A highland fling

our wee adventure on the Black Isle

The CIA visits Casa Tyr


I bet that really got you going, didn’t it?! Well, we have exciting news so read on.

Ever since I started to blog, and to read others’ blogs, it has struck me that you never know where things might lead, where life might take you. If you “like” a blog entry or a Facebook page, or if you comment on someone’s website or blog, opportunities can arise out of almost nothing. You just need to take the leap.

This is particularly evident in an event that is coming up soon, that we are very excited about. Here is how it came about.

My cousin Mary, who lives in NYC, went to Northwestern. She told me about a woman she read about in their newsletter, who also went to Northwestern, Janet Mendel, who has lived on the Costa del Sol for many years. It was a typical question, “she lives near you, I think, do you know her?”. Well, no, I didn’t but thanks to several email conversations and a visit/blog report from Janet, I do now!

Over the Christmas season, Janet wrote a blog entry about slicing an Ibérico ham . As always, I enjoyed reading it, then decided to add my tuppence. Rather than buying a ham this way, I said, why not make a trip to Yunquera and buy one from our wonderful pork butcher, Miguel Merino. He is a fanatic when it comes to pork products, and manages the process from piglet through to ham/pork products. Really good pork is a world apart from the pale imitation you find at supermarkets. It is closer to beef than pork, and has real colour and flavour – not to be missed.

The Culinary Institute of America

The Culinary Institute of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyway, who should read Janet’s blog (and my response) but her old friend Lars Kronmark, a chef/educator at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in California. He emailed me immediately! Not only is he interested in our own Yunquera Gold olive oil, he said, but he would love to know more about this wonderful Miguel Merino and his pork. His mother lives on the Costa del Sol, he continued, and he’s coming to visit her in a couple of weeks. So, one day, they will all trek inland to Yunquera, try our olive oil, and visit Miguel to talk about his pork and farming methods.

We are super excited about this, and hope that Janet and Lars are, too. We love to show off the farm, and our oil, and just try stopping Miguel from bragging about his pork! It promises to be an exciting and edifying visit.

And who knows where this might lead. Will Yunquera Gold and Miguel’s pork be touted throughout the culinary world? Will Lars feature Yunquera products in his teaching? Will I lecture his students on what it’s like to be an American living in Spain, making olive oil? Or will none of these happen? You never know if you don’t try. At the very least, we (and Yunquera) will have a new friend, and that’s pretty cool.

Author: Ann Larson

One-time IT executive who lives on a 22 acre olive farm in Spain with husband Kenton and 2 boxer dogs. We make Yunquera Gold olive oil, and soap and skincare products from same. We aim to make natural, fresh, and handmade products at affordable prices!

4 thoughts on “The CIA visits Casa Tyr

  1. How exciting – I hope all goes well.




    • hi Barrie, thanks for posting! Thanks for the good wishes, we’ll see! Even if not, it doesn’t matter too much, it’s just nice to meet new people and show off our farm and olive oil!


  2. This is excellent! I love the Internets…