olive as one more ingredient.

– Location: India –

PUNJABI OLIVES SAMOSA

Ingredients:

– Black olives from Spain sliced                       – Coriander leaves
– Potato (boiled, peeled and chopped)            – Salt
– Olive Oil                                                             – Green Peas
– Cumin seeds                                                      – Chaat Masala Powder
– Tumeric Powder                                               – Garam Masala
– Red Chilli Powder                                             – Fennel seeds
– Green Chillies                                                    – Chopped cashew nuts
– Ginger                                                                 – Lime Juice
– Dough ( refined flour, olive oil, ajwain, salt, water)

Elaboration:

Mix all the ingredients for the dough except water and rub thoroughly. Sprinkle water and make hard dough. Then set aside for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into round portions as per the size of the samosas required.
Once the dough is done, chop the Spanish olives, green chillies, ginger and the coriander leaves. Heat the olive oil and add cumin, when crackling add ginger and salt. Add the rest of the ingredients excluding the final four and sauté for five minutes. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, including the potatoes and mix well.
Roll each portion of dough into a thin oval shape and cut into 2 semi-circles. Apply water on the straight edge of the semi-circle. Fold the straight edge, bringing together the watered edges, seal the watered edges into a triangular pocket. Stuff the potato mixture and then seal the upper edges. Repeat with the rest. Deep fry in Spanish Olive oil till golden brown and serve. India served on your dining room.

 

– Location: France –

FRENCH RUMSTECK WITH OLIVES

Ingredients:

– Green olives from Spain                                 – A handful of pine nuts
– Rump steaks                                                     – A bunch of fresh basil
– Balsamic vinegar                                             – Salad
– Anise seeds                                                       – A clove of garlic
– Olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper

Elaboration:

Lightly rub the bottom of a hot pan with garlic before browning the rump steaks, according to taste: 3 to 4 minutes on each side maximum. Then cut the meat into strips about 2 cm wide. Keep the meat warm.
For dressing, prepare 6 round and white plates, add balsamic vinegar and some anise seeds to the salad.
Arrange the rump steak slices on top, add the previously drained Spanish green olives and the finely chopped basil.
Top with some coarsely chopped pine nuts and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Voilà, from France with love !

 

– Location: Canada –

Ingredients:

– Hojiblanca olives from Spain                              – Sugar
– Butter                                                                       – Flour
– Dark chocolate                                                       – Cocoa Powder
– 2 whole eggs and 2 yolk eggs                               – Pine nuts

Elaboration:

First of all, let’s prepare the olives for cooking. Put 1 or 2 paper towels on a plate. Spread the Hojiblanca olives on the towelling and microwave for 3 minutes. Remove and repeat the procedure until the olives have lost all their liquid and can be broken by hand. Finally, crush them using a mortar or pestle.
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F with heat at bottom and top. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the chocolate in a bain-marie and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the extra yolks. The mixture must be very frothy. Add the sugar.
Do this in two batches: after whisking the first half well, add the second half and continue to whisk. Add the melted chocolate, flour, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt. Mix thoroughly.
Once we have the dough add the pine nuts and dehydrated Hojiblanca olives and grease a large pan with butter or oil and pour in the mixture. Ensure it is evenly spread in the pan and bake for about 30 minutes at 350°F. To keep the brownies moist, do not exceed the baking time. Finally, remove from the oven and let cool on a rack before serving. You will get a unique dessert to surprise your guests, would you ever imagine a brownie made with olives? Everything is possible !

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Five starters with olives to surprise your guests on Christmas

November 27, 2018

Christmas is almost here. We can smell fireplaces smoke in the air and see the lights all across the streets. It is that time of the year when we spend most of our time surrounded by family and friends. These meetings usually take place around the table and it is true that we all like to surprise our guests when they visit us. So, what a better surprise than a great starter with olives? Easy but tasty.

1.Grilled Olives with Manchego

Level of difficulty: Low                                            Servings: 8 people                                       Preparation time: 30 minutes

Ingredients: 24 pitted Queen olives, 100 grams Manchego cheese, 2 garlic cloves, 1 shallot, minced rosemary, thyme, extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon sugar.

Start by draining the Queen olives using a paper towel. Meanwhile, cut the Manchego cheese into small pieces of 2.5 cm and stuff every olive with these pieces.

In a bowl combine the garlic, shallots, herbs, sugar, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. Then skew the Manchego stuffed olives on to a skewer (three to a piece). Cover them in the marinade and sit for 4-8 hours so that flavours mix well.

Once marinated, grill the olives over high heat until they start to soften and the Manchego cheese starts to melt slightly inside. Finally, serve them along with some good crusty bread that’s been grilled alongside the olives.

 

2.Maize cakes with tomato oil and anchovies

Level of difficulty: Low                                          Servings: 3 people                                          Preparation time: 25 minutes

Ingredients for the olives: 10 pitted black olives, 1 grated tomato, anchovies, fresh basil or oregano, virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

Ingredients for the cakes: 75g of maize flour, 25g of wheat flour, virgin olive oil.

How to prepare the cakes:

Mix the maize, the wheat flour and the salt and add a little water. Knead until the dough no longer sticks to the hands and can be pressed with a finger without breaking apart. Make it rest. Mass into little balls and flatten with fingertips, passing from one  to another. Cook in a frying pan with a little olive oil and set aside.

Mix the grated tomato with the oil, oregano or basil, salt and pepper and we recommend to soak the anchovies in water for a few minutes to reduce the saltiness. Serve the cakes with an anchovy on top or a teaspoonful of tomato oil and a few slices of olive. Garnish with chives.

A unique way to surprise your guests!

 

3.Green Olives tapenade

Level of difficulty: Low                                    Servings: 4 people                                               Preparation time: <10 minutes

Ingredients: 150 grams pitted Manzanilla green olives, 70 grams goat cheese, 70 grams fresh cheese, 1 garlic clove, olive oil, thyme and salt.

First, mince the 2 types of cheese and add a peeled and well-chopped garlic clove, the thyme, oil and salt. Blend until getting a cheese cream and then chop the olives into small pieces and mix them with the cheese. Keep it into the fridge until serving time. Easy as that!

 

4. Lollipop with marinated octopus and Gordal Olives from Spain

Level of difficulty: Medium                               Servings: 4 people                                               Preparation time: 3,15 hours

Ingredients: 1 cup green pitted Gordal olives, 1 small octopus, 1 chopped red onion, 2 bay leaves, 6 piquillo peppers, red onion finely diced, cup capers, juice of 2 lemons, sea salt to taste, freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350ºC. Place the octopus, along with the onion and bay leaves in a pan and roast it for 3 hours. Once the octopus is cooked, cut its tentacles and the piquillo peppers into small pieces. In a bowl, mix the piquillo peppers and octopus tentacles with the finely diced red onion and capers. Then add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, cut the Gordal olives into halves and, on small skewers slide on a halved Gordal olive, a piece of octopus and another halved Gordal olive.

 

5. Devilled eggs with Olives from Spain

Level of difficulty: Low                                       Servings: 3 people                                                   Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 45 grams Hojiblanca Olives, 20 grams Manzanilla Olives, 2 sliced Gordal Olives with pepper, 6 drops of Tabasco, 3 drops of Worcestershire sauce, 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 small tender onion, 3 boiled eggs, fresh parsley, salt and pepper.

Boil the 3 eggs in water with a splash of vinegar. On the other hand, chop and slice the three types of Olives from Spain. Divide the eggs into two parts and remove the egg yolk. Combine in a bowl the egg yolks, the olives, the chopped onion, Tabasco and fresh parsley, salt and pepper. Put the mayonnaise and stir well. Stuff the eggs with the mixture and serve with some sliced Olives from Spain on top. Yummy!

These five recipes are just an example of infinite possibilities.  Olives from Spain allow you a countless number of dishes to be made. Enjoy!

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Four charming places in Spain to spend Christmas

December 10, 2018

Even though Spain is famous for its warm weather and the amazing beach holidays, the country still has a lot to offer during winter time. Indeed, Spain’s landscape is full of mountains which are covered in snow during this time of the year.

 

However, a good thing about this beautiful country is that you can find different temperatures depending on which part you are visiting and an olive snack all around the country. This is due to its big extension and its location in-between the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean region. So, snow is not the only thing you can find around.

 

If you are looking for a charming place to spend your Christmas holidays, we recommend checking the ideas we are going to show ahead.

 

Let’s discover interesting and not-so-popular destinations in Spain!

 

Alcántara, Extremadura

 

This town located close to the border with Portugal has an extensive cultural heritage and is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes. Even though its most famous spot is the Alcántara roman bridge, this village is also perfect for hiking. Tajo river international natural park is a must if you decide to visit the area. After the hike, you can recharge batteries with some Olives from Spain!

 

 

Vielha

 

The perfect spot for a snow getaway during Christmas. We recommend spending the day in Baqueira Beret, one of the most important skiing stations in the country. At night visiting one of the multiple restaurants in the area, which offer delicious and warm traditional food.

 

 

Segovia

 

For those who prefer a more cultural trip, Segovia is the perfect location, although you shouldn’t expect warm temperatures. Visiting the most famous aqueduct in Spain is a must, but no less important is enjoying a meal called

“Cochinillo” or roast suckling pig. Moreover, this combines perfectly with olives! A great way to fight the cold after walking around all morning.

 

 

Valle de Benasque

 

Centre and heart of Spanish Pyrenees, this incredible spot will leave you speechless. Even though skiing is one of the main activities in the area, you can find around a lot of hotels with amazing SPAs. Escape from the noise of the city and relax with a steam bath while enjoying the views from the other side of the window. Try to snack on some olives to improve the experience!

 

 

Las Palmas

 

If after all you still prefer warm temperatures, we recommend flying to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands. An extraordinary combination of traditional Christmas activities and sunny weather, around 21º degrees during this time of the year. Don’t forget to go seeing the “Belen de Arena” at the beach of Las Canteras, a different look of this Spanish tradition.

 

 

So, as you can see, it has a little bit of everything. Now you don’t have any excuse not to visit this beautiful country during winter. Even if you don’t enjoy the common cold weather of these months, Spain has an option for you!

 

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Three typical Christmas Markets around Spain

December 17, 2018

It’s Christmas in Spain and the season for Spanish traditions such as munching on turrón, Christmas lottery or heading to the best Christmas markets in Spain to do some holiday shopping.

 

Here are some of the most well known Christmas markets in Barcelona, Madrid and Seville to visit, that typically run from around the end of November up until early January.

 

Christmas markets in Spain are all about lights, sweets and nativity scenes, giant Christmas trees and the sweet smell of caramelizing almonds to the tune of festive holiday music.

 

Here’s our pick of the top 3 magical Christmas markets in Spain.

 

Fira de Santa Llúcia, Barcelona

 

The “Fira de Santa Llúcia” is the oldest and biggest Christmas market in Barcelona and probably the most popular in Spain. Hosted every year in front of the Barcelona Cathedral in the Gothic district, earliest records of the market date back to 1786. In recent years, Fira de Santa Llúcia has had close to 300 stalls selling souvenirs such as Nativity figures and other traditional Spanish Christmas activities for adults and children. This sweeping market is bursting with traditional Christmas food and few oddities that you’ll only find here in Catalonia. An olive snack to go and a nice group of friends to visit the market, remember it runs from 24th November to 23rd December.

 

 

Madrid’s main Christmas Market

 

Madrid’s main Christmas Market fills the grand Plaza Mayor since 1860 with twinkle lights, Christmas music and wonderful smells. One of the biggest in Spain, it has 104 booths, selling everything from figurines for the Nativity scenes (Belén) to handmade toys alongside fancy dress costumes and joke items ready for Día de Los Santos Inocentes – Spain’s version of April Fools’ Day – on 28th December. The market runs from November 24th until December 31st.

 

 

Artisan Christmas Market, Seville

 

The city of Seville goes all out with the “Artisan Christmas Market”, which runs from 15th December to 5th January in Plaza Nueva. The Spanish Christmas market is dedicated to seasonal local crafts in the characteristic Andalusian style.
Also “Feria del Belén” a Spanish Christmas market focusing only on ornaments for Belén (Nativity scenes) and Christmas trees, is one of the most visited Christmas markets in Spain of its kind where you can buy anything from Mary, Joseph and The Three Kings. Located in the historic centre, near the Cathedral it runs from November 18th to December 23rd.

 

 

The cities are filled with coloured lights, Christmas carols are playing on the TV, and in the shop windows, hundreds of gold and red ornaments highlight their products. But the time spent with family and friends are the most important Christmas tradition in Spain. Families gathered together for Christmas’ Eve and Christmas Day is the most typical Christmas scene in Spain, with olives snack of course.

 

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Where to go when Winter comes

December 28, 2018

Spain is the world’s third most popular destination, characterized by a great variety of places to visit, amazing food and the welcoming character of its inhabitants.

 

This doesn’t change during Winter. Spain has a lot to offer despite the cold weather and you will still find people enjoying an olive snack at the bar terrace. Neither cold weather or snow stops the hectic pace of this beautiful country.

 

From skiing in the Pyrenees to relaxing in the steam bath. The best winter escapades in Spain!

 

Baqueira Beret

Baqueira Beret, located in Vall d’Aran, is a destination where visitors can do diverse ski activities. However, although this famous ski station has 2,166 hectares and ski lifts with a transport capacity of 60,683 people per hour, there is much more to explore in the area.

 

We recommend, especially after a day of skiing, to immerse yourself in sulphurous waters in some of the facilities that are close to the springs. An excellent option is the highest SPA in Europe, called “Termas de la Baronia”. However, almost every high- end hotel includes a SPA as part of its amenities.

 

You can’t either miss a “Ruta de Pinchos”, a route in which the visitor can enjoy small portions of the most exquisite food in the area. The perfect opportunity to enjoy some authentic Olives from Spain!

 

 

Abodi-Irati-Navarra

When the first snows arrive, this area becomes a paradise for Nordic skiing lovers. This Nordic ski centre located in the border with France possesses several circuits marked for both the ride and the training.

 

The freedom and the high chance of observing wild fauna are the main attractions of the station.

 

 

Navacerrada

The perfect spot, not just for skiing, but also for trekking and enjoying the best traditional Spanish food. The ski resort of “Puerto de Navacerrada” is the closest one to the capital and has become an essential place for winter sports’ lovers.

 

Moreover, the town of Navacerrada, in the National Park of the Sierra de Guadarrama at 1,200 meters of altitude, offers a great variety of activities for those who enjoy spending time in nature. You can take a walk along the reservoir while enjoying the water and its views, a suitable option if you travel with children.

 

 

Sierra Nevada

The ski resort of Sierra Nevada is one of the biggest attractions in Granada and of course, a great destination if you decide to visit Spain during winter. Those who enjoy ski will love it because here is where the highest peak of the Iberian Peninsula, “Pico Mulhacen” is situated, at 3,480 meters of altitude!

 

An escapade to Granada city is a great idea during winter to avoid the overcrowding of summer and the high prices. Everyone knows that visiting “la Alhambra” is a must regardless of the season.

 

 

Moreover, the 2nd of January this beautiful city commemorates the entrance of the Catholic Monarchs in Granada, the delivery of the city and the beginning of a new era in the History of Spain. You will be able to enjoy a typical winter dish known as “the pot of San Antón”. But Olives will also be all around!

 

Don’t miss the opportunity to see a more unknown part of Spain, a different experience from the typical beach and pool vacation!