Olive oil & Gastronomy

Olive oil & Gastronomy


Agricultural produce, cereal and extra virgin olive oil, mountain lamb, game, and, above all, the savoir-faire transmitted through generations since ancient times make Jaén traditional cuisine a delight even the most demanding gourmet.

Olive oil cuisine

The picual olive variety

The picual olive variety, predominant in Jaén, provides us with an olive oil that is slightly bitter and spicy, making it an indispensible ingredient to prepare the so-called bacalao al pil-pil (pil-pil cod), or to elaborate the fried vegetables as base for other dishes or stews with meat, fish or pickled game. It is also a must in all dishes containing garlic..

The picual olive variety
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It could be said that bread, wine and olive oil are the three pillars of the Mediterranean gastronomic culture. In spite of their equal importance from a nutritive point of view, these three ingredients do not have the some presence in rites and gastronomic liturgy. Bread is, without a doubt, the ingredient gathering people at the table, with rooted mystic connotations in Mediterranean cultures since ancient times. Wine is the entertaining ingredient, representing the “intellectual part of the meal”.

Olive oil plays a less visible part, a spiritual one, it could be argued, though not less noticeable in spite of this. Olive oil is the ingredient linking people in gastronomic pleasure, because gastronomy gives it the role of integrating all the flavours in cooking. A good wine can make up for a bad meal, but a bad olive oil can spoil the tastiest morsel. All in all, a good olive oil ennobles all the ingredients of any meal.

In Jaén, which is mainly a land of olive groves, but also of good wine and bread, this discreet but essential function of olive oil in gastronomy can be seen in numerous dishes whose elaboration begins by heating olive oil in a saucepan, as it is the case of traditional fried meals, whether made of meat, fish, vegetables or dough. It is also the finishing touch of other typical meals such as the so-called pipirranas.


Cooking of pipirranas finishes by generously pouring on top of them extra virgin olive oil, which exhales a characteristic fruity, aromatic scent recalling the fragrance of freshly cut herbs.



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