For the second year in a row, Britain’s annual Taste of London gastronomical event will feature the European Olive Oil Program. The campaign organizers hope its presence at the festival will help spawn increased interest in the so-called “liquid gold.”
Olive oil, particularly that of Spanish origin, has grown increasingly popular among the Brits in recent years. According to Teresa Perez, director of the Spanish organization Interprofesional del Aceite de Oliva Español, sales of Spanish olive oils in the UK have increased by 17% since 2009. “This year has proven once again the excellent reception of olive oil in the United Kingdom and the enthusiasm that Brits are showing for this product. Everyday the presence of olive oil is growing, in their kitchens and in their culinary habits,” Perez told sources.
More than 50,000 are expected to attend Taste of London, which will begin June 22 in the British capital before heading to Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester and Leicester in the coming weeks. The event will come to a close on July 12.
The European Olive Oil Program (or Programa Europeo de los Aceites de Oliva as it’s known in Spain) has organized a number of promotional activities as part of the mini-tour. Each stop on the tour will feature live cooking workshops explaining the different uses of olive oil in gourmet food preparation. Attendants will receive complimentary samples of different dishes served by professional chefs.
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All attendants who purchase a bottle of olive oil will be automatically entered into a raffle to win a five-day trip for two. Winners may choose between olive oil and gourmet food-tasting tours of Andalusia or the areas of Cataluña, La Rioja and Navarra. The first 1,000 users to register on the European Olive Oil Program’s website will receive exclusive copies of a book on olive oil.
The European Olive Oil Program is a joint initiative supported by Interprofesional del Aceite de Oliva Español, Spain’s Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM) and the European Commission. With a budget of over 16.5 million euros (US$ 23.8 million), the program that began in October 2009 is scheduled to run for three years, with activities planned throughout Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Holland.