Food Travels in Olivera and Antequera Spain – Part 7

Travels in Olvera and Antequera, Spain – Part 7

By Nancy Hartman of What’s Cooking America

 

 

 

Destino – Olvera, Spain:


Route of the Pueble Blanco (White Villages):
  Back on the road again, we journeyed east along the inland Autovista A-384 and made a rest stop in a little town called Olvera, Spain which is part of the “White Towns Route”.  The White Towns or Pueblos Blancos are a series of towns and large villages in the northern part of the provinces of Cádiz and Málaga where all of the villages along the route have whitewashed walls and red or brown tiled roofs.

 

Travels in Olivera

Panorama view of Olvera and the surrounding area.

 

Travels in OlveraOlvera is a beautiful city surrounded by hills, full of olive groves that provide the best extraction of olive oils in Andalusia.  We stopped at the city park overlooking the valley and exchanged greetings with the gentlemen of Olvera who were out on their afternoon stroll.

 

This is when we decided we would try to drive the streets of old town to the castle at the top of the city.  Against all our great wisdom of old towns in Europe, we returned to the car and drove in.  As usual we had “The Queen” directing us to return to the highway as we disobeyed her instructions to visit Olvera.  We pointed the car up and started through the city into small streets of the old town.

It was an adventure for my husband, our driver, and Mom and Don who were holding their breath in the back seat.  I could not resist filming a few of the more harrowing escapes while “The Queen’ patiently was spouting instructions for us to return to safety.

Check out our very interesting video of driving the streets of Olvera:  Driving The Streets of Olvera.

 

Travels in Olvera

View of Olvera, Spain


 

Destino – Antequera, Spain:


Where’s Popeye – I Found Olive Oil:
 Back on the road again, we continued east to Antequera, Spain.  It has an extensive archaeological and architectural heritage, highlighted by the dolmens of Menga, Viera and El Romeral, and numerous churches, convents, and palaces of different periods and styles.

Travels in Olvera

City of Antequera, Spain

 

You may not be surprised to know that Spain is the largest producer of olive oil in Europe.  Olive trees cover an area of 2 million hectares, growing 215 million trees.  The city of Antequera, in Southern Spain, is well known as a key producer of olive oil.

Travels in Olvera

Olive trees and more olive trees – the hills are covered with olive trees

 

While in Antequera, we visited the Olive Oil museum, MUSEO DEL ACEITE – HOJIBLANCA, which is the most important olive cooperative in the Antequera region.  The cooperative hosts a museum of olive oil history, which turned out to be a self-guided tour of the grounds with a small pamphlet.

Travels in OveraThe main piece of the museum is the XVII Century Beam Press located in a room that is a reproduction of an oil mill.  The press was located in the fields of Antequera and the room was built around it.

XVII Century Beam Press – This olive oil press is 12.5 meters long.  The ropes, the nails, even the wasps’ nests are preserved.  Even though three centuries have elapsed and the timber has dried out and has been infested by termites, it still weighs 3 tons.  See photo on right.

The museum also housed the XIX Century direct press and the 1st century roman mill.  Also to be found in the museum were large holding jugs in the storage areas.  Photos taken at the Hojiblanca Museum of Olive Oil in Antequera, Spain, located in Andalusia (Southern Spain).

 

Travels in Olvera   Travels in Olvera

Photos (left to right) – XIX Century Direct Press – Olive oil mats.

 

Travels in Olvera   Travels in Olvera

Photos of old Olive Oil containers.

 

Maybe because we arrived late in the day, or because there was not an English speaking interpreter available, we found the museum trip to be less than eventful and probably should have visited the ancient ruins across the street from our hotel instead.

 


 

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