Define Spring in 5 Escapades around Spain -

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Define Spring in 5 Escapades around Spain

May 22, 2018

Good weather, better attitude. Spring seems to bring us back to life. Back to the streets. If during the winter we did unveiled you a couple of charming towns to visit in Spain. Here below we will lead you to enjoy this Spring to the most, walking around these amazing little villages of Spain.

Valle del Jerte, Cáceres.
It is impossible that you have never heard of the wonderful and singular white mantle that is formed with the cherry blossoms of the Jerte Valley.
The course of the Jerte river offers wild landscapes such as the ‘Garganta del Infierno’ with abundant waterfalls, natural pools, riverside forests, oaks, olives and spaces of high ecological value.
More than a million and a half cherry trees dyeing white throughout the valley, amazing for the sight and the spirit.

Patios de Córdoba Festivity, Córdoba.
At the beginning of May, the “Patios de Córdoba” celebration takes place.
If there is a place where they know how to decorate their patios well, this is undoubtedly the city of Córdoba. Here the traditional white houses are stained with cheerful colors. Beautiful and delicate flowers that reach their fullness in spring leaving their aroma between the walls. But, from where this celebration comes from? Due to the dry and hot environment of Cordoba, the inhabitants of the city, first the Romans and later the Muslims, adapted the typology of the popular house to their needs, centring the house around a “patio”, which normally had a fountain in the centre.
Nowadays every year this festivity is celebrated and the most spectacular patio in the city wins a prize.
It is a perfect location to have a fresh snack of Olives from Spain on a warm Spring afternoon.

Natural Park of Sierra de Grazalema, Cádiz.
Another place full of the colorful nature in spring is the Natural Park of Sierra de Grazalema. Here the wild orchids are the queens of the landscape. And now, in May, it is when the majority flourishes. Spectacular landscapes that, according to the light of day, change their tone. A show of Nature.

Lavender fields of Brihuega, Guadalajara.
Known as “Jardín de la Alcarria”, Brihuega is home to one of the most important lavender plantations in Spain. And without a doubt the most spectacular. Its purple fields gain intensity with the light of the sun. Lavender floods everything.
And, voilà! Spring it is the best time to enjoy this natural spectacle.
After this magical view, why not to enjoy a night of tapas in Guadalajara town? Goat cheese with honey, lean pork with tomato, and even the popular meat pie from the Alcarria, but first, Olives from Spain.

Feria de Abril, Sevilla.
Flowers, spots, sevillanas and olives from Spain all around. The festival takes over the Andalucían capital during the month of April attracting thousands of visitors each year. Sevilla society parades around the town in mantillas in between the streets full with stalls, adorned with lanterns, for which horsemen and horse-drawn carriages circulate. If you really want to feel the city, do not miss this amazing opportunity. Unbeatable!


In all these places you can find the main varieties of Spanish olives: queen, hojiblanca and manzanilla. Another good reason to visit, don’t you think?

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Olives Around the World

May 29, 2018

Have you ever think how they enjoy the olives around the world? We do know all the answers. And we are going to make you travel around the globe only with the palate.
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. Ready?

FROM INDIA WITH SPICE.

Olives Pakodas
Level of difficulty: medium Servings: 3-4 people Preparation time: 30 minutes

Ingredients: Cheese, Breadcrumbs, Salt, cracked Black Pepper, Green Chillies, Refined Flour, Garlic, a spoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and of course, black and green Olives from Spain.
First of all, stuff olives with garlic, cheese and green chillies.
Put refined flour in a bowl, add salt and crushed pepper, ¼ cup of water and mix well until the blend is properly done.
Now we gonna dip the olives in the batter and coat them in breadcrumbs. Place these olives in the oven and bake at 200º C for 8-10 minutes. Serve Hot!

Olive Upma
Level of difficulty: medium Servings: 2 people Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients: Millet, Star Anise, Roasted Red and Yellow Pepper, Lemon juice, Salt, Crushed Black Pepper, Dry Red Chilli, Sweet Paprika Powder, Roasted Garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Black Olives From Spain.
Let’s begin with the millet. Soak and boil the grains, drain it out, add a bit of extra virgin olive oil and cool it down in a flat
tray.
In another hand, heat oil in a pan and add star anise, dry red chilli, roasted garlic, paprika and the delicious olives.
Separately in another mixing bowl, the millet with olive oil, the crushed pepper, lemon juice and arrange it all together with the already roasted olives and yellow/red pepper. Snack is ready !

 

FROM FRANCE AVEC AMOUR.

Fougasses with green olives and smoked duck
Level of difficulty: medium Servings: 4 people Prep Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients: 20 Manzanilla Green Olives chopped in dices, Bread Dough, Garlic Cream, Smoked Duck slightly sliced and Sheep Cheese.
Once we did the garlic cream, let’s go for the fougasses. Spread the two pieces of dough until you have an oval shape
one centimetre thick. Then spread the garlic cream and arrange the rest of the filling (smoked duck breast, green olives from Spain and sheep cheese) on top. Bake both focaccia in a ventilated oven at 240 °C for 11 min.
And you know what? It’s already done !

 

Salad of Green Olives from Spain and Seaweeds
Level of difficulty: easy Servings: 3 / 4 people Prep Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients: 160g of Gordal Green Olives from Spain, 160g or Fresh Sardines, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, Salt, Seaweeds, Onions.
First, preparing the ingredients, cut the Spanish olives in half and chop the seaweed with a knife. Slice the onions and season everything by mixing all the ingredients. Important, mix well.
For the presentation, place the salad in the bottom of a deep plate and put the marinated sardines on top before sprinkling with lemon zest. Easy !

SWEETS FROM CANADA.

Black Hojiblanca Olive Chip Biscuits
Level of difficulty: Medium Servings: 3 / 4 people Prep Time: 45 minutes.

Ingredients: Minced Black Hojiblanca Olives, Pastry Flour, Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Baking Soda.
Pour the flour into a bowl and add a spoon of baking soda. Separately in another bowl put together the butter (help yourself heating it a bit for a smooth performance) and the sugar for a perfect blend and the mix all together with an egg.
Once is all well mixed, let’s leave it in the refrigerator for around 15 minutes and finally shape them into small balls to bake at 350º for 15 minutes.
A sweet you have never tried before will be ready !

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Typical Spanish Dishes Surprising for Foreigners

June 5, 2018

As they weren’t the daily habits and traditions, the typical hometown dishes are not common to every country. Depending on the city, its inhabitants and even depending on the weather, each city and of course every country differ from each other on gastronomic customs.
Spain is one of the countries that has more visitors per year, more than 70 million. Whatever the type of trip, everyone should try the gastronomy, which is also fascinating. Although some surprises and despite the fame of the paella and the potato omelette.
Here below, some typical Spanish dishes surprising for the foreigners’ palates.

Rabo de Toro
A classic of Spanish Cuisine that quite stranges the foreigners is “rabo de toro” or bull’s tail. An Andalusian delicatessen that dates back to the 16th century.
Despite the strangeness of the visitors, there are also many Spaniards who read the tapas menu twice. Perfect combination with a snack of Olives from Spain, andalusian flavor.

 

Callos
Same example as the bull, the porc. There is a popular saying in Spain “Every part of the pig is used up”. A perfect example of it are the “callos”, a typical Madrid dish along with the cocido. Tourists hallucinates when they realize they can order pig’s trotters, ears, brains, noses and tongue in any bar. Callos is a stew served in a clay pot, with the cow intestines accompanied by black pudding, chorizo, ham, onion, carrot, leek, garlic or chilli. Since the nineteenth century.

 

Caracoles
The season of snails begins in spring and announces the arrival of good weather. Although it is not one of the most popular dishes of Spanish cuisine the truth is that there is a lot of devotion for snails in general, but especially from Andalusia and together with the olives, they are the most common tapa in this period. Tourists are surprised by the popularity of this dish since they see it as a nauseating animal.

 

Percebes
Incredible but true, the barnacles is a dish that is also on the list of rare and surprising foods of Spanish cuisine. The great surprise of the visitors is not because of their appearance, but also because of their high price, since they do not know the danger of their capture. For them they are like a kind of bugs that grow on the rocks near the beaches.

 

Pulpo Feira
And finally “Pulpo Feira” or cooked octopus. Some tourists who walk through Galicia are surprised to see so many restaurants in which animals with eight limbs are eaten. Despite the initial displeasure, Galician octopus is one of the most recommended tapas by tourists themselves. The octopus feira is cut into slices served on a wooden plate, with olive oil, coarse salt and sprinkled paprika.

 

Any of this dishes can be surprising or disgusting at first instance but it will be appreciated after eaten, in any of the cases a good snack of olives makes a perfect combination. And remember, with olives it can only get better !

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Olives, a journey from the tree to the plate.

June 19, 2018

Have you ever think what happened before getting your perfect olive snack in your table?
Before olives have taken quite a journey, its adventure likely begins in the warm Spanish sun, swaying on a branch in the Mediterranean breeze.
Olives from Spain require a lot of warmth and sunlight, difficulty grow in colder climates. The rich, fertile soils of Andalusia in Spain is the perfect environment for olives to flourish, which is why they have been a staple of Spanish culture and cuisine for more than 2000 years.
Olives from Spain grow and ripen throughout the summer, usually becoming ready to pick between September and November. Then they are carefully harvested, hand-picked by workers carrying baskets around their necks to protect against bruising.

The small green or black fruit is a huge part of the country’s culture, from its starring role in traditional tapas to its position as an important economic driver in Spain’s agricultural sector.
But an Olive from Spain is not any given olive. To hit “table” standard, olives from Spain must have a small, smooth pit, average fat content, delicate taste, firm flesh and fine skin. Otherwise, it will be used to make olive oil, like the majority of its peers.

While people may think the colour of an olive denotes its variety, the colour only tells you when an olive was picked from the tree. The different types of olives are classified by the level of ripening when harvested. Green olives from Spain like the versatile Manzanilla and the super-sized Gordal are picked earlier in the ripening process, while black olives like the rich-tasting Hojiblanca are harvested later.

Olives are the only fruit that can’t be consumed directly from the tree because is too bitter to be eaten raw, so they must be processed before they get to your table.

To avoid damaging the fruit, olives are still picked manually one by one, this is why only about 10 per cent of the olives harvested are used as table olives. Only the best ones are good enough to become a table olive.

Curing olives, DIY.

Curing the olives is the traditional way of seasoning the olives, a very rooted process in Spain done differently depending on the area: in some places they use thyme and orange segments. To cure the olives, make a simple, straight cut into each one or poke each with a fork. And put them all in a jar full of water.

Opening the olive allows that stuff to dissolve into the water. That’s why you need to change the water once or twice a day to maximize the leaching process. Leave olives in water for 2 weeks, changing the water every day.

And then we brine. The brine, is a simple the combination of water, salt and vinegar. When the bitterness of the olives is gone, drain them and fill up the jar with the brine. They’ll be ready to eat after about a week.

The traditional process explained above takes place mostly in the producers’ countries as Spain, where farmers can collect the olives from the tree and make the curing process at their own house. Unfortunately, in UK this would not be possible so only travelling to Spain give you the opportunity to join the traditional seasoning.
But in any case, if you would like making your own dressing with olives, you can! Here a few steps: Take a jar of Spanish olives and mix it with the ingredients you like the most. Manchego cheese, paprika, chorizo, pine nuts, basil, etc. Add some olive oil and enjoy the taste of Spain. Easy ! Find below two examples of modern and delicious seasoning you can prepare in less than 5 minutes:

Black olives with Strawberries
Flavor: Sweet               Style: Surprising          Season: Spring            Preparation time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
– Black olives                                 – Strawberries
– Cauliflower                                 – Tomato
– Pedro Ximénez vinegar           – Olive oil extra virgin
– Sugar

ELABORATION
Split the strawberries in four and cover with sugar until releasing the juice and be tender. Reserve the juice for the dressing. Remove very small sprouts from the cauliflower. Peel the tomato and use its pulp to make squares, keeping the seeds. In a bowl add the black olives, the strawberries, the cauliflower, the pulp of tomato and seeds.
Boil the juice of strawberries down together with the Pedro Ximénez vinegar. Let it cool and pour the olive oil extra virgin over the black olives. Done !

Gordal olives, goat cheese and honey
Flavor: Sweet                Style: Elegant             Season: Spring              Preparation time: 4 minutes

Ingredients:

– Gordal olives                           – Goat cheese
– Hazelnuts                                – Golden apple
– Honey                                       – Lemon
– Fresh Thyme                           – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

ELABORATION
Cut the cheese into pieces the size of a hazelnut. Peel the apple and make it in small squares. Immerse the whole mix in lemon juice. After all, toss in a bowl: the Gordal olives, the hazelnuts, the drained apple and the cheese and dress the blend with a trickle of honey, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Spread the thyme leaves and stir well. Let stand 20 minutes and we have another amazing seasoning recipe to surprise your guests.

Enjoy olives from Spain right now just opening a jar and letting your imagination fly.

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Things that only happen in Spain when summer

June 26, 2018

Beaches, swimming pools, beautiful green parks for sunny mornings, museums for an afternoon of masterpieces, and countless bars for a tapas night.

Spaniards take summer very seriously, and there are some “rituals” or situations that only occur when summer arrives.
Even if in any other country summer is considered from 21st June to 21st September, technically, it’s true that due to the high temperatures summer in Spain can be considered from mid-May to late October. Hot, hot, heat!

And what Spaniards do to welcome the season?
Every 23rd June people meet on the Mediterranean beaches to celebrate the summer festivity. They do a fire on the beach and jump, dance and drink around till midnight thanking the season to come. It is called “The Night of San Juan” and as a tradition at 00.00 people wash their faces with seawater as a symbol of beauty and health for the whole year. The fire will give protection all year round to those who dare to jump over the flames. A ritual you would not like to miss.

Terraces, bars, open-air places and parks gain even more protagonism. Summer in Spain is strictly spent on the streets. Tapas, beers or the most typical summer drink in Spain: “tinto de verano” what means the perfect mix of red wine and sparkling water in a way only Spaniards can do.
Can you already imagine the favourite snack of Spanish people during this season? Right, olives from Spain win!

August is a month to relax for everybody and the city slows down its ordinary rhythm. Make yourself part of them and wait until 20h to jump into the streets.

Finally, we have already said Spaniards enjoy the open-air more than any other human being, so if you wonder where you can find them the answer is: Beach!

– Summing up –

When: From 21st June till 21st September
Where: Beaches, parks, swimming pools.
What to eat: Tapas and of course, olives from Spain.
What to drink: Tinto de verano
What to do: Relax

With all these tips, you are ready to enjoy properly a Spanish summer.

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Five Perfect Spanish Dishes for Summer with Olives

July 3, 2018

How do our eating habits change with the arrival of heat? The high temperatures push us to consume fruits, fresh vegetables, fish and shellfish in greater quantity, even if they are included the whole year round in our Mediterranean diet. Summer !

Holidays mean barbecues, meals at the beach and picnics all around. We say goodbye to heavy and elaborated meals difficult to digest and we allow ourselves to be fooled by a great variety of the best summer dishes from Spain, fresh and light.

Gazpacho
There is no summer without gazpacho! Gazpacho is one of the classics of summer. It is healthy, refreshing and light! You can take it to the beach, to the pool or to the office if you are not still on vacation.
It consists of a cold soup made of tomato, pepper, cucumber, soaked crusted bread in water and seasoned with oil, vinegar, salt, garlic and sliced manzanilla olives from Spain as the final touch.

Ajoblanco Soup.
An ancient and amazing recipe from Extremadura and Andalucia. ¿What do we need? Raw almonds, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and bread are the main ingredients you will need to taste it. Absolutely affordable and easy to prepare! When serving it you can be well accompanied with an amazing hojiblanca olive snack. Let’s keep it in family!

 

Mixed salad
Among the variety of salads, the mixed salad is probably the most popular and consumed during the summer. You will wonder, why? Easy, light, fresh and with Mediterranean ingredients! Although there are many variants, the basic ingredients are: lettuce, tomato, onion, asparagus, hard-boiled egg and manzanilla or gordal olives. In addition to the ingredients, the seasoning is basic to make it tasty: olive oil, vinegar and salt.
Easy and delicious after a day on the beach, don’t you think?

 

Melon with ham
Some foreigners will read twice the menu when they get to the restaurant. As weird as tasty it is the simplest dish to prepare since it hardly requires preparation. We only need two ingredients: melon and ham. The secret that makes this dish so exquisite is the contrast of flavours: the sweet of the fruit and the savoury of the serrano’s ham. Ideally, serve the cold melon and accompany it with a sweet wine and a bowl of rosemary marinated olives.

Esqueixada Catalana
Who does not want a fresh, simple and light salad that also dresses any menu with a touch of elegance? Esqueixada could be the recipe you were looking for. It is one of the typical dishes of Catalonia and its star component is cod. Onion, green pepper, red pepper, tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and black olives will perfectly complete the salad. Fresh and tasty!

If you noticed the olives are in all the dishes of this summer, either as the main ingredient or as an aperitif, because olives are the answer !