Typical Spanish Dishes Surprising for Foreigners -

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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 !

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Summer escapades, holidays are a must.

July 10, 2018

In the hot season, beach destinations take over all our thoughts.
Planning a holiday to Spain? With more than 5,000 miles of coastline, Spain has thousands of beaches, from tiny rocky coves to long strips of golden sand, anyone could find its place according to its expectations and desires.

The Basque coast on the Bay of Biscay has some of the best waves for surfing, Zarautz, Mundaka or San Sebastian can be one of many.
The Canary Islands, with more than 150 beaches along its 220 miles of coast, is fast becoming one of Spain’s most popular seaside destinations. There are amazing conditions for kiteboarding, windsurfing, diving and other activities. But if you prefer coves, you can explore the Costa Brava from the French border down to Tossa de Mar, or head to the Balearics and venture down to find secret beaches. On the other hand, if you want to meet culture, good food, amazing weather and sun-kissed beaches, then you better go to Andalusia.

Do you want more details? Just keep reading, open a jar of olives from Spain and it would not be difficult to feel the summer in your body.

Natural Park of Cabo de Gata, Almería
A good corner to spend your next vacation in Spain is the incredible Natural Park of Cabo de Gata, one of the best corners of Andalusia. Turquoise waters, marine life, rich gastronomy, white villages and, above all, a lot of peace on the shores of the Mediterranean are some of the things that await you. Don’t forget to add to your beach picnic bag and amazing olive snack. Easy to carry, fresh and light.

Tamariu, Costa Brava.
Secluded coves and broad stretches of golden sand, look no further, Tamariu in Costa Brava. Far from the crowds the stretch of coastline between Palamós, about an hour north of Barcelona, and Cadaqués near the French border has some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean.

Es Pujols, Formentera.
Best beach in the Balearics? We could argue about that all day but Formentera, has some pretty convincing contenders for the title. White sand and clear, calm water are the norm here, making Formentera a good choice for families with young children, to dive, kayak or windsurf, to cycle or hike around the island. A safe bet for everybody, just as our snack of olives from Spain.

Sierra de Gredos, Castilla y León, Extremadura and Madrid

Travelling in Spain means having the chance to meet all kinds of landscapes. From paradisiacal beaches to hiking up mountains to breathe fresh air. Therefore, a great idea for the next vacation is to explore the area of the Sierra de Gredos, the highest mountain range of the Central System. This is between Castilla y León, Madrid and Extremadura and offers countless hiking options, as well as many lagoons to cool off.

If you want to really enjoy your summer holidays, as you can see, in Spain there’s no excuse.

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Seasoning olives, summer season.

July 17, 2018

Beach, pool, mountain, lake. No matter where you spend your holidays, summer it’s just an excuse to celebrate.
To celebrate the good weather, to celebrate with family, to celebrate with friends even if Spanish people don’t need any excuse to gather around the table and have a great time. Then let’s celebrate with the best olives from Spain in its summer seasoning.
Our best Spanish chefs meet at the kitchen to show us the best options for the season, write it down!

Spanish black olives from Teruel

Flavor: Sweet                           Style: Surprising                    Season: Summer                        Preparation time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

– Spanish black olives                            – Rosemary
– Dried tomatoes                                     – Garlic
– Peach cubes                                           – Extra virgin olive oil

ELABORATION: Put in a bowl the cubes of peach, rosemary and extra virgin olive oil and reserve it. After 20 minutes, add the pulp of the tomatoes. Finally, add the Spanish black olives and some garlic chopped. Voilà !

 

Spanish Queen Olives with tuna from the Cantabric and Cider Vinegar

Flavor: Salty                               Style: Surprising                     Season: Summer                        Preparation time: 4 minutes

Ingredients:

– Spanish queen olives                               – Chilli
– Tuna                                                            – Lemon balm
– Cider vinegar                                             – Extra virgin olive oil
– Grains of mustard

ELABORATION: Put in a bowl some pieces of tuna with vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, grains of mustard and the chilli. Mix everything and add the Spanish queen olives. Before serving, add some lemon balms as the final touch.

 

Spanish Queen Olives with Melon and Spicy

Flavor: Sweet                                Style: Fresh                             Season: Summer                          Preparation time: 3 minutes

Ingredients:

– Spanish queen olives                                    – Rosemary
– Dried cod                                                         – Cayenne
– Melon cubes                                                    – Curry
– Saffron                                                              – Extra virgin olive oil

ELABORATION: Put in a bowl the Spanish queen olives, some pieces of cayenne and a little bit of curry. Add the rosemary and the saffron previously crushed. Add some cubes of melon and the dried cod. Mix everything with some extra virgin olive oil. Reserve in the fridge for 20 minutes. And make your guests awaiting for the best !

 

Spanish Green Olives with Escalivada

Flavor: Salty                                  Style: Fresh                               Season: Summer                           Preparation time: 3 minutes

Ingredients:

– Spanish Green Olives                                        – Aubergine
– Red Pepper                                                          – Extra virgin olive oil
– Onion                                                                    – Salt

ELABORATION: Roast in the oven the red pepper, the onion and the aubergine cut in strips. Wait until cool. Put in a bowl the Spanish green olives, the vegetables and add some extra virgin olive oil and salt for mixing.

This summer, do not plan too much, leave free time to improvise and lose yourself. Enjoy a pleasant talk, share some beers and olives or simply marvel at an incredible sunset. Enjoy olives from Spain right now just opening a jar and letting your imagination fly.