where it
all began

Where it all started!

Susannah Stewart, owner of Salty Olive, has been a frequent visitor to Spain for well over 40 years and fell in love with the Spanish informal and social approach to dining.

In 2003, Calau Restaurant opened in the picturesque, beachside town of Calella de Palafrugell, offering it’s customer delicious miniature bites with huge, exploding flavours, displayed on the bar for all to see.

Calau’s reputation grew and very quickly there were queues of people up and down the street, every day; so much so they expanded to a larger premises within their first year. Calau is now #1 restaurant in Calella on trip advisor.

It has been Susannah long standing dream to bring this style of dining home, to the UK and in spring 2023, she will realise that dream when Salty Olive opens its doors for the first time to the community of Wokingham.

Pinchos (pintxos) Evolution

In the 1940’s , a bar owner in San Sebastian, Northern Spain, decided to serve small snacks such as olives, anchovies, and pickles, skewered with a toothpick, to keep the ingredients together.

The owner displayed these snacks so everyone passing could see them. This was such a huge success, other bars copied to approach and first pinchos was born.

Soon after, the movie “Gilda” was released. The movie raised a controversy worldwide for its sexiness, making actress Rita Hayworth one of the biggest sex symbols of the moment.

Some residents of San Sebastian saw similarities between the character played by Rita and this newly born pintxo: both were ”green, salty, and a little spicy”.

As such, they decided to name the pinchos ‘Gilda’ and soon all the bars in San Sebastian were serving Gilda’s; quickly expanding throughout the entire Basque Country and eventually to most of Spain.

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