Some souvenirs

There are olive trees all around our village and an olive oil mill run by friends of ours who produce wonderful oil.  But I like to taste oils from other areas too, so when I go to Catalunya or Andalucia I always bring back a few bottles.  This time I found two oils made from Arbequina olives, one made near to where we were staying, at Castellterçol near Barcelona, and the other from Jerez de los Caballeros in Andalucia.  They look and taste quite similar, although the Catalan oil (on the right in the photo) was slightly more peppery.

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Arbequina olives are smaller than most other varieties and I was told once by a grower that the advantage of this is that they do not attract the olive fly because there is not enough flesh for it to lay its eggs in.  This makes Arbequina olive trees very suitable for organic production as they do not need chemical sprays to protect against the fly.

For supper on Friday night in a restaurant in the village where we were staying, the first course was a salad of red peppers, tomatoes and salt cod.  It reminded me that we don’t often enough eat our red peppers raw – because they’re so delicious grilled.  They’re very sweet and tasty when they’re raw too, so tonight for supper I made a salad with chopped red and green peppers and sweet onion mixed with cooked potatoes and dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I arranged this around the plates and then added pieces of chicken that had been marinated in lemon juice, garlic and paprika and then fried in olive oil.  I garnished it all with some finely sliced red pepper and a few basil leaves.

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6 thoughts on “Some souvenirs

  1. The salad with peppers, tomatoes and salt cod sounds delicious, but I’m sold on your take of the dish using chicken. Soaking and preparing salt cod takes a lot of time if you’re just making food for two people. We don’t seem to get the olive fly here, but the birds eat my olives if I don’t pick them early.

    • You have birds with very sophisticated tastes in your part of France! I don’t think the birds eat them here. Maybe the olive flies don’t come to your area because there aren’t so many olive trees – not worth the journey for them!

  2. I think oilve oil – when is of good quality – is one of the best things in the world. When we pick olives every November, and send them to the mill to get extra virgin olive oil is such a great satisfaction to be able to taste your own olive oil. Yours looks amazing!!

  3. I confess to having at least three different olive oils on hand at any one time. One for cooking, one for drizzling and salads, and my husband’s favorite smooth and buttery one. At the moment it’s more like 8 or 9 oils since we are working our way through a variety of separately bottled oils from different varieties of olives. Those came from a client of my husband who grows them locally. It’s interesting how each oil is quite different. Ah, and one of them is from Arbequina olives.

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