The air in Osuna, Spain was so thick with the scent of olive oil that we’d often pause stop during our walks through town to take deep breaths just to savor the invisible delicacy.
Osuna, the Andalucian town 90 minutes from Seville, is in the midst of The Land of Olives. Lucky for us that our November visit was during harvest. (This tree at the Santa Teresa Company’s 1881 Olive Oil plant is more than 100 years old.)
Spain is the world’s leading olive oil producer with more than 300 million olive trees and groves that cover more than five million acres - 80% of the total crop is grown in Andalucia.
Trucks stacked high with branches laden with olives rumbled along the city’s narrow streets as they made their way to one of several olive oil processing plants.
In Osuna more than 250,000 kilograms of olives are refined every day and 30 million liters of oil are bottled each year.
There were simply enormous amounts of olive oil. . .as evidenced by these storage tanks and the tanker trucks at Coreysa’s olive oil plant an easy walk from our hotel.
Coreysa was founded in 1917 by Daniel Espuny Aleixendri, whose family in the 14th Century owned oil mills in Northern Spain’s Catalonia region. He worked his way to Osuna and started what today continues to be a family operation, today it is run by his grandchildren and their children.
Across town at another processing plant, the entry gate displays the generations who’ve carried on the family’s oil production since it was begun by Daniel Espuny Aleixendri.
We often buy a couple of bottles of wine to bring back from our travels but this trip the wine was left behind to make room in the suitcases for the olive oil.
These bottles now have a place of honor on our kitchen counter. Not only is the oil superb for eating, but its taste – and smell – are great reminders of our short stay in The Land of Olives.
For those of you cooks out there: the larger 500ml bottle cost a bit over $4US in Osuna (back home at our neighborhood grocery similar Spanish oil sells for $28). The smaller bottle was a gift from the fellows I wrote about in an earlier post who introduced us to gourmet tapas.
Note: Today is Travel Photo Thursday so head to Budget Traveler’s Sandbox for more photos from bloggers around the world.
What a great area to visit. Spain is, of course, very famous for olives and olive oil. Back in Australia, we used to buy Spanish stuffed olives from Spain, and continue to do so here. I must say, though, that here we're doing our bit to support the local Chilean producers, by buying locally produced extra virgin olive oil.ReplyDelete
All the best to you both for the holiday season and the coming year!
Same holiday wishes to you Andrew! And we do need some tips about Australia before next fall (hint). We'll be in Sydney at least three days.ReplyDelete
What a perfect time to be in Seville -- the olive harvest. Nice photos!ReplyDelete
I can just imagine the aroma. To think that tree is 100 years old - what a lovely family story. Thanks for sharing. Best for 2012.ReplyDelete
What a great experience for you! I would love to visit the Land of Olives someday and just experience the smell engulfing the place. Wow on the major price difference on that 500 ml bottle. I would have made lots of room for olive oil too. Happy New Year!ReplyDelete
Mmm... I haven't been to Andalucia in years and years - and never to Osuna. Sounds the perfect time now - not too hot. Interesting history and very nice photos.ReplyDelete
Thanks to you all for visiting our TP Thursday. If you've not been to Andalucia, fall would be a great time to visit, few tourists, good hotel rates. . .and of course, olive harvest!ReplyDelete
Un petit coucou de France!
Bonne Année 2012