Olive Oil Tasting!

Hallie Bates
May 19, 2014

Recently, I attended an olive oil tasting offered through IES Abroad at a local shop in Granada called La Oliva. I’d heard some glowing reviews of the class from other IES Abroad students, but was still completely blown away by the shop’s friendly and passionate owner, Francisco, and the amazing food we were served. After being sat at small and rustic tables around the small shop, we were served more than eight small courses, each one using a different type of olive oil in a unique (and super tasty!) way. Francisco seemed to know everything there is to know about olives and olive oil, and it was such a treat to spend an evening learning about such an important part of Spain’s cuisine. I (shamelessly) photographed the entire experience, and have included some pictures and descriptions below!

La Oliva from the outside!

Shelf in the shop – so many yummy wines and olive oils for sale.

Such a cute little shop!


Francisco himself! With each course, we got a detailed description of its preparation and the olive oil used.

First course: bread and three different types of olive oil to try – two from Granada and one from Cordoba.

Second course: gazpacho!

Third course: bread with olive oil and tomatoes; Francisco insisted that to make this, we had to use our fingers and squeeze and rub the grape tomato against the bread to create the best flavor. He was right!

Fourth course: Toast with avocado and lemon olive oil on top; tasted like lemon squares!

Fifth course: Lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil with garlic.

Sixth course: my favorite of all! Although it doesn’t look very exciting, this was my favorite of all the things we tried. Goat cheese with basil-infused olive oil. Now how many bottles of this stuff can I fit in my suitcase…

Dessert! Chocolate ice cream topped with coarse salt and orange-infused olive oil. May sound like an odd combination, but it was some of the best ice cream I’d ever had!


Final course! Little fudge-like desserts, each using a different type of olive oil in a different way.

I’m so glad IES Abroad gave me and my classmates the opportunity to take this class (and for free!). It was so cool to have the chance to learn about such an integral part of Spain’s cuisine, and from such a passionate teacher! A big thanks to IES Abroad!


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Hallie Bates

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Hallie Bates, and I&#39;m currently a junior at Bowdoin College in beautiful Brunswick, Maine. I&#39;m an Anthropology major, Spanish minor, and am also pursuing a pre-health track in order to one day attend medical school. I love to run, and can&#39;t wait to explore the trails in Granada and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains. I&#39;m excited to get to know a new city from the inside out, and want to visit as many quirky coffee shops as possible, immersing myself in Spanish language, culture and cuisine.</span></p>

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