Olive oil, the key to Mediterranean culture

Malaga chef Daniel García Peinado will be show cooking.
Malaga chef Daniel García Peinado will be show cooking. / SUR
  • The third edition of the AoveSol Feria is being held this weekend at the Palacio de Congresos in Torremolinos

The Palacio de Congresos in Torremolinos will be the venue this weekend (10, 11 and 12 March) for the third edition of AoveSol, the Costa del Sol's Extra Virgin Olive Oil Fair (AOVE).

It will be attended by some of the most important olive oil suppliers in Andalucía and Spain in terms of quality, and they will be showcasing some of their innovative products which make the oil the leading light of the Mediterranean diet.

There will be exhibitions, tastings, products for sale, and cook demonstrations by chefs such as Daniel García Peinado. There will also be recreational activities and cooking workshops for children and talks and debates on health, oleotourism and gastronomy.

Events start today, Friday 10 March from 10.30am, when the public exhibition area for tastings and sales opens. Throughout the morning there will be several opportunities to taste the products, including two sessions conducted in English and German, as well as other tastings focusing on important denominations of origin such as Baena, Priego de Córdoba (both in Córdoba) and Sierra Mágina (Jaén). AoveSol will also be open for visits from schoolchildren, who will be able to make their own products using a portable olive press and learn to knead bread under the tuition of Antonio García, from El Colmenero de Alhaurín.

The AOVE workshops will be repeated on Saturday and Sunday at 11.30am, and from 12.25 to 1pm on Saturday and Sunday (and from 4 to 5pm on Saturday afternoon). Children can put on aprons and make delicious desserts, snacks and aperitifs using extra virgin olive oil. And to help children become familiar with the use of olive oil in the Mediterranean diet, a tasting workshop will be offered on Saturday from 3 to 4 pm. All workshops are free.

Live show cooking

Cooks and professionals will also have the opportunity, from 1 to 3pm every day, to attend the showcooking and master classes that will be given by cooks such as Malaga chef Daniel García Peinado; El Pimpi's Rafael Gutiérrez; Raúl González, from the La Calanova Golf de Mijas restaurant; Eladio Garzón, from the AOVE restaurant in Rincon de la Victoria; and Manuel Mérida, chef atBest Hotel Sirocco in Benalmádena.

Oleotourism, especially in places like the province of Malaga (where despite the abundant heritage of olive mills, ancient olive trees and thematic museums, has not been exploited until now) has begun to emerge as an important asset in rural tourism and gastronomy. Its development, possibilities and trends will be discussed at a round table talk on Sunday at 4pm with some of the most successful mill owners in the area taking part.

Health is another important aspect of AOVE and on Sunday 12 at 3pm there will be a tasting session aimed at highlighting some of the healthy compounds which can be detected by taste in the bitter and pungent notes of quality oils - more in some varieties than in others.

The third edition of AoveSol will also include activities aimed at professionals and companies in the sector. José Antonio Amérigo, president of the International Academy of AOVE will be holding a conference entitled, 'New challenges in the marketing of AOVE' and there will be a presentation of the European project Aristoil aimed at boosting the competitiveness in the olive sector.