A brief guide to some of the common trees found in Andalucia: alder, ash tree, avocado tree, carob tree, cork oak, elm, enebro, evergreen oak, fig tree, gall oak, juniper, jacaranda, lemon, maple, orange, polar, pinsapo, wild olive, willow and more.
Driving through Andalucìa, you will notice that the most abundant crop throughout the Andalucia - in particular, Jaen province, though also Seville, Cordoba and Almeria - is the olive. Line after line of olive trees, often on rolling hills, stretch for as far as the eye can see.
Gílded or a soft green, as thick and perfumed as an oriental spice, the unctuous extract of olive oil demands costly investment to ensure its cultivation, harvest and production. The inevitable result is a costly, yet nutritious and therapeutic nectar that helps promote good health, especially with regard the heart and bones.
As you travel along the mountain road from Granada, the white village which appears below in the valley, with its high-towered castle-church, resembles a ship sailing across a rolling sea of bushy, low-lying, gnarled trees... those trees that produce the cholesterol-free green gold which all the world desires.
The variety of olive tree growing in neat rows across Andalucia today is the Olea Europeae. It is sufficiently important to have inspired the Junta de Andalucia (Regional Government) to track every commercial tree. In fact each one has its own GPS co-ordinates and is carefully monitored by regional officials to ensure correctness for EU subsidies.
A perfect recipe for a quick and easy starter with a Mediterranean theme. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve straight away.
Plain Cake. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a previously oiled cake pan (crown shape works well). Bake at 180 degrees Centigrade or until golden brown. Serve plain or with fresh fruit or ice cream. This is a favourite with all ages.
Another Spanish favourite for meriendas (teatime) and a healthier alternative for those avoiding butter or magarine. Buy an individual serving size of lemon yogurt (two if you want to double the recipe) and use the container as your measuring cup.
Toast the salt cod over a flame or under the grill until it is lightly browned and softened. Put it in a bowl of water while preparing the remaining ingredients. Arrange the orange and onion slices on a plate. Whisk the garlic with the oil, vinegar and red pepper flakes. Drain the cod and remove all skin and bones.
The olive and its oil represent a fundamental part of the Spanish diet. Cold pressed virgin olive oil is a natural product that is very easy to digest. It has become famous as one of the world’s healthiest oils because it is known to actually help keep cholesterol levels in check.
While olive oil forms the basis of the Mediterranean Diet, today even cheaper oils - such as sunflower oil – often take its place. In addition, much of the so-called olive oil sold at Spanish supermarkets is actually a mix of highly refined oil that has been obtained through chemical processes.
Spain produces more than 250 different varieties of olives to be eaten whole or pressed into olive oil. In reality, olives are a very bitter fruit and in order to eat them this bitter flavour has to be mitigated. This is done by treating the olives with an alkaline substance such as Sodium Hydroxide, a strong salt solution or with special techniques that use water.
Become an expert in olive oil with this tour by visiting a centenarian olive plantation, there our guide will teach you how to harvest the olives and all the tools. Afterwards we will drive to an Andalusian country house (Cortijo) which has its own oil mill and you will taste its delicious and ecological olive oil.