This is the time of year when I imagine many of you are looking forward to having some time out, and maybe some sunshine – one of the things I look forward to when we are at our Spanish home, normally with a group of friends and family, is paella. Paella is the centre piece of most traditional Spanish events – truly authentic, totally delicious and very sociable too.

I remember, when we were first living in Spain, coming across a fiesta taking place next to a river – this was a new experience for us and we were intrigued, and as it appeared to be a free for all we thought we would go and mingle – there were men on horseback, women in flamenco dresses, children dressed up in their Sunday best and others in their swimmers, Spanish music and dancing, and central to the whole affair was the biggest paella I have ever seen being cooked over a wood fire in the middle of the clearing – the paella pan was probably 5 feet in diameter – there were a number of people involved in the cooking and I just remember them stirring with long wooden paddles. It is not a rapid process but what a spectacle – rather like the parable of Five Loaves and Two Fishes, once done it fed everyone who wanted it - there were 100’s of people and it just went on and on and on.

Everyone makes their own version of paella – some like seafood, some like meat (or you can do mixed) and vegetarian is also yummy. There is a secret ingeredient which really does make paella very simple to cook – it is a special pack of all the spices which you just sprinkle in as the rice is cooking – no need for saffron as that is included too – it is as simple as making risotto. To me paella is best served with a big tomato and garlic salad liberally dressed with Fino olive oil and rock salt.

For one week only, spend over £25 and qualify for free delivery, plus you will get a pack of paella spice thrown in so you can cook your own paella and have a taste of sunshine!  To order Fino extra virgin olive oil and balsamic go to www.finooliveoil.co.uk

I know that many of you have made approving noises when looking at the picture of our Spanish house (www.manolosvilla.com) on my stall at fairs, so I am hoping someone might be delighted to know that we have had a cancellation later this summer – we have two weeks free at the house, which sleeps 12, from Saturday 22nd August and are offering it to Fino customers at a more than 30% discount – reduced from £2950 per week to £2000 per week. If you, or any friends, are interested please do get in touch with me at susie@finooliveoil.co.uk.

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