Spanish gourmet food: a guide

Spain’s most exclusive gourmet products are gaining notoriety due to their marked history and original techniques

by

Spain Editor

Spain is one of the most prestigious olive oil producers worldwide. Amongst the country’s olive oil labels, Marques de los Vélez is considered one of the best. It has won the New York International Olive Oil Competition, beating 600 other brands, and it has become the favourite at the Dubai Burj al Arab luxury hotel, where the Maître is a renowned olive oil expert.

Marques de los Vélez’s olive trees are planted in groves that look over the Mediterranean Sea. Every day during the harvest, handpicked olives are freshly pressed to create a supreme coupage with a delicate and high-quality flavour, with no added ingredients. Their low-volume production is distributed only to top luxury hotels and to purchasers who can buy on line through their official website.

Queso-Curado-0.5kg-GastroFresh Olive & Cheese

But Spain’s quality culinary products go much further than just olive oil and Iberian ham. In fact one of the most prestigious natural foie gras patés is produced in Spain. Sousa & Labourdette was founded by two business partners, who based their business on the ethical production of a unique foie gras.

Their geese, raised free-range, live a natural life cycle, and the result is a product that ticks all the boxes of the traditional French recipe, such as superb flavour and texture, but with its unique added values of organic status and immaculate ethical credentials.

Much of the foie gras on the market nowadays is obtained from geese and ducks that have been force-fed with the ‘gavage’ method that is used to fatten their livers. However, Sousa & Labourdette’s geese graze on over 500 hectares of carefully-protected landscape in Extremadura, where they roam the pastures, eating seeds (mostly lupins), olives, figs, but mainly acorns – the same acorns that the more familiar Extremadura Iberian bellota pigs feed on – rich in oleic acid that is known to reduce cholesterol level. The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, an absolute fan of this product, orders it every season.

FoieSousa & Labourdette’s geese

To have a sector dedicated to artisanal production is one of the newest areas of investment for large industrial companies. Mahou San Miguel, Spain’s most prominent brewery that produces more than 75% of the beer in the country, has created four different craft beers called ‘Casimiro Mahou.’

Named after the company founder, this new collection aims to spearhead a new beer culture in Spain with a limited edition of two lagers and two ales whose production is based on a combination of technical innovation and traditional beer-making skill. The varieties, Amaniel, Maravillas, Jacometrezzo and Marcenado, bottled in beautiful vintage flasks, have very different flavours, catering to every consumer’s personal palate and preferences.

One of Spain’s organic and ecological pioneers is The Haciendas Group. Their organic farm, located in the Duero River area, at the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, has a select and limited production of gourmet cheeses, wines and Iberian hams. Goats, pigs and sheep live free-range on this 300-hectare farm.Their most famous goat cheese is ‘Torta de Dehesa Hacienda Zorita’ made using fresh, unpasteurised goat milk, and it has a creamy texture and delicious flavour. It was a well-deserved Super Gold Medallist at the 2013 World Cheese Awards.

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1 Ambrosía Gourmet Market
2 Goyo
3 Semon
4 La Garriga
5 Gourmet El Corte Inglés
6 Cacao Sampaka
7 Poncelet