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Archive for July, 2009

Congratulations to our friends at Masia El Altet!

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The Los Angeles Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition awarded Masia El Altet with the 2009 Gold Medal in the international section.

The International Taste & Quality Institute (iTQi) awarded Masia El Altet with the 2009 Superior Taste Award.

Solex brings for you this outstanding Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the US! Click here for detailed descriptions and pictures.

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It takes only 3 minutes! Just as long it takes you to fill a cup of coffee or heat up a Tapas Omelette.

But these 3 minutes are the most insane in this world: Some six fighting bulls gone wild are chasing through down the streets of Pamplona after a bunch of people that are running for their lives. Neither the bulls nor the runners can escape on this course. After that, the TV stations show a video summary of the race and count the injuries and deadly overuns.

San Fermin

Tomorrow again at 8 am Spanish time, the San Fermin 2009 bull run will take place! Just like every year.

The exact origin of this fiesta is not really clear, but the inaugural event was sometime in the 13th century. By then it was a more low key affair in comparison to the modern day running of the bulls as it only lasted two days. Nowaday the event attracts people from all over the world for a 10-day celebration involving music, party, bull run and bull fights, dancing, fireworks and lots of drinking.

For ten days, there will be every morning a race through the the old town. The length of the run is 825 metres and the average time of the run from start to finish is about three minutes. The run will end in Pamplona’s arena for anybody that made it (including the bulls).

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The tension builds as the release of the bulls approaches and at 8am on the dot a rocket is fired to confirm that the gate has been opened at the Santo Domingo corral. Runners dressed in white with a red hankerchief around their necks pray to San Fermin then a second rocket announces that the bulls have left. The bulls and the runners then proceed along the route.

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I took this picture last year, just after the first run. The result of only 9 injured persons shows that it was a rather lucky first run. Visit the official website to find video’s and pictures this year’s runs.

Added on 7/8 -This is a great video of this year’s first race:

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It was one of the best culinary events in a long time! Lucky was everybody that had the privilege to follow the invitation of the French Pastry School in Chicago, celebrating the final evening of the workshop with two of the most recognized pastry masters: Paco Torreblanca and Oriol Balaguer. Get inspired by just viewing the images about their work on their website!

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Guillermo and Christoph with Paco Torreblanca and Oriol Balaguer

One felt literally like in heaven, walking from table to table and room to room where all the dessert creations of these masters were not only displayed but also to try. It was overwhelming and I now realize that I should have written down all the compositions to experience.

Some of the most exciting desserts creations indicated were not only the trend of of the evening is going: Spain originating ingredients like saffron in custard, extra virgin olive oil on chocolate cream or even a olive-mint-strawberry salad with frozen cream.

Even the more traditional desserts, cakes and even fresh-baked breads, seemed like something you’ve never tried before with such delicious flavor. (Although after all that dessert tasting there was the fresh baked bread station that was accompanied with some gold-medal-winning Manchego and chorizo from Solex – and that was just holding up against the master’s desserts!)

All admiration and thank for arranging such a top-class event goes to the French Pastry School and its leaders Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sebastien Canonne. The attention of detail and highest art that this event showed was simply amazing.

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