About Me

Monday, November 27, 2017

Spanish Olive Oil School in London

London based Olive Oil lovers and enthusiasts are in for a treat!!

An Olive Oil venue, The Spanish Olive Oil School, has just opened in London. Mar Fernandez, originally from sunny Malaga has followed her passion: she has created a venue for learning, tasting and buying extra Virgin Olive Oil in the United Kingdom.

You couldn’t ask for a better olive oil ambassador.

Spain is the world’s largest olive oil producer, and much of it is high quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Mar is a Certified Olive Oil expert who completed her studies at University of Jaen (Spain) in 2016 and became a Certified Expert in EVOO tasting.

We wanted to know more about Mar and the Spanish Olive Oil School so were delighted when she agreed to tell us about her new venture.

Can you tell us a little about your background, and what triggered your love for olive oil?

I have always loved cooking ever since I was a child and living in Malaga I was surrounded by olive trees. But it all started when I was diagnosed with Diabetes type 2 back in 2011. The doctor recommended three things; to start taking extra virgin olive oil, to follow the Mediterranean diet and to exercise regularly. I began studying more about olive oil, and got hooked on the product and all its possibilities.

I first studied in Madrid and later on in Cordoba & Jaen with Experts Tasters and doctors.  I also met lots of professionals with in- depth knowledge on the subject, and this triggered me to learn more. I finished my studies in December 2016 at the University of Jaen,and became a Certified Expert in Olive Oil Tasting.

You now live in the U.K, not a producer of olive oil, a country which has only recently discovered extra virgin oils. Do you see that as a challenge? What have you noticed as regards to eating habits and using olive oil in the U.K?

When I came to London 6 years ago, I noticed there weren’t many good extra virgin olive oils from Spain in shops, and there was lots of misconception about the product and the subject. As London is such a cosmopolitan city you can find EVOOs from Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, etc, and we’ve seen the people here are open to tasting new varieties and discover its healthy attributes. Little by little consumers are becoming more health conscious and want to use EVOO in their diets: they want also to appreciate the improved taste in food as well as   their well-being. Fast food is still a habit though vegetarians and vegans are more conscious of their options and the challenge is to educate the public to change towards healthier eating and lifestyle. We’ve got a big job to do!

How important is learning to taste olive oil for the general public?

We’re introducing our participants to flavours, aromas, and textures that they’ve never seen or experienced before, so it’s a big and fun task. It’s key to appreciate the ingredients, and each variety tastes different so it can be an amazing experience learning which one pairs with your porridge, salads, soups, chips, pulses, vegetables or meat & fish! You’ll never see anyone cooking fish with butter in the Mediterranean countries, and we even use EVOO very often for baking purposes.
We’re also teaching them how to find defects and avoid fraud by learning its attributes.

You have some exciting plans for the Spanish Olive Oil School; can you give us a few details of what we can look forward to?

We want to educate and share our knowledge.   We will tailor our program to adapt to each audience - from chefs to nutritionists, importers, foodies, schools/ colleges and the general public. We have an introductory course set up, an advanced one for those with some knowledge as well as tasting workshops.  This means we have something for everyone however knowledgeable or not they are!

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Join us at the Olive Oil School and learn about this interesting, exciting and ever- expanding world culture of olive oil.  

Mar Fernandez(left ) and Elena Garcia her business partner (right)  from The Spanish Olive Oil  School                                          

Thank you Mar and Elena and best of luck for this exciting project.

1 comment:

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