Casa de l’oli Event Schedule 2016
We’re delighted to confirm our 2016 Event Schedule!
Coming out to the wonderful, fun and family-friendly Craft & Country shows is simply a great day out and memory made.
Not to mention the hand-picked artisans and crafts workers that you can get up close and personal with about their products and what makes them special, in a way that you won’t get through online or even high street shopping.
We always have a great stand of samples of our fine olive oils, olive mayos and pastes as well as an exclusive range of 25 yr old Balsamic vinegars.
Besides everything we offer online, we bring collections of expertly hand crafted kitchenwares made locally from ceramics and gorgeous olive wood. Due to the personal and unique variations of each of these handmade pieces, we do not list them online.
We really enjoy visitors delighting in the flavours of our different oils and when they find just “That One” (or two or three); it’s Love!
Hope to see you at least a few times this year! We love getting out and meeting everyone as well as making new friends!
The Event List is published on our website at casadeloli.com/events/
Great news!! Our new season of oils; both the unfiltered and ‘fresh ingredient’ are due to arrive at the end of February!
Tim has rested and is off on his next adventure (a story for another time!) now that our olive harvest of the season is complete! I (Simone) am also freshly rested and busy with monitoring the production and eagerly awaited shipments!
The store has never been so low on oil as we are currently! We have sold out completely of Lemon, Lime, Orange and Basil in addition to our highly addictive Olive Mayos and Pastes! Thankfully we are hanging there with a few precious bottles of our other oils, but please grab them while supplies last. They are too good to miss!
This is however a good and tough position to be in! We so dislike to disappoint our patiently waiting customers, but of course we are also grateful for the success of the last year. Most exciting for us right now is awaiting the new oils.
As always with our harvests, the natural processing is as swift as can be to ensure that when the oils arrive later this month to our lovely and loyal customers, they will get to experience some of the freshest Extra Virgin olive oil in the country!
As with all fine things, it will be worth the wait!
It has been a tough harvest though. In mid November and into early December, we had huge storms through Catalonia, with high winds and torrential rain. Our natural water cause that runs down one side of our ‘finca’ ran like a river. I personally have never seen this, but Tim said the ground was saturated. This was not good!
Many olives were on the ground after being knocked off by the rains. We DO NOT take olives of the ground for our oils, though many people do.
Some varieties of olives fare better than others in these condition. Some drop immediately, others hold on. Tim and the team struggled on, but the quantity of our unfiltered oil is the one that has suffered the most. It will likely go fast. Not a bumper year!
The little Arbequina olive that we use to press with fresh fruit and vegetables to create our’ fresh ingredient’ oils has saved the day.
A tough little number; it stays on the tree. Quite a sharp olive to eat, but pressed, it delivers the smoothest oil available.
I am a firm believer, that this little olive is responsible for our success. This is why these oils are creamy, sweet, and soft, allowing the other flavours to shine through.
You Heard it Here First!
INTRODUCING – A brand new oil from Casa de l’Oli –
fresh olives pressed with fresh passion fruit!
Fruity to the extreme, this oil is mouthwatering.
Passionfruit is a difficult fruit to work with. Eat with a spoon or scoop onto the top of a pavlova, but other than that, it doesn’t always lend itself successfully to many recipes without at least, a lot of preparation.
We have captured all the flavour of this tropical fruit (without the pips!)
In an instance you can have this delicious tropical flavour over salads, fruit, seafood, duck and game and all manner of desserts of course – the options are endless.
The finishing touches are being added and an additional announcement will be made as soon as it’s launched in our online shop. Make sure you come and have a taste if you get out to see us this next year (we highly recommend it! 😉 )
Well as I sit here, a grey cold day in Suffolk, I am looking forward to the year ahead. The sun will shine, and we look forward very much to seeing you all somewhere and soon.
Our event list is now online!
All our best to you, Simone (and Tim!)
Using our oils to their best effect this Christmas
At this year’s Country Living Christmas Fair, we were delighted when our oils were described by a customer as being ‘explosive’. What a great way to put it!
Many of you will know that all our oils are pressed just once a year. Our very own unfiltered oil is pressed from olives grown on our grove in Spain. Meanwhile, our ‘fresh ingredient flavoured oils’ are produced by pressing a single variety of olive, the Arbequina, with whole fresh fruits or vegetables like lemons, fresh herbs, garlic and chillies. The ingredients are then spun to remove all the vegetable matter and water, so you are left with just the lovely rich oils, which are full of flavour.
Of course, our oils make great dressings for salad and cold food, but did you know that they will also enrich hot dishes, from a simple baked potato to an indulgent chocolate cake?
Many of our loyal customers have asked us to write a recipe book about the best ways to use our oils. We have not got quite that far yet, but as a taster, here are a few ideas about how to use them over the festive season….
Our top tips
- Indulge in half an avocado filled with a teaspoonful of green olive mayo and drizzled with lemon oil
- Serve warm breads with continental meats and olives, plus tomato oil for dipping
- Make mash with half butter and half garlic oil. This is delicious on its own or on top of a fish pie
- Drizzle lemon oil, salt and pepper over a salmon fillet. Make a parcel with a piece of foil and place in the oven for eight minutes. Serve with vegetables roasted in our red chilli oil – one of our favourites!
- One for veggies: Put some broccoli heads in a saucepan with a tablespoon of green chilli oil. Put the lid on and cook for two minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and cover for another two minutes before adding a handful of spinach. Pour out onto toasted seeded bread
- Drizzle orange oil on a slice of slightly warmed Christmas chocolate log and serve with single cream. This one is to die for! Orange oil is great on warm mince pies, too
- Add something special to your cold meat sandwiches by using our black and green olive mayonnaise. It’s also great as a dip with shellfish and raw vegetables, plus as a spread on the base of canapés
- A pool of ginger oil on your vanilla ice cream is delicious
- Toss in one of your favourite oils when you’re having fresh pasta like tortellini and ravioli. Oils like garlic, basil, wild herb or rosemary add a completely fresh and vibrant dimension to this simple dish
We hope you really enjoy our oils, however you use them – we’d love to hear your own top tips! Don’t forget, too, that in the run up to Christmas, our oils, mayos and balsamic vinegars make wonderful gifts; order them online for your convenience.
You can always buy online atwww.casadeloli.com or you can call us on 01394 448600 to make a purchase.
This autumn is set to be extremely busy for us here at Casa de l’Oli, with one of our main projects being the launch of our improved website. We’re very excited about this reboot of www.casadeloli.com, which will make the site finer, clearer and easier to use. As ever, there will be the best possible security when it comes to ordering our products online.We’ve also listened to our regular customers, who often ask us for recipe cards online. The new site will feature a recipe section with lots of ideas on how to use our oils. And we’re going to be asking customers to write to us and tell us how they use our different products.
There will be improved gift options online, enabling people to put together customised packages for Christmas and beyond. They’ll be able to choose individual oils in either 250ml or 500ml pouring bottles. They will then have the choice of hand-decorated jute bags, or paper presentation bags featuring the Casa de l’Oli logo. All of this will help our customers create a really special gift for the foodie in their life.
We’re really looking forward to heading back to Sevenoaks School in Kent on October 24 to 26 for the Craft in Focus fair.
Then it’s off to the Islington Business Design Centre in London for our first Country Living Christmas Fair from
November 11 to 15. We’re hoping to see lots of our customers there after a really successful fair in the spring.
From November 25 to 29 we’ve got the Christmas Craft and Design Fair at RHS Wisley in Woking, Surrey.
Over the same few days we’ll also be at the NEC in Birmingham for the winter BBC Good Food Show – our tenth year at the event!
We’ll also be around locally, including the Barleylands Farmers’ Market in Billericay in October and December.
You’ll be able to buy our products at any of these events and, if you can’t make it to any of these exhibitions,
you can always buy online at www.casadeloli.com or you can call us on 01394 448600 to make a purchase.
Slow Cooked Savoury Onion Marmalade
This wonderful recipe is perfect to make in the run-up to Christmas. Something a little different! Delicious served with breads, cold meats and cheeses and
great for Boxing Day leftovers.
Serves 4 to 6
Dice the pancetta or bacon. In a large, heavy based pan, warm the olive oil, add the pancetta or bacon and sauté until barely crisp for
about 2 minutes.
Add the sliced onions and continue to cook, stirring frequently until golden for 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in both vinegars, the water, salt, white pepper, sugar and cayenne. Bring to a slow boil over a medium heat, stirring often, until most of the liquid
has evaporated. This should take between 10 and 12 minutes.
Remove from the heat and cool completely. Pour off any excess liquid and transfer to a tightly capped jar. Store in the fridge and bring to room
temperature before serving.
Will keep for several weeks.
2 slices of pancetta or 1/4 pound bacon
60ml extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
125ml balsamic vinegar
60ml sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
Next up for Casa de l’OliHard to believe, but our next newsletter will be with you at Christmas, featuring tasty tips on how to use our oils, balsamic vinegars, mayonnaises and
olive pastes throughout the festive period. In the meantime, have a wonderful autumn!
A fascinating trip to Andalucía
We hope everyone is having a wonderful summer so far! We’ve been back in the UK for a couple of months after paying a visit to Andalucía to see the team at the Bodegas Navarro Correas. This is a winery in the small town of Montilla which supplies us with our fantastic range of aged balsamic vinegars.
We were made to feel most welcome at the winery, which is just south of the impressive Moorish city of Córdoba. Wine and sherry has been made there since 1830, and it was the first vineyard to develop a Tio Pepe-style light dry sherry. More recently, they have been turning their talents to aged balsamic vinegars, derived solely from the Pedro Ximénez grape.
The process of balsamic making explained
We learned that this particular variety is grown locally, with the grapes only harvested when they are fermenting on the vine. The winery has a member of staff who, by tasting alone, can judge when the alcohol content has reached 12 per cent.
It was explained that, while making a traditional dark balsamic vinegar, the grapes are harvested and laid out in the sun for two weeks. This gives them a strong raisin flavour. Having been pressed, the juice is then reduced by boiling, which leaves a thick, flavoursome liquid known as arrope. In fact, we sell arrope as a special cooking ingredient – labelled El Secreto de Chef, or The Chef’s Secret!
White and dark appeal to different palates
But when it comes to the white balsamic vinegar, the juice is pressed and reduced while the grape is still fresh. The resulting flavours are very different, with the fruity white balsamic in contrast to the dark rich raisin flavour of the traditional variety.
The next stage of the process for the white balsamic is carefully storing the concentrated juice in old American Oak barrels to age and oxidise into vinegar. No sugar is added during the process, so all the sweetness is derived wholly from the natural sugars found within the grape.
Meanwhile, all the alcohol is converted to vinegar.
We’ve got a busy few months ahead of us with lots of shows on the agenda.
Next month we will be at The Chatsworth Country Fair at Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire from September 4 to September 6.
We next will be at the Weald of Kent Craft & Design show at Penhurst Place, Penhurst, Kent from September 11 to 13.
And at the end of the month we will be in Suffolk for theAldeburgh Food and Drink Festival from September 26-27 at Snape Maltings, Snape.
For a fuller list of all the events we’re attending this year, visit our website atwww.casadeloli.com.
You’ll be able to buy our products at any of these events and, if you can’t make it to any of these exhibitions, you can always buy online atwww.casadeloli.com or you can call us on 01394 448600 to make a purchase.
And just before going to print, we read this in the news: We’ve known it for years, but a study carried out for the BBC’s Trust Me, I’m A Doctor has shown that olive oil is the best kind to cook with!
Read more about the research and the programme here.
A quarter of a century in the making
We were shown the barrels stacked in three rows, one above the other. The top row contains the most recent juice, while the lowest row has the oldest vinegars. Each barrel remains in the cellar for 25 years, after which the vinegar is finally bottled.
Seeing the care and devotion put into the making of this product reinforced our opinion that this is probably one of the best aged balsamic vinegars anywhere in the world, and at a very reasonable price. To take a look at the balsamic vinegars we offer, click here.
An exquisite ten-year-old sherry vinegar
At the end of our visit, we had a tasting of their new ten-year-old sherry vinegar. We were blown away by it, and decided there and then to add some to our order. The stock is now in!
Spring 2015 Newsletter
It’s all happening on our finca in Spain
Tim has been busy in Spain pruning at our farm, considerably reducing the higher foliage of some of our larger trees. In fact, so large were the branches that he brought a piece back for a friend who is just starting out as a professional instrument maker. Tim will be cutting and seasoning more branches for this talented young man’s hand-made guitars in the future.While Tim was in Spain, the weather warmed up and out came the almond blossom. One sunny evening, the birds were all singing while the whole farm hummed with the sound of thousands of bees working their way through the trees – just magical.
No rest for the wicked
Away from nature, other jobs required Tim’s input for the short time he was in Spain. He needed to replace an engine in his Spanish Renault 4 van, and spray paint a friend’s tractor. He also collected a set of new front wings for the van from a dealer near Paris, so that governed the route he took.He also bought back most of the rest of the unfiltered oil, so it wouldn’t freeze in transit. Due to the weight of the oil plus a couple of large lumps of wood, he had to avoid the mountains in the Massif Centrale and drive up the Rhône Valley. A little longer to drive and a little more to pay in tolls, but it was well worth the effort, given that the oil is now here in perfect condition.
Getting out and about
Our new season of events started successfully at the Country Living Spring Show at the Islington Design Centre in London. It was lovely to have such good repeat business; we feel like we are making new friends year by year!
For a list of all the events we’re attending this year, visit our website at.casadeloli.com.
You’ll be able to buy our products at any of these events and, if you can’t make it to any of these exhibitions, you can always buy online at casadeloli.com or you can call us on 01394 448600 to make a purchase.
A taste of the Mediterranean
Our featured oil this newsletter is our sun dried tomato. By pressing the tomatoes with the fresh olives, we create a really delicate, smooth oil which is also very rich. It is the most subtle of our flavoured oils, but will go with almost anything to add texture. It is also wonderful as the base for a dressing.
A few handy tips on making the most out of this gorgeous oil:
Spanish Sun-Dried Tomatoes pressed with olives to create this superior flavor of olive oil
Tim is in Catalonia working on our land and olive trees. It is very hot there now, averaging around 33c which is great for the trees, though they will probably need a drink soon! They have now flowered and the new harvest is setting as we speak. Whilst he’s there, Tim will be repairing terrace walls and clearing the ground now all the spring flowers and grasses have died back in the heat. This is hugely important to limit the risk of fire to the trees.
When fire breaks out the result can be devastating. The day before he flew out to Spain, Tim received a call to say a wild fire was raging over the mountain behind us. When he arrived it had taken hold of some 1000 hectares and was only one hillside away from our finca.With our hearts in our mouths we were powerless to do anything to stop it. Fortunately for us, the wind direction was in our favour and the fire burnt its way down a valley just the other side. The Spanish firefighting teams – the bombers as they are called – use helicopters to drop water with limited success.The feeling of relief that we survived turned to sadness as we learnt that our neighbour had lost huge areas of his finca. Like anything in life; you hear of these things (started by a lightning strike) but never really think it will happen to you. It will take many years for the area to recover.
Showing Our Best Side
The following weekend we’ll be tantalising tastebuds at the Essex Food Show at Cressing Temple Barns on the 19th & 20th, and then off to RHS Tatton Park Flower Show. It’ll be our first time at Tatton Park, so we’re very excited.
All our events can be found our website under shows and events and we hope to meet up with one or all of you somewhere.
On a lighter note, summer is here and as I write this, it is a glorious day. Nothing epitomises summer like alfresco dining; lunches with friends, fresh fruits and summer salads all come to mind. Our oils and balsamic will give whatever you’re eating the feel good factor, as well as making it taste delicious.
Stuck for ideas? Try our tomato oil on toast for brunch with your scrambled eggs or mushrooms sautéed in our green chilli oil. For lunch, our citrus oils are so refreshing they bring out the best in any salad and when the outdoor grill is sizzling, all the meat or fish needs is a drizzle of our wild herb or garlic oil for a perfect barbeque.
Top these ideas with a little balsamic, from aged Spanish to lemongrass, apple or strawberry balsamic, these will add the perfect finishing touch to any meal. And don’t forget desserts too – our oils are so versatile you can even use them in your puddings. Try our delicious orange oil in a polenta cake or drizzled over warm chocolate muffins.
The benefits of olive oil have been widely reported, so you don’t need us to tell you that the Mediterranean diet is regarded as one of the healthiest in the world. Naturally free from cholesterol, trans-fats, salt, sugar, and gluten, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat (the good stuff).
In addition to that – our oils taste great! Pressed just once a year with fresh olives and fresh fruits or vegetables, they are full of fresh Mediterranean flavour which makes eating healthily a joy.
Winter Newsletter 2013
| All the best!
Simone and Tim
Preparing for Christmas
Look to Casa de l’Oli for inspiration
This year seems to have flown by, with the nights drawing in and winter most definitely on its way. We’re sure many of you will be starting to prepare for Christmas – thinking about what presents to buy loved ones, and what culinary treats will tickle your taste buds over the festive period.
Our olive oils, mayonnaises and pastes, which are made with love from our own olives in northern Spain, can give a burst of new life to your tried and tested Christmas dinners. See below for some of our tasty tips for your festive feast this year:
And of course, our products make for great value gifts for food-loving friends and relations – our festively decorated jute bag complete with two bottles of olive oil is bound to be a winner with the chef in your life! All our gifts are available to view on our website.
A hive of activity during harvesting season
Before Christmas arrives, Tim will be heading to Catalonia to harvest our olives alongside friends and family. The grass has already been cut in preparation and the base of the olive trees has been cleaned ready for the nets to be laid.
During the harvesting, the olives are mechanically harvested using hand-held clackers which are driven by an air compressor on the back of a tractor. They fall into the nets and are then gently laid out in trailers and taken to a restored antique oil mill nearby. Traditional methods of cold pressing are employed, with the process taking around 24 hours for each batch of olives.
As harvesting only takes place once a year, it’s a really exciting and busy time for both the Casa de l’Oli team and the village in general – it’s all hands on deck to make sure the process goes smoothly. But of course it’s a very sociable time too, with everyone gathering together amidst the aromatic smells from the oil mill to share bread and cold meats, and of course some delicious local red wine!
We’re sure that this year’s oils will be as tasty as you’ve come to expect from Casa de l’Oli and we can’t wait to share them with you.
Tasty tips for Christmas
• Add a tablespoon of our smoked garlic oil to your stuffing mix – it will give this sometimes bland accompaniment an amazing new flavour which your guests are bound to lov
• Give your parsnips a kick by roasting them in our lemon oil, giving them a fabulous citrus zing
• Drizzle some of our award-winning orange oil over your warm chocolate log. It will taste heavenly, like Terry’s Chocolate Orange on a plate!
• And when the big day is over, give your cold turkey sandwiches a twist with some of our olive mayonnaises.
Do come and see us
Remember, you can buy any of our products on our website, or come and visit us at some of the exhibitions we’re attending over the next few weeks.
Tim and SImone
Article by Suffolk Magazine
Suffolk Magazines interview with Casa de l’Oli
For the first few years Tim and Simone and their two younger daughters lived in Spain full time, and sold their ever-growing crop to a local processor. Then Tim’s elderly father became ill and, realising that they would need to spend at least part of each year in the UK to care for him, they decided that they would produce their own oil and import it for sale.Continue reading