Tortas de Aceite de Castilleja de la Cuesta

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Tortas de Aceite de Castilleja de la Cuesta

ETG ‘Tortas de Aceite de Castilleja de la Cuesta’ is a pastry product made with 27,7 % extra virgin olive oil. This, in combination with the fact that it is made entirely by hand, gives the product its most prized qualities, namely its light, fine and flaky texture and its unmistakable sweet flavour and aroma of aniseed and olive oil. It has a non-uniform toasted brown colour, with darker areas at its thinnest points. It is made with only extra virgin olive oil.

First of all, the liquid ingredients — virgin olive oil, water and inverted sugar — are added to the flour and mixed to form a dough. Then the rest of the ingredients are added and the dough is kneaded until it reaches the desired consistency. Once the kneading process has been completed, the dough is divided up using a machine that separates it into portions of equal weight. The ball of dough is held in one hand and then placed on the palm of the other. With the dough resting on the palm of one hand, fingers together, the outside edge of the other hand is placed on the centre of the dough, applying light pressure and moving the hand first towards the wrist and then towards the fingertips. This spreads the dough out over the whole hand. There is a bowl of white sugar next to each person. The dough, spread out on the palm of one hand, is then pressed against the surface of the sugar so that the surface of the crispbread is covered by a thin coating of sugar. To place the crispbread on the baking line, the hand is held a few centimetres above the belt, palm upwards. The part of the crispbread that is stuck to the little finger is then taken between the fingers of the other hand and placed on the belt while spreading out the fingers of the hand on which the crispbread is resting. This gives it its rounded shape. It is this way of shaping the dough that gives the olive oil crispbread its characteristic appearance, i.e. its more or less rounded shape, with a thickness that varies by only a few millimetres. The finished product is a disc some 13 cm in diameter and only a few millimetres thick. Given its shape, i.e. thin with a large exposed surface area, baking takes only a few minutes.

The product is traditionally produced in this area of the province of Seville and has gradually spread to the western part of Andalusia. It traces its origins back to the home-made confections baked and eaten at Easter. In 1914, a woman from Seville, Inés Rosales, rescued a family recipe for a confectionery product typical of the Aljarafe area and started producing and marketing it. It is still being made today and is the most famous brand.

Reference: The European Commission