Why you shouldn’t miss Cádiz’s carnivals -

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Why you shouldn’t miss Cádiz’s carnivals

February 23, 2021

Cádiz spends the whole year preparing for its popular Carnival celebrations, which are one of
the best known in Spain and throughout the world as a huge street party. For 11 days, the
streets of Cádiz are filled with vibrant costumes, non-stop fun and many people participating.
The whole city transforms to create an unforgettable experience of singing, dancing and pure
enjoyment. This is one of the most-awaited events on the Spanish calendar, and therefore it is
not one to be missed!

During the 16th century, the city of Cádiz had much trade with Venice, which inspired the
Carnival which is known today. Now, the carnival has become known worldwide for the roaming
streets of artists, with the most outstanding feature being that they sing witty and satirical songs
about Spanish current affairs and prominent Spanish features. These singing groups compete
to perform in the carnival, and this starts three weeks before the opening of it. The most
prevalent group that you will see amongst all the singing satirists during the carnival are groups
known as ‘Chirigotas’, who are humorous groups performing satirical pieces. The other groups
that you will come across are the ‘Comparsas’ who present their satirical songs in a more
serious manner, performing classical music. The largest group you will see are the choirs, made
up of about 20 performers, their signature song is the ‘Carnival Tango’ and they wear the most
elaborate costumes. With so much culture of music and dance, there is no wonder this carnival
is so popular and shouldn’t be missed!

Fancy dress is compulsory at the Cadiz Carnival as there are two parades where the public are
involved as part of the vibrant and colourful procession. The Gran Cabalgata (Great Parade) is
on the first Sunday and it attracts tens of thousands of people through the entrance to the city.
The second parade that Carnival goers can take places in is The Cabalgata del Humor
(Comedy Parade) which goes through the old town on the last weekend and is a fun and
humorous way to take part and celebrate the carnival.

The “charangas ilegales” are another group who contribute to an element of the Cadiz Carnival,
where they usually gather in the Plaza de las Flores. These are made up of families and groups
of friends that are amateur singers, so do not enter the official competition, but whose repertoire
of songs compete for humour and laughs with the “official” groups. It is just their chance to get
involved, have fun and not take themselves too seriously!

Outdoor parties, fireworks, fancy dress dances and many more additional activities all ensure
that the fun doesn’t stop for a moment throughout the celebrations, and this is why the Cadiz
Carnival is not one to be missed!

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Why sportsperson should eat olives?

January 3, 2017

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.

It is important to disprove that false myth about the high caloric content of an appetizer as healthy as table olives. In fact, they have fewer calories than most snacks. For example, compared to the approximately 500 kilocalories that contain 100 grams of chips, the same amount of olives does not exceed 150 Kcal (70% less than French fries). This makes them the perfect aperitif to take care of our organism inside and out.

Reasons to introduce this Mediterranean delight into your diet if you are a sportsperson

#1 PART OF YOUR 5 A DAY

Olives are a fruit and just sixteen olives make up one of your five-a-day. They’re also a great source of dietary fibre, important for a sportsperson because it keeps you feeling fuller for longer and helps to control blood-sugar levels.

In addition, being rich in minerals (calcium, iron and magnesium) and having approximately 50% water, they help restore the body’s water balance after practicing any sport.

#2 PROTECTION FROM FREE RADICALS

Exercising in a polluted environment causes the body to produce inflammation-causing compounds as a result of oxidative stress in the body. Olives are full of Vitamin E – an anti-oxidant that protects cells from those dangerous free radicals, reducing oxidative stress.

#3 VITAMIN RICH

As running can lower the body’s immune defences (particularly in the 24 hours after an intense training session), it is important to include lots of vitamin-rich foods in your diet to strengthen your immune system. In addition to Vitamin E, they contain sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium, essential in the diet of the athlete because, among other things, they help to remedy muscle cramps and protect our muscle mass. In the case of black olives, it should be noted that they are a source of high iron content; reaching 45.5% of the recommended daily amount. The experts talk about seven olives a day to squeeze all their health benefits.

Olives are also rich in vitamins of group B, E and A; which contributes to the protection of cells against oxidative damage and the aging process, thanks to their antioxidants.

#4 HEALTHY FATS

Providing an essential source of energy and all-important fatty acids, fats and oils are a crucial part of a runner’s diet. Olives contain unsaturated healthy fats including omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to speed recovery in athletes by reducing inflammation and improving protein synthesis.

They are a cholesterol-free food -they contain around 0.2 mg per 100 g- thanks to their high percentage of oleic acid that helps maintain normal blood cholesterol levels and protect the heart.

For all these reasons, olives are not only delicious, but they are also great if you like sports. Full of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and unique taste!

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Olives: Fruit’s Place in History and at the Table

September 12, 2017

The olive tree and its fruit are linked to the history and culture of the Mediterranean people for over 6,000 years. Healing and magical powers and the ability to bring wisdom or peace has been attributed to it.

In the Iberian Peninsula it is known that in the prehistory this tree existed, thanks to pits of olives found in archaeological sites, having increased considerably its culture during the Spanish-Arab era. Precisely from that time, Spanish has inherited words like “aceituna” (olive), which in Arabic meant “olive juice”.

The preparation of the table olives

Like the preparation of olive oil, the preparation of the table olives, have been lost over time. In the past, each Spanish bar or tavern had its own olives and secret dressings, which gave them the personality of the bar’s owner, usually rooted in the innkeeper’s origins, or some formula that their olive supplier advised them to prepare. Obviously the geographical point had much to do, and depending on the products that could be available, the dressings arose.

Nowadays, table olives are considered the food of hospitality in Mediterranean culture, the first to reach the table, the prelude to a good lunch. Olives receive the hungry dinner guest and try to alleviate their appetite until the rest of the food arrives. They are the green of the lunch, the vegetal counterpoint and sometimes the protagonists. Every self-respecting appetizer must have table olives; it is almost inconceivable to go out to have a beer without some olives to share with friends.

Definitely, who does not like to enjoy in a summer day the shade of some terrace near the beach in good company, with a refreshing drink and some tasty olives?

 

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A Beginner’s Guide to Table Olives

September 13, 2017

Table olives have been part of the Mediterranean diet for thousands of years. Long before Martinis or tapenade were used as something cool at parties, this small and delicious fruit was already famous among a lot of ancient cultures such as Romans, Greeks or the Egyptians.

However, until recently, in countries outside the Mediterranean basin, it was difficult to find much of these. And we say this because in table olives’ world, there are many types, which today we can find in the nearest supermarket in our neighborhood quite easily.

The classification of the varieties of table olives depends on 3 variables:

  • Their presentation
  • Their place of origin
  • Type of olive

In the case of this guide, all the olives that we will talk about are of Spanish origin, so we will explain varieties according to their presentation and type, in order to make you an expert in the olive world and the boast at your next party with friends.

And, why do we focus on Spanish olives? Because Spain is a leader in production and export of table olives, being its product of great quality and tradition.

TYPES OF OLIVE

 

It is important to know that there are two types of olives: olives for oil and table olives. The oil ones are smaller, lozenge-shaped and less fleshy. On the other hand, the table ones contain more meat, a small pit, rounded form and its meat detaches of the bone easily.

Greens: They are olives harvested during the ripening cycle, and when they have reached a normal size.

Black: They are olives collected in full maturity or shortly before it, and after being treated for later consumption they acquire their characteristic black colour.

Of changing colour: They are olives collected before their full maturity and with different shades in their coloration, such as pinkish, purple or dark brown.

VARIETY OF TABLE OLIVES

 

Manzanilla

The olives of the variety Manzanilla are fruits of medium size, almost round and with relatively small pit. It is undoubtedly the most widely spread olive tree variety in the world and one of the best known.

Gordal

Known internationally with the name of “Sevillana”, it is an olive very appreciated for its size, since it can reach an average weight of 0,44oz. Hence its Spanish name, Gordal, “the fat one”. They are mainly grown in low Andalusia.

Hojiblanca

Its cultivation covers great part of the provinces of Cordova, Malaga, Seville and Granada. The fruit has a coloration from violet to black, and it’s a very appreciated variety in elaborations of black olives seasoned and in brine, is considered very suitable for black dressing type “Californian”.

In addition, we can find them with different presentations:

 

Olives with pits: They are the ones that retain their original shape and the pit has not been removed.

Unpitted: These are the olives which pit has been removed and retain their original shape.

Stuffed: Unpitted olives that are filled with one or more ingredients such as pepper, onion, tuna, anchovy, salmon, almond, etc.

Salads: Olives cut into segments or sliced ​​and unpitted. They may be accompanied by capers and other stuff.

Slices: Unpitted or stuffed olives cut into rings of a similar thickness.

Caper: Whole or unpitted with or without stuffing, usually small in size and accompanied by capers.

Rolls: Olives that are not placed in order.

Placed: Olives that fit in the containers, following a symmetrical order or adopting geometric forms.

If you have any doubts or want to know more about this delicious snack, write to us on Facebook or Instagram, and we will solve all your doubts!

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The first ever Spanish Olive Festival is coming to the UK!

September 19, 2017

This September sees the exciting arrival of the first ever Spanish Olive Festival in the UK and it’s free to attend!

Come to visit the Canopy Market at Kings Cross and you will be transported to the olive groves of Spain with celebrity chef demonstrations, a famous nutritionist, olive tastings, an interactive marinating & filling station, an olive art installation and of course, Spanish music to flamenco the day away!

On the Friday 29th, critically acclaimed chef José Pizarro who believes that “Spanish olives are the best in the world”, and Spanish TV sensation Omar Allibhoy kick off the line-up. Both chefs will be showcasing their favourite dishes using delicious Spanish olives – Omar a juicy braised chicken in Spanish olive sauce and José, a melt-in-the-mouth grilled lamb rack with an olive marinade. Omar, Founder of the Tapas Revolution will also be doing book signings after his demonstrations. Don’t miss it!

Then on the Saturday from midday, nutritionist Fiona Hunter will be getting you in the mood for lunch, with her healthy yet delicious Spanish eggs with olives, olive & sesame cocktail biscuits and don’t miss out on trying her tapenade! Saltyard’s Ben Tish brings his own Spanish expertise with a black face lamb neck and green olive puree and Omar Allibhoy returns with cooking demonstrations and book signings to create a not-to-be-missed line-up for the Saturday.

Finally on Sunday 1st October, you will see Ben Tish and Fiona Hunter take to the stage with tasty dishes, that are sure to help cure a hangover and will give you inspiration for healthy Sunday night Spanish feasts at home.

In addition to all this, you can get your fill at The Olive Station trying your hand at stuffing and marinating gorgeous Spanish olives with fried & salted almonds, piquillo peppers, cheese and chorizo, to take home for free! And if the thought of a pickled almond, caper or pimento pairing sounds daunting, there’ll be experts on hand to help you make the right choice.

The Olive Tasting Station is where you’ll be able to try a range of Spanish olives, from the Manzanillas, to Gordals, and Hojiblancas. Experts on hand will be able to answer questions and recommend dishes and pairings, so you can try using them at home.

An olive art installation will take centre stage, built entirely out of olives; this green & black landscape masterpiece will be a sight to behold and will be where you can take selfie’s until your hearts content.

You’ll be able to get your favourite recipes in the form of cards from our celebrity chefs and nutritionist, there’ll be traditional Spanish music and the Canopy Market itself is always worth a visit.

Save the date for this exciting new free festival!

spanish olive festival

Festival Dates: Friday 29th Sept, Saturday 30th Sept & Sunday 1st Oct

Times: Friday (12-7pm), Saturday (12-7pm), Sunday (11-6pm)

Venue: Canopy Market, West Handyside Canopy, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4BH

 

 
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Spanish life: five things to do if you want to live like a local

September 26, 2017

Stereotypes are the worst enemy for travellers who really want to discover the culture and people from a country. This happens with paella, bullfights and flamenco in Spain, they turned into internationally recognized symbols, that not always match the reality. So if you want to fully immerse yourself in Spanish customs, develop a clear understanding and share their Mediterranean lifestyle, here you have these five things to do if you want to live like a local in Spain for your next trip.

 

1-Eat Dinner After 9:30. Hungry at 7 pm? If you’re in Spain, you might just be out of luck, because Spanish dinner time doesn’t start until after 9 pm. The good thing? You won’t go to sleep hungry. But the best thing is that you can…

2-Have a pre-dinner snack or merienda. As there are plenty of hours between lunch and dinner, the Spaniards have what they call “merienda“, which is usually taken between 5 and 7pm to satisfy their hunger a bit. The good thing about this snack, is that it can be some refreshing drink with some delicious snack like spanish table olives. What would you want more?

3-Do not limit yourself to the beach. Although Spain is famous mainly for its incredible coasts and their big cities like Madrid, Barcelona or Seville, there are endless picturesque villages less visited by foreigners, that will give you a new perspective of the cultural variety of this country, offering you the opportunity to enjoy the real Mediterranean lifestyle.

4-Eat tapas while standing. Do not expect to find a table and a place to sit in taverns and tapas bars of Spain, because frequently, if you go at tapas peak time when there’s more people, it is normal to have your drink and your tapa or pintxo directly standing or leaning on the bar at best. Tapas are usually small portions of food, like olives, so eating them standing is simple. Relax, it’s the Spanish way!

5-Enjoy the moment. Do not plan too much your trip, leave free time to improvise and lose yourself in the town or the city where you are, to enjoy a pleasant talk with some local neighbour, share some beers and olives or simply marvel at an incredible sunset.