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The slickest of all oils

Whether you’ve visited our region or not, you’re probably unlikely to know that we sit in the largest olive belt in the world. More olives are grown and more oil is produced here than anywhere else in the world and the vast majority of the world’s consumption of what here is known as liquid gold is exported from these groves.

It’s also a little known fact, that what you see on your supermarket shelves branded as “Italian Olive Oil”, is actually made from Spanish olives. Italian groves invariably are smaller, often family run, and hugely expensive to harvest, which is why olive oil producers in Italy come to Spain to buy high quality fruit at lower prices. As it is processed in Italy they can name it “Italian” but it’s not.

So, now you know where the best olive oil in the world comes from, España!!

Let’s tell you a little bit more about this amazing fruit. In terms of health benefits, the list is long….and a spoonful a day will definitely go some way to keeping your cholestrol low. Extra virgen oil is also believed to be anti- carcinogenic and it’s also full of polyphenols which are antioxidants.

It’s also best for cooking and frying in….far better than any sunflower oil or palm oil (the most commonly used oil in the world) …… but as well as drizzling over a salad, get some good quality cheese, a hard one with good body and smell, some chorizo, cured ham, and drizzle oil over the top. You’ll be amazed at how it influences and enhances the taste! But only an extra virgin olive oil, the purest you can get….cheap varieties just don’t cut the mustard!

Being in the middle of all these groves we are proud to use the oil that is produced here in Archidona. At our breakfast table (leave the butter to one side and drizzle your toast in peppery oil) we use a monovariety oil, ecological and organic, that is produced from the finest fruit at the beginning of each harvest, every October or November (the olive oil harvest starts late October and normally finishes March time).

The guys who run the farm where we get the oil from (pictured above and which dates back almost 200 years) pride themselves on having recreated a sustainable way to farm. They’re passionate about protecting wildlife, flora and fauna in an effort to produce the finest oil for miles and it works. So we’ve teamed up with our friends there to provide visits for our guests, where you can learn more about this precious ingredient, visit the groves, enjoy a tasting (and even adopt a tree) followed by lunch or dinner.

(Prices from €40 pp for the tour, tasting and lunch or dinner depending on group size)