In Casarabonela, on 12th December the Festival of the Rondeles has been celebrated for almost 300 years. In the times of traditional olive oil mills, straw mats or “rondeles” were used to press olives, and then when the harvest was finished, millers took the Virgen de los Rondeles out in a procession, lighting the road to the village square with "torches" made from the used straw mats. The tradition dates back to the eighteenth century, when millers first chose to thank Virgin Mary for the olive harvest. Now the villagers (traditionally men, although this year there were two women for the first time!) carry the burning straw mats to illuminate the Virgen de los Rondeles on her way from the Chapel of Veracruz to the Church of Santiago Apóstol. The procession winds it's way along the steepest, narrowest streets, lit only by the flames from the burning mats (not at all Health and Safety), and finally ends in the main square where the everyone tucks in to traditional Spanish "Chocolate and Churros". On Monday we were there to join in.
Maybe it's because I went to Spain and joined in the festivities (saying my own huge thank you for the olive harvest) that my prayers have been answered, and today two palets of olive oil have arrived with me here in Oxford! I know lots of you have been waiting so I am SO happy, and relieved, to tell you that the tins are back in stock, and they are ready to order on the website now. I cannot guarantee pre-Christmas delivery as the couriers are so overwhelmed, but you never know. Orders will go out as normal until the beginning of next week so you may get lucky!
I just loved this traditional Spanish Belen ("nativity") in a wooden fishing boat on the beach - it really made me smile and I hope it makes you smile too!
Running a small business is hard work but fantastically rewarding - I love what I do, I love all the people I meet, happy customers mean the world to me, but it can be tough too and this year has definitely had it's challenges. I am delighted it is ending on a high, and hope that lots of you will be enjoying Fino goodies over christmas. The other bit of great news is that I now have a palet of Dark Balsamic on order which I feel confident will be with me in January - something to really look forward to in 2023. I will update you again once it is with me.
For now I want to say a huge thank you for your support in 2022, and I wish you all a very happy christmas.
Stay warm ...