The Top 5 Tapas to Enjoy in Spain -

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The Top 5 Tapas to Enjoy in Spain

November 6, 2017

The olive is the queen of the tapas. It is the tapa that bars and restaurants put you almost always by “courtesy”, is almost intrinsic to the moment of the tapeo.

Every day across Spain, restaurants and bars serve up a myriad of mouth-watering appetisers and snacks known as tapas. Craved by locals and visitors alike, these small, unassuming dishes deliver a powerhouse of flavour for your taste buds. Here are five tapas that you won’t want to miss.

#1. Croquetas

These crunchy fried bites are ubiquitous throughout Spain for good reason. They’re so delicious that you probably can’t eat just one! The traditional Spanish fillings are ham, chicken, and cod. Today, many places also offer modern twists, including vegetarian versions of croquetas.

#2. Tortilla de Patatas

The potato omelette, also known as the Spanish omelette, is one of the most beloved tapas throughout the country. Perhaps surprisingly, it has just three ingredients! There’s nothing quite as simple, yet satisfying, as biting into a pint-sized Spanish omelette with its golden-brown potatoes, fluffy eggs, and dash of onions.

#3. Calamares a la Romana

For any seafood lover, calamares a la romana (Spanish fried calamari) is a must-try. Chefs batter and deep-fry the rings, then serve them with a side of lemon juice. Grab a fresh plate and enjoy the perfect combination of crispy and tender textures.

#4. Banderillas

Olives, a staple in many tapas, are key to making good banderillas, which are cold snacks served on skewers. Preparers may use a variety of olives, such as Manzanillas or Queen olives, to get just the right flavour. Add in some pickled peppers and onions, and you’re ready to go!

#5. Jamón, Queso y Chorizo

Looking to get back to basics, like meat and cheese? Then indulge yourself with one of Spain’s heartiest and most popular tapas of all: a small plate of Serrano ham, sheep’s milk cheese, and Spanish chorizo. You’ll be glad you did.

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Five Surprising Health Benefits of Olives

November 6, 2017

If you ask a botanist about olives, they will tell you that the olive is a small, bitter-tasting fruit of Olea Europea, the olive tree. Similar to mangoes, cherries, peaches, almonds, and pistachios, they belong to a class of fruit known as drupes or stone fruits. The fruit classification is because olives form in the ovary of the olive flower, and they have seeds, the small stones or pits, which if planted and lovingly tended, could grow into a tree. Like tomatoes, olives are a fruit which we often treat as a vegetable, enjoying them in savory dishes, as an hors-d’oeuvre, or simply as a snack. No matter how you eat them, there are several reasons that olives are a healthy food.

Heart Healthy

Olives are high in antioxidant nutrients, helping to prevent oxidation of cholesterol, which causes fat to build up, damaging arteries. While olives do contain high levels of fat, it is the healthy monounsaturated type, which reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and increase levels of good cholesterol.

Prevention of Cancer

Black olives are high in vitamin E, which has a profound capacity to neutralize free radicals in body fat. Combined with the monounsaturated fats in olives vitamin E makes cellular processes safer. Protecting cellular processes, such as mitochondrial energy production, limits production of free radicals, which cause oxidation and damages a cell’s mitochondria, preventing the cell from generating enough energy to satisfy its needs. Research shows that olives can lower the risk of colon cancer, and provide nearly as many health benefits as fish oil.

Hair and Skin Health

The olives fatty acids and antioxidants, particularly vitamin E, hydrate, nourish and protect skin and hair from ultraviolet radiation, reducing the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.

Bone and Connective Tissue

Olives possess anti-inflammatory powers due to monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and polyphenols. The anti-inflammatory capabilities of the olive can help to alleviate symptoms of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. These three conditions correlate with high levels of free radicals which the amazing olive helps to control.

Digestive Tract Health

Vitamin E and monounsaturated fats, plentiful in olives, help lower rates of colon cancer because they neutralize free radicals. Olives have beneficial effects on ulcers and gastritis, lowering frequency of gall stone formation.

So whether you enjoy them in a salad, as an ingredient when cooking, or eat them like candy as a snack, olives are a delicious and healthy fruit. To learn more about this or anything else contact us today.

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The first ever Spanish Olive Festival in UK was a success!

November 13, 2017

Last October we had the pleasure of celebrating the first Spanish Olive Festival in the UK.

In the emblematic setting of the Canopy Market in Kings Cross, we brought a small piece of Spain to the heart of London.

We were also delighted to be joined by chefs Ben Tish, José Pizarro, Omar Allibhoy and the nutritionist Fiona Hunter, who taught us a lot of recipes and tricks to use olives in our daily diet.

In addition, we enjoyed olive tastings, an interactive marinating & filling station, an olive art installation and of course, Spanish music to flamenco the day away!

And after that incredible weekend, we have this selection of photos.

Click here see the pics.

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Top Five Festivals in Spain

November 22, 2017

Spain is a Country of festivals, with every village, no matter how small, having their own, individual celebrations. Most of these fiestas and festivals have roots in religion, but the people of Spain love to celebrate. Here is a list of the top five festivals in Spain that you won’t want to miss.

Carnival of Tenerife

Known for its beautiful views, incredible nightlife, and luxury resorts, every February Santa Cruz de Tenerife is home to one of the worlds biggest celebrations. With revelry lasting up to three weeks, the Carnival of Tenerife, rivalled only by Rio de Janeiro, is the best place to celebrate Carnival. As evidence of how committed participants in Tenerife’s Carnival are, many businesses cut the hours that they are open, while others close for the entire duration of the festival! With dazzling costumes and continuous dancing, the parades and street entertainment are fun to watch, but even more fun to join. Don’t be nervous about being flamboyant and dressing in drag or as a favourite cartoon character. You will fit right in!

Fallas of Valencia

One of Spain’s best-known festivals, Fallas of Valencia involves several days of parades, fireworks, the burning of enormous wooden structures, and of course plenty of drinking and dancing in the streets. This festival celebrates the feast of Saint Joseph every March and if you need to choose one festival to attend this is the one!

La Tomatina of Buñol

Held on the last Wednesday in August, La Tomatina of Buñol celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and is the worlds biggest annual food fight. Involving over 20,000 people and approximately 150 tons of ripe tomatoes, La Tomatina draws people from around the world to join in on this messy fiesta.

The April Fair of Seville

Spring in Sevilla is beautiful, and there is no better way to celebrate the season than a week-long festival featuring food carts, regional specialties, drinks, music, and dancing. The Feria de Abril de Sevilla began as a trade fair in the 19th century and has grown into a huge event, with over 1 million people from around the world visiting. Enjoy traditional Sevillanas, bullfights, flamenco music & dancers and much more at The April Fair of Seville!

San Fermín (Pamplona Bull Run)

No list of festivals would be complete without The Festival of San Fermín, or the Running of the Bulls as it’s more commonly known outside Spain. This festival begins midday on the 6th of July with the launching of a rocket by the mayor from the balcony of the Casa Consistorial in Pamplona. The festival honours the martyr Saint Fermín, with crowds of brave individuals risking life and limb as they run through the city followed by seven huge, angry bulls while crowds of spectators line the streets to watch. The goal of the runners is to touch as many of the animals as they can without getting trampled. Whether you participate or are just a spectator, the running of the bulls is an experience you will not soon forget!

To learn more about this or anything else, contact us today!

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How to greet properly Spaniards? With Olives, of Course.

November 28, 2017

How to greet a Spaniard? In Spain, olives are life itself. Greet them with olives.

Olives embody the spanish ifestyle, vibrant and vital, yet relaxed. A lifestyle where families share their food and their lives. A lifestyle where there are no separate plates. A place where time is forgotten for a while to bask in the warm glow of enjoyment.

Olives speak of outside air, rich with fresh breezes and the aroma of history itself. 

In Spain, olives speak to the heart.

In many ways. Through a richness of flavor unequaled in distinctiveness. Through a partnership with salad, meat and other foods that brings out the best in each. How many other foods have such good friends? And, like good friends, brings out the best? None other I can recall. 

In Spain, olives speak to the heart. 

In the passionate moments we live through, nutrition is not always the greatest of concerns. Olives turn us to it naturally with their gusto and flavor. Yes, we know that they are a centerpiece of the Mediterranean Diet that is good for the heart. That numerous studies have shown a reduction in heart disease when we follow this healthy diet rich in fruits like the olive, nuts, and vegetables. But, really, that’s not why we eat them.

That’s a message that speaks to our minds. And we listen. But the flavor and goodness we taste, like the laughter that comes from friends and family, the rich air we breathe, they speak to our hearts. For some things, we need no long lists of reasons.

We only need listen to the heart.

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5 easy appetizers with olives for this Christmas

December 4, 2017

The cities are filled with coloured lights. Christmas carols are playing on the TV, and in the shop windows hundreds of adorable gold and red ornaments highlight their products. Christmas is here.

And as sure that you have already thought about the menu for those days, today we bring you 5 simple appetizer recipes with olives, which will make you succeed with your friends and family at this year’s lunches and dinners without having to spend hundreds of hours in the kitchen.

#1 Olives villaroy style

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Medium

For this preparation it is essential to use unpitted olives to avoid accidents, but with that exception, you can use black olives, green olives, stuffed with anchovy, pepper or any variety you prefer. In a little while, you will have an unforgettable aperitif ready.

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 12 olives, béchamel sauce, egg, bread crumbs and olive oil
  • For the béchamel sauce, 60 gr of butter, 60 gr of flour, 1 litre of whole milk (some will be left over)

How to prepare Olives villaroy style

Prepare a classic béchamel sauce, mixing the same amount of butter as flour and beating it with the rods until you get a roux. We incorporate slowly the milk without stopping to move until obtaining a thick texture, similar to when we prepare croquettes.

Chop the olives in chopsticks to facilitate handling and we put them in the béchamel before it cools, letting it wrap. Once covered by béchamel, let them cool so that the cover hardens a little.

We remove the chopsticks from the olives once they are cold and we pass them through beaten egg and bread crumbs, taking advantage of to finish giving them a spherical shape. We put oil to heat and fry them until they are well browned. We put the chopsticks back and serve them while they are still hot.

#2 Gordal olives stuffed with peppers, almonds and blue cheese

Gordal is a large-sized green olive from Spain, which has a rich flavour and is perfect for stuffing, due to its size. The stuffed olives are very easy to prepare and at the same time they are impressive and can make any day during the week or meeting with family and friends something extra special.

Ingredients

 

  • 24 Olives from Spain Gordal
  • 3 Spanish Piquillo peppers, drained and cut lengthwise into about 8 thin strips
  • 24 roasted salted Marcona almonds
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin Spanish olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 sprig of thyme, left intact
  • 1/2 cup of shredded blue cheese from Spain, like Cabrales, or your favourite blue cheese.

How to prepare stuffed olives

In a bowl, mix the olive oil, sherry vinegar, thyme and honey. Stir and press gently on the sprig of thyme with the back of the spoon to release the oils. Set aside until you are ready to use.

Unpitted the olives using a knife. Make a cut lengthwise and gently remove. The olives must remain intact.

Place the olives on a flat surface like a cutting board with the slit lengthwise upward. Stuffed with 1 almond, followed by a strip of Piquillo pepper, which you must fix flush with the groove that was made in each olive.

Place the stuffed olives on a plate and add 1 spoon of the marinade on each of the olives. Let the olives marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve, placing the olives on a plate and cover with shredded pieces of Cabrales cheese or your favourite blue cheese.

#3 Olives, pepper and cheese muffins

If you are looking for a true contrast of flavours, these salty muffins are undoubtedly the best option. We recommend using Piquillo peppers and Parmesan cheese, although you can vary them with an equally delicious result.

Preparation time: 45 minutes’ preparation and 25 min cooking: 1h, 10 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients 12 servings

  • 300 grams of flour.
  • 1 table spoon of yeast.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 250 ml. of milk.
  • 1 egg.
  • 80 ml. of olive oil.
  • 60 grams of Piquillo peppers drained and cut.
  • 50 grams of green pitted olives cut into thin slices.
  • 60 grams of grated Parmesan cheese.
  • 30 or 40 grams of grated feta cheese.

How to prepare olives muffins

Preheat the oven to 190º. Prepare a mold for muffins, gives for 12 units. Mix flour, yeast, salt and pepper. Add the milk, the egg and the oil until they are well mixed and integrated. Add the cut peppers, the olives and the grated feta cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until the muffins have risen and are golden brown.

#4 Baked olives with cheese

A very quick appetizer to prepare. Perfect as finger foods and dinners with children.

Preparation time: 35 mins

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

– 115 g of grated cheddar cheese

– 30 g of margarine

– 60 g of flour

– A pinch of pepper powder

– 24 green olives stuffed with red pepper

How to prepare baked olives with cheese

Preheat the oven to 200º C. In a bowl, mix the cheese with the margarine. Add the flour and mix well. Take each olive and surround it with a portion of this dough, remaining like a little elongated ball.

Put the olives thus prepared on an oven paper. Put it in for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.

They can be frozen and bake later, adding a little more baking time.

#5 Salad of olives and oranges

This salad is a magnificent combination of Arab influence, typical of Andalusian recipes. This recipe really shows the versatility of the Olives from Spain. You would not think of mixing ripe, tasty, black olives with sweet, juicy oranges from Valencia, but the combination is surprisingly good. The game of salty and sweet goes further with the addition of spicy red onions.

Ingredients

For the salad:

– 4 oranges from Valencia

– 1/2 cup sliced ripe black Spain Olives

– 1/2 small red onion, cut into thin slices

– 1/4 cup of pomegranate seeds

– 10-15 mint leaves, whole leaf or sliced

For the dressing:

– 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, freshly squeezed

– 1 tablespoon of orange juice, freshly squeezed

– 3 tablespoons extra virgin Spanish olive oil

– A pinch of hot Spanish pepper or cayenne (optional)

– A pinch of sea salt in a cup

How to prepare olive and orange salad

Cut the top and bottom of the oranges. Cut enough so that the meat inside is barely exposed. On a cutting board, place the orange down, then insert the knife blade into the space between the meat and the skin at an angle that matches the outline of the fruit. Work your knife around with a gentle saw motion, following the outline of the fruit and removing the skin enough to expose the flesh beneath. Use the knife to remove the additional pieces of the white part, as it is bitter.

Cut the sliced ​​oranges crosswise in a quarter of an inch thick, making beautiful slices. Place the overlapping slices lightly on your serving plate. Add ripe black olives, pomegranate seeds, slices of red onion and mint leaves.

Make the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil, spicy paprika or pepper if used, and sea salt in a bowl. Pour dressing liberally over the salad and serve at room temperature.