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Judy and Jeff Lilly have Bryan Adams to thank for leading them into the life they lead now. Jeff used to run a concert sound company that managed the sound for Bryan Adams. They toured with him and attended the cities where he played.

Spain was on that list and they both instantly fell in love with the Spanish culture and landscape. They took spanish classes and drove around the country.  In 2000, they were driving from their little pueblo (Mojacar) to Granada on a secondary road not far from the film studio where Clint Eastwood got his start making “Spaghetti Westerns”.  They spotted a sign that looked interesting and when they pulled in they actually found themselves in the midst of a small but active olive processing mill.  It was there that they met one of the family owners, Rafael. They tasted his olive oil and found it to be of a quality and flavour they had not experienced before.  The estate was called Oro del Desierto (Gold of the Desert).

After that experience, there wasn’t another olive oil that compared to the quality and taste of that olive oil.  A few years later, the couple came back to Canada and became the only importer in BC for Spanish Gold.

Some great ways to enjoy olive oil:

  • Substitute olive oil instead of butter where possible.
  • Use Olive Oil for cooking desserts such as brownies
  • Use it in Hummus or pesto
  • Drizzle oil on fruit and cheese (manchego cheese):

One of the ways to enjoy Manchego is to marinate the cheese.  So heat (low to medium) a cup of ORO del DESIERTO’s “Coupage” with thyme, rosemary and chile for about 2 minutes.  Then set aside to cool. The Manchego should be in a glass bowl and pour the herbs and chile over the top of the cheese. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Remove from the fridge about 4 hours before serving so Manchego returns to room temperature.  Serve with toothpick for spearing the cheese.  This is a nice accompaniment to a citrus and fennel salad.   The flavours of ORO del DESIERTO’s “Coupage” love citrus and Manchego.