Swine and Cheese

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Fino Olive Oil

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Fino Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fino Extra Virgin Olive Oil

You may remember from my previous post, “Andalucia Trip”, how much I raved about the wonderful olive oil produced by our friend Susie Taylor. Using olives grown in her olive groves around the Andalucian town of Casarabonela she produces a range of superbly, robust and extremely tasty olive oils. I am delighted to let you know that we are about to launch 2.5 litre tins of her fabulous Andalucian extra virgin olive oil available exclusively through Dukeshill. This quantity seemed just the right amount for us to be offering based on our own personal usage at home and the typical quantities ordered by a Dukeshill customer. We use it every day in all sorts of ways. Since coming back from our weekend at Susie and Rupert’s stunning villa in Casarabonela, we have adopted the habit of having crusty bread dipped in Fino olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning for the odd breakfast. With just a simple orange it is a divine way to start the day rather than the ubiquitous cloying, sugary cereals and sugary spreads. Invaluable in dressings, in soups, for baking, grilling, roasting, marinading and even neat! I use the oil when baking cakes when I want them to be particularly moist such as for carrot cake, in vegetable dishes such as aubergines with honey, potatoes and garlic, in gazpacho etc…. It’s versatility is endless and if I had to list my top ten cooking essentials this would most definitely be one of them. Fascinating to go back thirty years when it wasn’t readily available in the UK or even mentioned in cookery books. My Mother never, to my knowledge, used olive oil at all until the eighties and yet it is now everywhere. How our eating habits have changed, though sadly for many families still not for the better. However that is not the case with Susie’s fabulous oil in your larder!

Olive oil is, and always has been, a staple of Spanish life as it is in most Mediterranean countries, and has become increasingly so in the UK in the last decade. Spain is the world’s largest producer of olive oil and there are over 100 million olive trees in Andalucia alone – they adorn even the tiniest plots of land – every Juan Dick and Harry has one!  Some of the olives are marinated with delicious herbs and then eaten but the majority are pressed for olive oil. Olive oil classification is fairly complicated, like wine, but the highest grade oils are “extra virgin” (which means they have an acidity level of no more than 1%).  This Fino olive oil is an “extra virgin” oil blended from a variety of olive types grown in and around the village of Casarabonela – arbequina, hojiblanca, manzanilla – it is great for salad dressings, drizzling, oven roasting, baking, sauteeing or just dipping – the great flavour will perk up even the plainest cooking.  And don’t forget it’s really healthy too.  Do give Susie’s Fino oil a go and see what you think.

Don’t forget for smaller quantities and for the delicious Fino blended oils you can order direct from Susie at Fino.

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Written by Sarah

April 14th, 2010 at 11:32 am