After much consideration, I decided that my money would be better spent on a practical education in olive oil rather than on a professional certification course (at least for the time being). I have decided to head to the province of Jaen in Andalusia in Spain.
A few years ago Charles Buttler from the Olive Oil Gazette told me about a native cultivar that was being cultivated less and less in his part of Spain. Charles explained that the Royal de Cazorla is hard to harvest and ends up costing farmers more money than they can possibly get for the oil. It is now mostly grown by family farms because of the high labour costs. You have to know I love all things that are quirky, difficult and unique, so I just have to go and see what the Royal is all about. Mainly, I am curious to taste this oil and see what can be done to help maintain biodiversity in this part of the world.
I am convinced that in Spain they are making some of the best olive oil out there and I want to some! Hopefully I will be able to get you some too.
My ticket is booked and I am off to Cazorla at the start of May to meet Charles and discover the olive culture of Cazorla. Stay tuned for my olive oil adventures in Spain.