50 Spanish foods - Spain

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50 Spanish foods - Spain

QualityA traveller remembers coming homefrom the Balearic Islands with the typicalensaimada pastry, or a cold day on theplains of Castile in search of roast babypig (cochinillo) or lamb (cordero). ButSpain’s culinary wealth doesn’t stopthere. It’s much, much greater.The country has become a gastronomicattraction for tourists, and this world–which continues to grow both here andoverseas– has become something of acultural and social science.When they sit down at table, foodlovingvisitors to Spain increasinglydemand the best from the local foodof the different areas they visit. They nolonger seek just a good restaurant, butone that will also prepare food based onlocal produce. This culinary wealth allowstourists to plan their trips through Spanishtowns and cities not just on the basis of artand monuments, but also with an eye tothe variety and quality of the food.Spain’s great diversity of climate andgeography makes it possible to find somebasic products of excellent quality, bothfrom the land and the sea.Thanks to the different processes ofcanning and bottling, our products can beenjoyed everywhere –both in their place oforigin and at home.For this reason, Turespaña is sponsoringthis ‘Guide to the Top 50 Spanish FoodProducts’. The aim is to promote Spain’sfood and drink even further.This is a selection of products from thecountry’s different Autonomous regions,which are more and more in demand fromtourists to take back home with them toenjoy with their family or friends.These products have thus becomethe distinguishing characteristics of theirrespective Autonomous regions.Good examples of this are the widerange of extra virgin olive oils, the Ibéricopork products, and the many differentcheeses made in all part of Spain.An important element in all this foodand drink is the catalogue that lists theDenominación de Origen (D.O.) ofeach product –a prestigious classificationawarded according to stringent criteriaand which serves as a guarantee ofquality– that is regulated by the Ministryof the Environment and Rural andMarine Affairs.Because of the large quantity and highquality of the basic products, it hasn’t beeneasy to decide on this Top 50 list. This isonly a partial list, but everything that is onit deserves to be there.Joan MesquidaSpanish General Secretary for Tourism and Domestic Trade


Extra virgin olive oil1.aUboCassa eXtra virginolive oilBodegas Roda produces both wineand olive oil. Among the oils are two ofexcellent quality: the Dauro in L’Empordá(Catalonia) and the Aubocassa extra virginolive oil, produced in Manacor (Majorca).The British paper The Independent hasranked Aubocassa one of the world’sten best olive oils, while food critic RafaelGarcía Santos calls it the summit ofSpanish oils. It is made exclusively from theArbequina olives at the farm in Manacor(Majorca) and is the result of the first coldpressing. It is yellowish in colour, with agreenish, opaque look due to the lack offiltering. The flavour is smooth with slightlybitter and spicy notes.www.roda.es✍2.rinCÓn de la sUbbétiCaeXtra virgin olive oilThe Almazaras de la Subbética firmhas ancient olive trees inthe province of Córdobaproducing the Picuda andHojiblanca varieties. Outstandingamong its extra virgin olive oilsis the Rincón de la Subbética. Itis 100 percent Hojiblanca, fromthe Priego de Córdoba D.O..It is also one of the oils thathas won the most awards, bothinside and outside Spain. The olives areharvested midway through the autumn. Itis green in colour, with a bittersweet tasteand a certain bite, and with suggestions ofgrass and almonds.www.almazarasdelasubbetica.es✍4


Extra virgin olive oil3. Castillo de Canenareserva familiar picualThe Picual is the olive variety mostcultivated in Andalusia, especially inthe province of Jaén. The Castillo deCanena Reserva Familiar is the top of itsPicual extra virgin olive oil range, and comesin numbered limited editions that havewon its both domestic and internationalawards. The harvesting takes place in themid-autumn, when the olives are optimallymature. After picking, they are cold-pressed,with controls of time and temperature, toextract the virgin extra olive oil. It is held instainless steel vats at a constant temperaturebefore bottling, with strict respect for theorder of the different requests that havebeen made for this product.www.castillodecanena.com✍In the world of extra virgin olive oil, the tree is to the fruitwhat the fruit is to the tree. Thus the Latin aphorism oleaprima omnium arborum est. For this reason, when we speakof extra virgin olive oil we refer exclusively to the oil thatcomes from the first cold pressing of the olives.Olives have been used since antiquity for just abouteverything: as food, in medicine, in religion... Currentlythey feature in the world of cosmetics.Spain has one of the largest areas in the worlddedicated to the cultivation of olives, and is one of thebiggest producers and defenders of extra virgin olive oilas en essential element in nutrition.There is a wide variety of olives. Among the leaders:Arbequina, Arbosana, Blanqueta, Castellana, ChanglotReal, Cornicabra, Empeltre, Farga, Lechín de Granada,Lechín de Sevilla, Manzanilla Cacereña, Morisca, Morrut,Picual, Picudo, Sevillenca, Verdial de Badajoz, Verdial deHuévar, Verdial de Vélez Málaga...This great variety gives rise to a wide range of extravirgin olive oils. In the first group are the single-variety oil,the ones that use just one type of olive. Then come theblends, made from two or more varieties of olives, whichlends a mix of aromas, flavours and textures.The Spanish market offers a wide range of extra virginolive oil: Cortijo de Suerte Alta, Cladium, Jugo de Aceituna010 Adolfo Colección Cornicabra, Marqués de Valdueza,Abbae de Queiles, Castillo de Tabernas, Dintel...


4. la organiC oro eXtravirgin olive oilThis is a totally ecological oil, bothin the growing and productionprocesses. . The Gómez de Baenafamily owns a grove of ancient olivetrees on the La Amarilla farm(Ronda, Málaga province)that was a precursor to theLa Organic operation. It isan association of growerswho cultivate their oldtrees ecologically and inthe traditional manner.This makes it possible toproduce and sell the finestorganic oil in Andalusia, La Organic Oroextra virgin. The original bottle –dark,square and squat– was designed byPhilippe Starck. There are two varieties:La Organic Oro Intenso (100 percentPicudo olives) has floral and herbalaromas. La Organic Oro Suave is madefrom Picudo and Hojiblanca olives.www.laorganic.net✍5. arbosana la boella eXtravirgin olive oilLa Canonja (Tarragona province)is home to the La Boella olivegroves and press. This firm is animpor tant producer of extra virginolive oil from Arbequina,Koroneiki and Arbosana olives.The Arbosana is one of theoldest in Spain, indigenousto Catalonia and close toextinction. La Boella is fightingfor its preservation. This olivegives extraordinar y resultsbecause it adapts easily tointensive cultivation. TheArbosana extra virgin oliveoil is the firm’s most emblematicproduct, harvested in December whenthe fruit has a low level of maturity.www.laboella.com✍6. Pago MarQUés de griñÓnoleUM artis eXtravirgin olive oilIn the town of Malpica deTajo (Toledo province),in the Dominio deValdepusa area,there are some 100h e c t a r e s o f s e m i -intensive olive grovesof the Arbequina andPicual varieties, both verycommon on the IberianPeninsula. The Marqués deGriñón Oleum Artis in anestate-bottled extra virgin olive oil, aperfect blend of these two varieties.The olives are harvested at the bestpossible time, and once collected areimmediately pressed with rigorouscontrols.Then the oil is filtered and keptin stainless steel vats until bottling.www.pagosdefamilia.com✍6


STasTing spainaborea España (“Tasting Spain”)is the first private platform –nowdomestic but with internationalambitions– to promote tourism andgourmet eating. It has the support of theMinistry of Industry, Tourism and Trade,and of the Spanish Tourism Institute.Among its more noteworthy projects area study of gourmet tourism in the countrytoday, the devising of action plans fordesigning innovative culinary experiencesfor tourists, the creation of “gourmetmaps”, the organizing of a gourmet eventfeaturing pintxos and tapas and to becalled EXPOTAPA, and the promotion ofestablished gourmet events.Its key aims are:• To lend gourmet dimensionsto tourism products• To broaden the concept of gourmettourism via a focus on Spain’sauthentic regional cuisines• To link the primary sector (agriculture)to the tertiary or services sector (thehospitality industry)Saborea España is an association of fourbodies involved in gourmet dining andtourism: the Spanish Hostelry Federation,the Spanish Association of Destinations forthe Promotion of Gourmet Tourism (Euro-Toques), the European Chefs Organization(an association of Europe’s most prestigiouschefs de cuisine), and the SpanishAssociation of Chefs and Pastry Chefs.


Ibérico ham7. señorío de Montaneraacorn-fed ibérico hamIn the Extremadura region ofwestern Spain there are largeextensions of land given overto raising the Ibérico pig. Thegeography and climate are essentialelements in hams yielded by theseacorn-fed animals. The breeding,production and commercialisation ofthe acorn-fed Señorío de MontaneraIbérico pig is subject to the D.O.Dehesa de Extremadura. It begins withthe selection of the best Ibérico pigs,which are raised in freedom and bythe montanera process: in other words,through grazing in these special fieldsand eating acorns from the oak trees.The whole process –selection, salting,post-salting, drying and curing– is carriedout by traditional craftsmanlike methodsand is subject to the strictest control.www.senoriodemontanera.com✍8. FerMín acorn-fed ibérico hamIn the small picturesque town ofLa Alberca (Salamanca province),Embutidos Fermín began as a smallfamily business. Today it is a leader inthe field of acorn-fed Ibérico ham,exporting it all over the world. Thereare three things that characterise thisham. One is the fact that it comesfrom pure Ibérico pigs that have beenraised on a diet of natural grazing andacorns in Salamanca. Others of its hamscome from pigs that have grazed inthe oak forests of the Extremadura


Ibérico ham and other pork productsand Andalusia regions. A secondcharacteristic is the weather, whichallows the hams to be perfectly driedand matured. The third is the naturalcuring by craftsmanlike methods.www.embutidosfermin.com✍9. CinCo Jotas acorn-fedibérico hamA whole series of towns in theSierra de Huelva region constitutethe D.O. Jamón de Huelva. The SánchezRomero Carvajal firm has been one ofthe leaders for over a century. Its mostemblematic acorn-fed Ibérico ham iscalled Cinco Jotas. It doesn’t have theD.O. Jamón de Huelva, but it does comefrom free-range Ibérico pigs fed by themontanera method, and the productionIbérico ham is the jewel in the Spanish culinary crown. Thequalification ‘acorn-fed Ibérico ham’ refers to the pig of theIbérico race that is native to the Peninsula and ranges freein the fields. It eats the grass here and the acorns from corkoaks (called the montanera diet).The pigs classified as de cebo or de recebo are thosewhose diet and fattening has been rounded off with the useof fodder. They are of high quality but without reaching thatof the ones that have been raised exclusively on acorns.The Ibérico pig develops a muscular mass, in this case onthe hind legs, that contains a kind of fat that contributes toits quality and extraordinary flavour. The front legs weighless but are also of excellent quality.The four Protected Denominations of Origin are:Guijuelo (Salamanca); Dehesa de Extremadura, LosPedroches (Córdoba) and Jamón de Huelva.The breeding, preparation and curing of these differenthams follows strict steps that yield unique products. Anideal way to consume ham is in thin slices sliced with a knife.Ham is also a fine ingredient in many recipes.The essential characteristic of the Ibérico products isthat fatty marbling in the meat, the result of the diet ofthese free-range pigs: on the grazing land and on the acornsfrom the oaks trees. The fat lends a special texture andoiliness. Some experts believe that even the aroma of themeat varies from one growing area to another, dependingon the amount of fat and its proximity to the bone.REAL JAMÓN is a new brand that guarantees the verybest in Ibérico hams. (http://www.realjamoniberico.com/)


and curing process is carried out bycraftsmanlike methods. It has anintense aroma, uniform colour–with the characteristic fattymarbling, a result of its uniquediet– a velvety oiliness and a flavourwith a unique personality.www.cincojotas.com✍10. CoVaP altaeXPresiÓnpure acorn-fed ibérico hamC OVA P ( S o c i e d a dCooperativa AndaluzaGanadera del Vallede los Pedroches),produces excellentchacinas (cold cuts) ofPure Ibérico Pig. Amongthem is the acorn-fed hamclassified as Alta Expresión, thefirm’s top quality product. TheIbérico Puro de Bellota hams comefrom Ibérico pigs whose parents had 100percent Ibérico blood. There are strictcontrols on selection and production,including analysis of the percentages ofoleic, linoleic, palmitic and stearic fattyacids; control of the maturing and agingperiod, which must be greater than 36months; and selection of the hams in theAlta Expresión class.www.covap.es✍11. señorío de MontanerasalchichÓnConsidered by some expertsas the great salchichón of theExtremadura region, it comes from100 percent acorn-fed Ibérico pig.At Señorío de la Montanera, nothinggoes to waste. The firm also hasother products apart from hams. Theingredients in this salchichón are thelean meat of the pigs, along with partof the meat from the front and backlegs. The ingredients are chopped upand mixed, seasoning is added (salt,pepper in grains or ground up, andother spices), followed by marinationand the stuffing into natural casing.www.senoriodemontanera.com✍12. CoVaP lomitoFollowing the acorn-fed curedIbérico ham Alta Expresión, thenext most distinguished product ofthe COVAP cooperative is the curedIbérico pork cut known as Lomitode Presa. The lomito or “small loin”is not a traditional cured pork loin,but a cut taken from the richest andtenderest part near the shoulders, andis a favourite of the best chefs. Theexclusive lomito is not yet a traditionalcut of cured pork, but it soon willbe. COVAP’s version is made from aselect cut that is dressed, seasoned andpacked in a traditional gut casing. It isdark red and streaky, with an exquisitearoma and texture. Each piece weighsbetween 600 and 800 grams.www.covap.es✍10


spanisH FOODs On THE WEBANDALUSIA.- http://www.andalucia.orgARAGON.- http://www.turismodearagon.comASTURIAS.- http://www.infoasturias.comBALEARIC ISLANDS.- http://www.illesbalears.esBASQUE COUNTRY.- http://www.euskaditurismo.netCANARY ISLANDS.- http://www.turismodecanarias.comCANTABRIA.- http://www.turismodecantabria.comCASTILE-LA MANCHA.- http://www.turismoCastilelamancha.comCASTILE & LEON.- http://turismoCastileyleon.comCATALONIA.- http://www.gencat.catCEUTA.- http://www.ceuta.esEXTREMADURA.- http://www.turismoextremadura.comGALICIA.- http://www.turgalicia.esLA RIOJA: http://www.lariojaturismo.comMADRID.- http://www.turismomadrid.esMELILLA.- http://www.melillaturismo.comNAVARRE.- http://www.turismo.Navarre.es/esp/homeREGION OF MURCIA.- http://www.murciaturistica.esREGION OF VALENCIA.- http://www.comunitatvalenciana.comTURESPAÑA. - http://www.spain.infoMINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND RURAL AND MARINE AFFAIRS(FOOD DIVISION).- http://www.alimentacion.es11


Sausages and meat products13. Joselito acorn-fed curedpork loinJoselito is a brand that stands forexcellence in acorn-fed Ibérico porkproducts. Its hogs are raised in immensepastures through the north-western part ofthe Iberian Peninsula, and its famed naturaldrying sheds are located in Guijuelo, in theprovince of Salamanca. Only hand-pickedacorn-fed Ibérico pork is used to makethe cured pork loins. After cleaning andtrimming, each piece is covered in salt,garlic and paprika. Next, the meat is packedin natural casing, smoked by wood andcharcoal and cured until packing.www.joselito.com✍14. Frial ibérico supremasFrial, the company founded in 1 byRamón Frial, is now a group of companiesdedicated to the preparation of curedIbérico pork products and cooked cold cuts,in Ciudad Rodrigo (Salamanca province)and Tres Cantos, near Madrid. The threekey features of Frial’s Supremas are meatfrom the black Ibérico pig –cooked at a lowtemperature to conserve the natural taste,aroma, and tenderness– and strictly limitedproduction. Tinned Ibérico pork Supremas is aunique product, one of the most famous fromFrial. Made entirely of tongue and jowls, thiscold cut is firm, juicy, pink, and gluten-free.www.grupofrial.com✍15. FeblaMe cured beefFeblame, S.L. is a family-owned processedmeat company now in its thirdgeneration and under the management1


of Santiago Blanco. Its leading product iscecina or cured beef, and this local variety ismade in the province of León. Cured beef hasbeen made since antiquity, and its preparationwas described in the first century of theChristian era. The same process is used today.The cuts are from the hindquarters (flank,sirloin, round, and shank) of beef that is at leastfive years old, from breeds native to Castile andLeón. The meat is salted and cured with smoke.The whole process is done by traditionalmeans, and no preservatives or additivesare used, so the flavour, aroma and textureare entirely natural.www.cecinadeleon.org✍16. el Zagal majorcan sausagemade from black ibérico pigThe El Zagal brand is used bythe company founded in 10 byFrancisco Tejedor García. It preparesMajorcan sobrasada sausage, in keepingwith the standards of the D.O. Sobrasadade Mallorca. El Zagal makes a variety ofsobrasada (as sausage, slices, in terrines,etc.), but its star product comes from localIbérico black pigs who are fed a special diet.The meat is carefully selected, minced andspiced with paprika before being extrudedas sausage and cured at length The resultis a delicious soft and spreadable sausage,turned red by the paprika, with a complexand exquisite flavour.www.elzagal.com✍17. saénZ HoreCa vacuumpackedmeatsSáenz Horeca has been in businessfor more than years. Its completemeat-producing operation offers thesafest food of four kinds: beef, sheep,goat and pig. Its fresh meat products havebeen vacuum-packed and undergonerigorous micro-biological and chemicalanalyses. The uninterrupted cold chainguarantees the best colour, texture andflavour. In general these products gowonderfully well a good aged red or anyof Spain’s appellation wines.www.saenzhoreca.com✍18. ganso ibériCo de deHesacured duck magretGanso Ibérico is a firm with longexperience in all aspects of rural projects:natural, cultural and ethnographic. It is a pioneerin the ecological breeding of the Ibérico freerangegoose in southern Spain. In its curedmagret, the meat is similar to that of the Ibéricoham, with little water content, and is rich inmonounsaturated fats, proteins and minerals.This is a very versatile meat with a surprisingflavour, which should be eaten on its own, withsome drops of extra virgin olive oil, or in saladsor pastas. The ideal temperature for consumingit is around 20 degrees centigrade.www.gansoiberico.com✍1


Cheese19. Marantona manchegocheeseLa Casota is a family business thathas been going for five generations.Its sheep graze in different parts ofLa Mancha, land that includes theremains of harvests, grape vine shoots,rosemary. The cheese factory boaststhe latest hygienic processes andproduces several types of cheeses (soft,semi-cured, cured, old, in oil). They alsomake goat cheese. Outstanding is theMarantona Manchego cheese, cured innatural caves and with the D.O. QuesoManchego. It comes from Manchegasheep’s milk, and is matured fromeight to ten months. It has an intense,pleasant and persistent aroma.www.quesoslacasota.com✍20. don rebesino tortadel casarThere is a wide range of Spanish14


The cheesescheeses. Among the creamy onesperhaps the Torta del Casar is thestrangest yet most representative,for its shape and texture and theway it is made. Quesería GanaderaTo speak of cheese in Spain is to speak of one of thecountry’s most important food and culinary sectors.This culinary wealth has been reflected in Spanishliterature from the Golden Age to the present. It’s alsoseen in rhyming popular sayings like “con pan y vino seanda el camino” (with bread and wine we’ll get by) and“uvas, pan y queso saben a beso” (grapes, bread and cheesetaste like kisses).The great diversity from north to south and eastto west —not to mention the archipelagos— makes itpossible to group them into different categories. Dependingon the kind of milk used in their production, we can speakof goat, sheep and cow cheese, along with blends. As forthe maturing and curing processes, they can be classifiedas soft, semi-cured, cured and old.As a general rule, in the Castilian regions andExtremadura the most common cheeses come fromsheep; in Asturias and Galicia, from cows; in the CanaryIslands, Murcia and Catalonia, from goats. There aredifferent breeds in each of these three kinds of livestock,and this too is a factor in the characteristics of thedifferent cheeses.These cheeses should usually be kept in a cool place —but never a refrigerator— and eaten at room temperature.Good country bread is the best thing to go with cheese.They are very nutritious and are high in saturated fats,and so should be consumed in moderation. They have highlevels of calcium and other nutrients.1


S.L. was founded in 2005. It is anassociation of farmers whose cheeseblends tradition and technology,where natural craftsmanship coexistsharmoniously with research into milkproducts. Outstanding among itscheeses is the Torta del Casar DonRebesino (D.O.P. Torta del Casar). It’smade exclusively with the raw milk ofMerino and Entrefina sheep to whichis added salt and vegetable rennet,and it matures for at least 60 days.The rennet used is obtained from thecommon cardoon flower.www.queseriaganadera.es✍21. la Peral cheeseLa Peral is a family-run cheesefirm founded in 1 by AntonioLeón Álvarez. Sincethen it has been producing LaPeral cheese with craftsmanship andtechnology. This cheese is made frompasteurised milk, lactose fermentationand selected molds, which give itthe characteristic blue spots andpersonality. It is a slightly spicy cheesewith great flavour and oiliness. Byheating the milk and adding coagulants,16


it is possible to extract and press thecurd to remove all the extra liquid andwhey. Then the cheese is moulded andsalted and placed in curing chambers.quesoslaperal@hotmail.com✍22. MaJorero MaXoratagoat cheeseT h e G r u p o G a n a d e ro s d eFuerteventura began operationsin the 10s to preser ve theextracted and the mass is moved to therespective forms. Once the pieces aretaken from their forms they are salted,matured and classified as unripened,tender, semi-cured or cured.www.maxorata.es✍23. idiaZÁbal aiZpea cheeseIdiazábal cheese comes fromLatxa sheep, a race that does notproduce a great deal of milk. But it isof great quality. The Quesería Aizpea,in Olaberría (Guipúzcoa province)makes its own cheeses under theD.O. Idiazábal, while at the same timemaintaining the seasonal migration.There are two varieties of Idiazábalcheese: smoked and unsmoked. Therind is of a certain consistency; it’swhite in the unsmoked version anddark brown in the smoked version.The cheese inside is smooth, withtiny orifices of colour dependingon the type . The texture iscreamy, smooth and velvety, witha consistent flavour.www.quesoidiazabal.com✍traditional ways of producing Majorerocheese, while at the same time adaptingthem to new technologies. It has wondomestic and international awards.It is made from milk from Majoreragoats, native to the Canary Island ofFuerteventura. The production processbegins by coagulation with the rennet.Then the remaining buttermilk is1


Top 50The origins32 33 3435 3621 44This map details the places that producethe 50 best food products in Spain. Ascan be seen, they come from practicallyeverywhere in the country.8 1315 26437 1120 292 3 418 242218


3117 2325 39 411440425 27 3049 50376 19 2845 47481 169 10 1238 46The Route of Ibérico HamIbérico ham is the crown jewel of Spanish products. Thefour protected Denominations of Origin are Guijuelo,Salamanca (in red on the map, under number 8); Dehesa deExtremadura (7), Los Pedroches, Córdoba (10), and Jamónde Huelva (9). The journey through them makes up theRoute of Ibérico Ham.Products 4, 5, 11, 12, 14, 18, 24, 25, 33, 35 and 50 belong to the seal of quality Elite Gourmet. www.elitegourmet.es19


Delicatessen24. cAviAr Per SÉ bY rioFríoPSN (Piscifactoría Sierra Nevada)began fish-raising operations in1956, a tradition in the Navarre regionof nor thern Spain. In1963 it expanded toRiofrío (Granada, in thesouth), where itproduces thePer Sé caviar:“black gold”with its ownp e r s o n a l i t y,full of subtletiesand sensations andconsidered among thebest in the world. This fish is bred inopen natural areas, ecologicallly. Riofríooffers different types of caviar, but thestar is Per Sé: complex and made in thetraditional Iranian method. It ranges incolour from pearl-grey to brown-black,has a smooth but persistent texture, andis complex and elegant.www.caviarperse.net/es/✍25. mi cuit mArtiKo foie-grasThe Martiko firm, founded in 1986,is located in the town of Bera, inthe Pyrenees of the Navarre region. Itraises corn-fattened ducks and geese –forfresh food, semi-conserves, conservesand pre-prepared dishes– in somemodern installations that use the latesttechnologies and quality control. Thisfirm has been producing mi-cuit for 20years. It has been prepared exclusivelywith the full liver of the Moulard duck,20


Caviar, foie-gras, truffles and smoked salmonand is classified as a semi-conserve. This isa high-energy, nutritious food rich in ironand vitamins A and B12.www.martiko.com✍26. Black truffle in its juicefrom ArotzArotz is a pioneering firm in thenatural cultivation of the tubermelanosporum truffle, in the provinceof Soria. The truffles are collectedmanually, with the help of trained dogs.At the factory, each truffle is brushedCaviar, foie gras, truffles and smoked salmon are thefour jewels of world gastronomy —products that havereached the peaks of haute cuisine.Spain competes at this high level with thecountries that have brought fame and reputationto these luxury products.Riofrío (Granada province) produces sturgeonthat must be 15 years old before their caviar can beextracted. It is of excellent quality, as is the caviarfrom the Garona River (Lérida). Both of them rivalRussian and Iranian caviars.Ever since ancient Egypt, mythic and ancestralfoie-gras has been a delicacy, and starting in the18th century it was emblematic of French cuisine:the foie-gras of Les Landes is famous. In Spain,ducks and geese are raised in Navarra, the BasqueCountry and Catalonia produce excellent foie-grasin all its variations —fresh, semi-fresh, in blocks, andin other styles. They can compete with the bestfrom Les Landes and Strasbourg.Spanish salmon comes from rivers in the northaround Santander, in Vizcaya and in Asturias, andrivals that of Norway and Scotland. Its standards ofproduction and smoking are equally high.The king of fungi is the excellent, aromatic blacktruffle (tuber melanospurum). It grows spontaneouslyin the oak forests in the provinces of Soria, Terueland Huesca, although today this delicacy can becultivated artificially. It can be eaten fresh duringits short season, or be conserved for consumptionthroughout the year.21


off in warm water. Then comes thecanifé, a small cut to display the fleshand appreciate its penetrating aroma.The truffles are classified by size,colour, texture and variety. Some willbe consumed fresh, vacuum-packedto maintain all their fragrance andflavour. Others will undergo a processof thermal conservation.www.arotz.com✍27. LAumont dehydratedmushroomsLaumont, an expert firm inmycology, began in the truffle andmushroom trade, products whichit sold fresh. Because of the increasingmarket demand and the seasonal natureof these products, the firm expandedoperations to include their freezing anddehydration. Spain has a wide varietyo f w i l dmushroomsthat can onlybe enjoyedi n c e r t a i nm o n t h s o ft h e y e a r .Thanks to thedehydrationprocess, they can now be consumed allyear long. This firm works with BoletusEdulis, Rebozuelo, Anaranjado, Shiitake,Senderuelal, Colmenilla, Perrochico andTrompeta Negra varieties. To be eaten,the only thing necessary is to re-hydratethem in water and/or wine. They arewonderful in rices or pastas, as a part ofstuffings and with scrambled eggs.www.laumont.net✍28. SAn román saffronFor more than a century theVerdú Cantó Saffron Spaincompany has cultivated, packagedand sold saffron and other fine spices.The saffron is obtained from thestigmas of the crocus sativus flower,which is lilac in colour. Saffron is knownas ‘red gold’ for its colouring, taste andaromatic qualities. It is harvested byhand, extracting the stigmas of eachflower, to later bake them. AzafránSan Román is the high range productfrom this firm. It comes from the bestsaffron grown on the plantation in theprovince of Albacete. It enriches anyfood, from paella to fish, and is muchin demand by the best chefs.www.saffron-spain.com✍22


29. SAnto Domingo paprikafrom la VeraPaprika –pimentón in Spanish–comes from the pepper that iscultivated in the area of La Vera.Pimentón Santo Domingo, in Aldea delCamino (Cáceres province), has beena leader in the field since the early20th century. It producesa uniform and intensered powder with apenetrating smoky aromaand a refined flavour. Themature fruit is dried in thetraditional way, then heatedand smoked and ground intopowder. Paprika gives dishes a uniqueflavour, colour and aroma.www.pimentonsantodomingo.com✍30. LeS gArrigueS almondsFoment Agricola Les Garrigues,S.A. began operations in 1982 withpistachio plantations in the provinceof Lérida. Today it raises other things,including the Marcona almond, perhapsthe most highly esteemed variety. Thelargest almonds are fried in highquality oil until achievingthat optimum point,with a crunchy texture,while at the same timeconserving all theiraroma and flavour;then salt is added. Thealmonds are vacuumpacked.The result is a golden almond:aromatic, crunchy and tasty.www.les-garrigues.com✍23


Fish and shellfish conserves31. LoLín eDición oro filetsof anchoVies in oliVe oilIn Spanish it rhymes: “Bocarte inthe spring, tuna wherever youlike” or “anchovy and boquerónare the same thing”. Bocar te,anchovy, boquerón... by whatevernames it’s exquisite, delicious eitherfresh or tinned. The anchovy is nativeto the Bay of Biscay and the watersoff Catalonia. It is caught in the spring,usually by traditional methods. Lolín‘Edición Oro’ anchovy filets in olive oilcome in glass jars or in tins. The colour,texture and flavour are exquisite. Theproduction method is subject to strictquality controls regarding the size of thepieces and the quantity of the oil. Firstthe anchovies are washed and the skinis removed. After a light drying, the fishis cut into filets, cleaned again, and placedin glass jars or tins. The oil is added andthe container is sealed and refrigerated,since this is a semi-conserve.www.conservaslolin.es✍32. rAmón PeñA filets ofanchoVies in oliVe oilSince its founding in 1920, theHijos de Ramón Peña firm hasbeen committed to quality, flavourand tradition, offering the best fish andshellfish from the estuaries of Galicia. Itsproducts come in two ranges: Gourmetand Azul. The Gourmet side offers filets ofsardines, without spines or skins, in oilveoil. The sardines come from the estuariesof Galicia and the Atlantic. This is a blue24


fish that gains in quality when tinned dueto its fat content, which is reflected in theflavour and texture. It is preserved in oliveoil, although it is not an extra virgin oil,because that would mask the taste of thefish. The best sardines go to the factorywhere the head and guts are removed.Then comes the roasting and toasting,followed by elimination of the skin andbones. Finally they are cut into filets andplaced in tins with olive oil.www.chramonpena.com✍33. FrinSA Ventresca of freshtuna in oliVe oilThe Frinsa firm from Galiciaproduces white fish conserves, anddecided to offer its own brand(Frinsa). Outstanding among its productsPreserving fish and shellfishAlthough food has beenpreserved in containerss i n c e t h e 1 8 t hcentury, thereh a v e b e e no t h e rmethods ofconservationsince Antiquity.Examples arethe salted ands m o k e d f o o d s ,methods used especiallywith fish and which are still very common.Salting and smoking are processes of curingand drying, and make it possible to conserve fishand shellfish for long periods. The products treatedwith these methods are of excellent quality and areconsidered semi-conserves. To speak of fully conservedproducts means tin or glass containers, those whichhave undergone a sterilisation process.Spain is one of the leaders in the production of fishand shellfish conserves. It can be said that the Galicia andCantabria regions in the north head the presentationof fish in this way, although there are important fishconserving operations all along the Mediterranean coastand in the area around Gibraltar. In addition, Galiciais a leader in shellfish. These products bring togethertradition and technological advances to achieve thehighest quality.In their natural state, most of these fish products arepresented with water and salt, or with olive oil, whichyield excellent results,or in pickled form.These products arevery healthy, especiallyw h e n p r e s e n t e dnaturally and in olive oil.They should be kept incool places but do notrequire refrigeration.They go very wellwith beers and cavas,in addition to whitewines, especially thosefrom Galicia. Also withdry sherry like finoand manzanilla.25


is the belly of fresh tuna in tins with oliveoil. Tuna is one of the blue fish. Unlikethe highly sought after red tuna, whichis very large and is native to the coastsof Andalusia and the Mediterranean, the‘bonito del Norte’ is white, smaller andcommon to the Bay of Biscay. The bellyis the most appreciated part, and thisproduct has an exquisite flavour and avelvety texture. It’s an ideal product onits own or in salads.www.frinsa.es✍34.LoS PePereteS naturalWhite clamsJesús Lorenzo founded this canningoperation in 1990, and in1993 the Lorenzo Pazfamily created thebrand called LosPeperetes. It has awide range of products,among them the whiteclam. The raw material–the almeja babosa,from the estuaries inGalicia– yields someexcellent results. Oncein the factory, the sandis removed with seawater. Then the clams aresteamed, taken out ofthe shell, and tinned withwater and salt. The containeris sealed and the product is sterilised.These tins contain the best selectionof clams from the estuaries of Arousa,Muros and Noia.www.peperetes.com✍35. FrinSA natural cocklesThe cockle –berberecho in Spanish–isa modest bivalve that was neglectedfor years, but is now appreciated forits nutritional content and healthbenefits. Compared with other shellfish,it is low in fats and cholesterol and hasfew calories. When offered in tins, it ishigh-quality food that can be consumedall year long. Conservas Frinsa usescockles from the esturaries of Galicia, andits tins contain between 15 and 20 piecesselected by size. Once a tin is opened, thecockles should be kept in their juice.www.frinsa.es✍36. cAmbADoS gourmet musselsin BrineConservas Cambados, whichhas been in operation for morethan 25 years, offers a select rangeof gourmet products. Outstandingamong them are the tinned musselsin brine (escabeche). It’s a real culinaryproduct from the coasts of Galicia andhas undergone strict controls. In eachgourmet tin there arefrom four to sixlarge musselsc a r e f u l l ys e l e c t e df r o m t h eregion’s estuaries:they are fresh, haveundergone strict hygenic controls andhave been produced in the traditionalway. This is a real gourmet product witha rich taste and packed with nutrition.www.conservasdecambados.com✍26


Smoked and salted seafood37. PeScADeríAS coruñeSASsmoked salmonPescaderías Coruñesas, founded in1911, was purchased by Norberto Garcíawhen it was the point of reference in Madridfor the quality of its fish. One of its productsis salmon, using traditional techniques ofcold smoking. The process is as follows: thehead is cut off, it is split down the middle,and the spine is removed. It is cleaned andany bones are removed, then covered withsalt and sugar and left to macerate some 12hours before being oven-dried and smoked.The skin is removed and the salmon is left ina single piece or cut up into smaller piecesto be vacuum-packed. The result is a juicy,fibrous meat with a sweet, smoky flavour.www.pescaderiascorunesas.es✍38. HerPAc salted redalmadraBa tunaBarbate is the cradle of what is calledthe almadraba, an ancestral fishingtechnique from this part of Andalusia.With this tuna and some marine salt, thelocal people make the red salted tuna(mojama). It comes from the upper belly ofthe fish, which is salted, dried and cured withmarine salt and strict control of temperatureand humidity. It is considered the very bestof the mojamas, with a deep marine flavourand a high salt content. It is dark red with afirm texture and intense aroma. It should beeaten in thin, almost transparent slices. This isa very healthy product, good with just a fewdrops of olive oil, and perfect for salads.herpac@herpac.com✍27


Vegetable and fruit preserves39. LA cAteDrAL asparagusand ‘haBitas’La Catedral de Navarra, a firm withmore than 40 years of experience,produces vegetable conserves fromits gardens in Navarre. It has alwaysm a i n t a i n e d abalance betweent r a d i t i o n a lp r o d u c t i o nm e t h o d s a n dt h e n e w e s tt e c h n o l o g i e s ,w i t h r i g u r o u squality controls.O u t s t a n d i n gamong its manyo f f e r i n g s a r ethe extra-thickasparagus and the tiny habitas beans inolive oil. The Navarre asparagus fromLa Catedral is extra-thick, with a whitecolour, smooth texture and amplearoma. After cooking they are bottledor tinned and water and salt are added.Similar methods are used with the babyhabitas, with a clear green colour, a fineflavour and a buttery texture.www.lacatedraldenavarra.com✍40. LegumbreS eL HoStALEl Hostal is the leading Spanishbrand of tinned vegetables, bothdried and cooked. It is a division ofthe Alimentos Naturales, S.A. firm,founded in 1988. In 2009 El Hostallaunched its gourmet line, with awide variety of dried legumes: the28


Vegetable and fruit preservescanela bean, the large chickpea andthe milky chickpea; in cooked legumes,the fabada bean. Legumes figureprominently in the Mediterraneandiet for their balanced concentrationof nutrients. Almost all the regions inSpain produce some kind of legume.At El Hostal this diversity and qualityis reflected in the wide range ofdifferent D.O. controls, up to seven.www.elhostal.com✍41. eL nAvArrico piquillopeppersJosé Salcedo Soria began activitiesin the 1960s with a family businessthat bottled tomatoes. With time itlaunched the Conservas El Navarricobrand, part of the Pimiento del PiquilloThe world of preserves has evolved considerablysince its beginnings at the end of the 18th century.It arose after the French army’s need to conservefood in good condition over long periods during itsprolonged European campaigns.Frenchman Nicolas Appert developed the systemof conserving food in airless glass jars, after firstcooking it at high temperatures. In Spain the industrybegan to develop in the second half of the 19thcentury, and today the country is an importantproducer of high quality preserves.When we speak of preserves we refer to those foodsthat have been specially prepared before being placed inmetal, glass or plastic containers.In all cases, the aim is to prevent micro organismsfrom altering the sanitary conditions of the food.Preserves have achieved their highest expressionwith vegetables and fruits. A whole industry hasarisen around products such as asparagus, peas, beans,artichokes, Swiss chard, peaches, pears and cherries.The principal autonomous communities that growthese fruits and vegetables are Andalusia, Navarre, theRioja, Aragón and Castilla & León.The excellent basic materials, along with the shapeand design of their containers, have made today’s worldof preserves an important gastronomical sector. In generalthey are very nutritious, healthy products.29


d e L o d o s a ,Espár r agos deN a v a r r a a n dAlcachofas deTudela D.O.s.C o n s e r v a s E lNavar r ico offer arange of products from Navarre,produced by traditional methods. Oneof the most outstanding is the smallsweet piquillo pepper with an intensered colour and delicate aromas. It isroasted on wood fires, then peeled andcleaned by hand. The firm producesother bottled peppers.www.navarrico.com✍42. mArcHenicA peachesin syrupU n d e ri t sMarchenica brand,t h e f a m i ly-runHijos de FranciscoCelma, S.A. firm sellsquality products undersome of the D.O.super vision of theAragón AutonomousC o m m u n i t y. T h ep e a c h e s , o f t h eD. O. M e l o c o t ó nd e C a l a n d a , a r eproduced by traditional methods, withstrict quality and sanitary controls. Theycomes in bottles of either full peaches orhalves. They have a characteristic aromaand a yellow-orange colour, with afirm and velvety texture.www.marchenica.com✍Other conserves43. SAntA tereSA rafgaZpachoÁvila, where Santa Teresa lived, isinseparable from the city’s famouspastries (yemas) and from a shopcalled La Flor de Castilla. A visit herewouldn’t be complete without trying someyemas de Santa Teresa at this traditionalestablishment, which has been going formore than a century and a half. They’rea smooth, sweet delicacy. What was oncea traditional pastry operation is today anew firm that makes quality products thatlast a long time without any preservatives.One of them is the Gazpacho Raf SantaTeresa. This traditional cold Spanish soupis made from farm-fresh products (Raftomato, pepper, cucumber, fresh garlic),virgin extra olive oil, vinegar from Jerez30


and salt. It has no additives or gluten, andis rich in vitamins C and E.www.yemasdesantateresa.es✍44. LitorAL faBadaasturianaThe history of the Fabada Litoralfirm goes back to the 1940s when itbegan manufacturing for local orders.It wasn’t until the 60s that it started to dobusiness on a national level. With time, thefirm developed other traditional Spanishdishes, but it was fabada –the bean stew ofnorthern Spain– that brought it fame. Since1985 this brand is part of the Nestlé group.Fabada is prepared following the traditionalrecipe of the Asturias region: authenticfabes beans with meat (chorizo sausage,blood sausage and streaky bacon), and thencanned. To eat, just heat it up following theinstructions. It’s a dish that’s full of energy.www.litoralautentico.com✍45. Antonio De migueLpickled red partridgeAntonio de Miguel is a firm thatspecialises in pre-cooked products. It usesthe highest quality basic products, withoutadditives or colouring, and traditionalmethods. One of its creations is the redpartridge preserved in brine. After maturingthe meat under refrigeration, it is pluckedand cleaned. Then it is fried in olive oil. Thepartridge is tinned and the cold brine asadded. The final result is a rosy meat, tasty,tender and juicy –qualities brought out bythe pickling. It is best consumed cold.www.euroambrosias.es✍31


Sweets46. jams from LA vieJAFábricAThe Ángel Camachomanufacturing groupp ro d u c e s a w i d erange of jams andmarmalades under thename La Vieja Fábrica, atraditional brand since theend of the 19th century. Themost attractive features of these jamsare their abundant fruit, which is carefullyselected for texture, flavour, aroma andappearance. Products range from theclassic strawberry, plum and peach to themore modern redcurrant, pineapple andexotic fruits. There is also a wide range ofdietetic jams and others rich in fibre.www.laviejafabrica.com✍47. eL QueXigAL honeyEl Quexigal is a firm owned by theVega-Sicilia group, known all over theworld for its quality wines. El Quexigalmakes food products. Among them isthe highly appreciated honey. El Quexigalhas honeys that are made from a singleflower (orange blossom, heather, lavender)and others that come blends of differentflowers. These honeys combine theiroriginal purity with a natural productionsystem and rigorous hygienic-sanitarycontrols. Their principal components aresugars, and the liquid tends to crystallisenaturally: this is an indication of quality. Thehand of man –in this case El Quexigal–only intervenes to collect, process andpackage the honey.www.elquexigal.com✍32


48. alicante and jijona nougatfrom PAbLo gArrigóS ibáñezEveryone likes them both: the softnougat (turrón)from Jijona andthe hard stufffrom Alicante. Agood example of thisis the turrón made by Pablo Garrigós Ibáñezin his Premium version: all the goodnessof the traditional high-quality honey andalmonds and careful craftsmanship. Theelegant way it is presented combines withthe brilliance of the almond oil in the Jijonaturrón, and with the brilliance of the honeyin the turrón from Alicante. The pieces ofalmond and the aromatic honeys are easilyperceived on the taste buds in the case ofthe Alicante nougat –as are the groundalmonds in the Jijona version.www.pablogarrigos.com✍49. orioL bALAguerchocolatesOriol Balaguer is a young pastrychef who has made his productsinto masterpieces through a blend ofchocolate, innovation and design. In2002 he opened his first pastry shopin Barcelona, and since then he hascontinued to expand in Spain andoverseas. His chocolates come in uniqueshapes, textures, aromas and favours. Heuses the best cacao from all over theworld. Another of his strong points is themodern, elegant presentation. In a word:a pleasure for the senses. The caloriccontent varies, and can be very high.www.oriolbalaguer.com✍The sweetsThe magic world of sweets in Spain has often beenlinked to the country’s history: Arab civilisationbrought almonds and sugar, while the discoveryof America yielded cacao, an essential ingredientin making chocolate.Religion has also been a factor, with the sweetstraditionally made in convents (yemas, tocinos de cielo,mantecados, tortas); the Christmas sweets (turrones,roscón de Reyes and polvorones); and the Easter delicacies(monas or chocolate eggs). The people themselves havecontributed with the so-called ‘frying pan sweets’(torrijas, florones, pestiños).The fact is that sweets are increasingly popular.There are not only good dessert chefs and chocolatespecialists in Spain but outstanding ones, such as PacoTorreblanca, Oriol Balaguer, Jordi Butrón, ChristianEscribá, Jordi Roca...Chocolate can be considered the king of sweets.Then, too, there are the fruits that are the basis ofso many pastries, jams, jellies and candied fruits; orthose that come in syrup or with nuts (almonds,hazelnuts, walnuts) that are the basis for popularpastries such as marzipan, polvorones, mantecados,alfajores, guirlaches, turrones.Ice creams and sorbets also have pride of place inthe sweets department. Thanks to the great variety offruits that they contain, there is an enormous variety offlavours. Likewise, spices have contributed to the worldof ice cream. Example: saffron ice cream. Even olive oilsand vinegars enter the picture, with such inventions asolive oil ice cream or Jerez vinegar ice cream.Spain is a point of reference in quality sweets anddesserts. The easiest ones for travellers to carry arethe chocolates and the fruits and preserves.33


50. eL PAStoret yogurt capricesEl Pastoret de la Segarra, a firms p e c i a l i s i n g i n m i l kproducts, cottage cheeseand yogurt, has developedthe latter food into a dessertof the highest quality. This is anew concept: a magic mix oftextures with a combinationof fruit juices, jams, pieces offruit and toppings. Some ofthe basic yogurt flavours areGreek, orange and chocolate, bakedapple, pear and cinnamon, lemon andmint, mango and berries, and coffeetoffee. This is the perfect light dessert toend a copious meal. It has a reasonablenumber of calories, high quality proteins,many minerals and lots of vitamins.www.elpastoret.com✍Rafael AnsónThis guide was compiled byRafael Ansón, founder andpresident of the Royal SpanishAcademy of Gastronomy.with the assistance of JavierCarretero.34

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