This brand new website selling Spanish food specialities has been set up by Eleana Gracia who moved to London from Spain in 2010. She is passionate about the good things of Spain, but particularly about extra virgin olive oil which she has been studying for the past few years. She is also a business partner at The Spanish Olive Oil School which is based in Clapham, South London.
So far the site offers nine extra virgin olive oils of which I have tasted three, all from the 2017/2018 harvest, and I can recommend all three. They offer a good cross section of styles and flavours and there is something for every taste. You might consider buying two contrasting oils to use in different applications in the kitchen and at table.
Two of the oils come from Montsagre where extra virgin olive oil is pressed from two varieties of olives grown in organic groves in Tarragona. The first is a single varietal Empeltre oil which has a delicate aroma of apples and green almonds with malty chocolate tones. The taste is similar in the mouth with lightly growing bitter almond flavours and then some gentle bitterness, both of which fade to leave an attractive hazelnut biscuit taste on the finish. Great oil for baking, making mayonnaise and using with other delicately flavoured ingredients such as fish and soft salad leaves.
The second oil from Montsagre is a single varietal Picual oil. In contrast to the Empeltre oil, the aromas are very spicy and aromatic with mixed herbs, tomatoes on the vine and a hedgerow mix of flowers, leaves and stalks. The spicy tones continue in the mouth with raw artichokes, watercress and mustard leaf with some toasty nuts and plenty of bitterness and pepper which linger into the aftertaste. Use with strong salad leaves and tomatoes, barbecue grills and robust pasta sauces. This oil won an award at the New York Olive Oil Competition this year.
The third oil in the trio I tasted is from Mas Auro and is pressed from a blend of Arbequina and local Argudell olives grown in groves in the DOP region of L’Emporda. It is another award winning oil, this time in London. It has a lightly spiced and attractively different aroma of apple skins with pea shoots and green almonds. The taste in the mouth is delicate with herbs and soft salad leaves. There is some lightly growing bitterness and pepper which quickly fade to leave a nutty biscuit flavour in the mouth. This is a very pleasant all purpose oil which should work well in most culinary applications. However, very strong flavours from other in ingredients might swamp it a little.
Tastings and sales
If you would like to taste these and more from Elena’s collection, she is holding a tasting at Bens Canteen, 422 Garratt Lane, London SW18 at 7.00pm on 19th June 2018. Tickets cost £15.00 from https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spanish-gastro-larder-olive-oil-tasting-tickets-46300951392?
As well as selling off her website, Elena also sells her oils at Saturday market stalls in Putney and Venn Street, Lambeth. For more details contact Elena Gracia Cantin <email@example.com>