Category Archives: Learning English

Our Olive Oil from the Algarve, Portugal

Locally produced Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Algarve, Portugal

Locally produced Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The olive oil we made came from a variety of olives. These olives grew  and ripened under the Algarve sun in southern Portugal.

The black varieties included Cornicabra and Galega gave us extra virgin oil of 0.7 degree.

Galega olives, Algarve , Portugal

Galega olives

The green varieties of olives produced extra virgin oil of 0.5 degree. These olives were more of a spherical type and some of them were huge with diameters exceeding 3 cm. I have yet to identify these varieties. Most of these trees were grafted by the Portuguese over 50 to 200 years ago.

For an explanation of the degree of olive oil see the previous article.

Cornicabra olives, Algarve Portugal

Cornicabra olives image credited to viveiros da bairrada

The healthy benefits are of Extra Virgin Oil are much vaunted .

The verified facts are:

  • Rich in anti-oxidants so a good nuero protector.

  • Unrefined olive oil is best as it is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins.

  • The antioxidants contained in Extra Virgin Oil oil do not break down on heating. This is great as as it means you can cook with extra Virgin Olive oil without loss of the antioxidants. This brings me to the myth of cold pressed olive oil. What temperature is this “cold” exactly? Because room temperature varies from 18ºC to about 24ºC depending on the individual. Unrefined Extra virgin Oil starts to congeal at temperatures below 16ºC so you would get very little oil pressing at these temperatures in the cold season of October to December. For this reason olive oil presses have to supply some heat during the extraction process. It does not affect the beneficial properties of the olive oil nor affect the oil’s excellent taste which should be peppery ans grassy. Some Extra virgin oils are slightly bitter.

  • Cooking with Extra Virgin Oil helps prevent the break down and loss of beneficial nutrients like vitamin C in vegetables.

  • A diet that includes regular amounts Extra Virgin Oil oil has been proved to reduced bone fractures and loss of bone in the elderly.

Facts not completely verified are:

  • Reduces the risk of Stroke and Heart Attack. This could be true as the Extra Virgin Oil would replace other fats in one´s diet responsible for cholesterol and restricted flow in the blood vessels.

“Where can I get some of this fine Extra Virgin Olive oil of yours?”

If you are in Hillingdon, West London or High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, we have a limited stock of this Portuguese unrefined Extra Virgin Olive Oil in 1 litre bottles. Email for details.


11 Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil That You Can’t Ignore (refers to bone loss)

Bi-lingual puns

What is a pun? A pun is the humorous use of a word to suggest another that sounds the same.

Speaker A: ‘Aren’t those plane trees over there?
Speaker B: ‘Why, Their bark looks quite patterned to me’ (said with a big grin).

We often use puns to make our conversations humorous and to demonstrate our skills at wordplay to either to raise our perceived social standing or less kindly to put someone down.

That we frequently use puns or come across puns or use puns in our conversations is a given. What I would like to contest is that is bi-lingual/tri-lingual speakers etc are more literally creative than mono-lingual speakers in some way because the can they can create bi-lingual puns.

I heard two university professors at a Indian university claim this and heard the pity in their voices for mono-lingual speakers. They claim that usage of bi-lingual puns require the speaker to know the word in both languages which is fair enough. However having a matchings words doesn’t in itself make a good pun. There must be clever humour behind it. This is highly valued my native British english speakers.

Here are three puns that are guaranteed to make a native english speaker smile.

1) Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

2) Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

3) Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

Here is a bi-lingual pun that educated Indians find very funny.
Speaker A: When would Mickey Mouse write the Ramayana?
Speaker B: When he was a Valmiki.

Valmiki was the Hindu sage who wrote Raymana and so here the allusion that Mickey Mouse is a Valmiki whenever his poster is on the wall etc.

Bi-lingual Indians apparently find this very funny. Sorry guys, I just do not find it funny. I am sure forethought went into it to make the connection between Wall Mickey and the Valmiki but you have to stretch the words to much especially since one is pronounced with a ‘v’ sound and the other with a ‘w’. And it just got worse the more of them I listened to.

I am not convinced that bi-lingual Hindi-English puns are in anyway superior to mono-lingual British english puns. In fact I would argue the other way as English puns have to be delivered with grammatical and perfect pronunciation to work.

On a closing note, maybe Samuel Lee Jackson was right when he said that a pun is the lowest form of humour.