Considering the nature of this tour as eating what the locals eat and going further afield from the flocks of tourists, I have leaned towards word of mouth recommendations. However, on our first day in Sevilla, the guide book lead us on a trail quite literally to a pot of gold… the golden-green extra virgin olive oil at Extraverde. This boutique shop and tapas bar sells Andalucian goods, olive oil being its star product, which they also use creatively in their cooking. For example, I tried fideau (a Spanish thick spaghetti-like rice substitute for paella) with garlic oil and also chicharrón (pork crackling) with lemon hojiblanco olive oil. So two everyday Spanish dishes zested up and given a twist with the simple liquid that is oil.

Chicharrones with a zesty twist

After appreciating the finished product, we headed inside for a tasting of the varieties of golden liquid that makes these dishes that bit more special. The highest quality, which the friendly owner brought out especially for us to try, was the Melgarejo delicatessen variety which comes from Sierra Magina near Jaén. It is very elegant with a sweet base, slightly bitter and a delicate hint of spice, therefore very full, with lots of character!We also has a sample ofthe award-winning Basilippo aroma olive oil with, in true Sevillian style, orange. This was, as you can imagine, sweet and zesty and apparently putting it with chocolate forms a great combination. On my return to England I am going to experiment with the chocolate mousse I made before parting on the tour… Chocolate orange delight anyone?!

*Recipe idea*: orange salad with tangerines, Basilippo aroma olive oil with orange, dark chocolate shavings, almonds and mint leaves! Get experimenting and let me know how it goes!

Jessica enjoying the olive oil creations on her first day in Sevilla
My friend Jessica’s arrival coincided withhour stay in Sevilla. As we moved on to Granada we were extremely jealous that she got to stay on for nine months in this beautiful city full of charm! Buena suerte Jess!