Archive for September, 2010

Fall is in the air. And with fall comes a whole new selection of seasonal foods. As the air gets cooler and the colors around us start to change, our palates and stomachs ask for heartier foods and more satisfying flavor.  This fall, Solex Partners offers two new goat cheeses perfect for the season.


Depth that Comes with Age

Aged Raw Goat Cheese

This month, Solex Partners introduces an Aged Raw Goat Cheese that has been aged 6 months. It is firm with an edible rind and provides the tanginess you expect from pure goat’s milk in a cheese that has a satisfying bite.  The rind retains the look of the baskets that have been used to cure these cheeses for hundreds of years and when cut open, reveals a dense cheese that is creamy white in color. This cheese is a delicious compliment to the hearty flavors of fall.


Young and Sweet

Pedro Ximenez Goat Cheese

Pedro Ximenez Goat Cheese

With the same credentials, but much younger, our Goat Cheese in Pedro Ximenez provides a different and unique flavor. This smooth, semi-soft cheese is made from pasteurized pure goat’s milk and is bathed in Pedro Ximenez wine as it ages for four weeks.  Pedro Ximenez wine, made from the grape of the same name has a controversial history. Legend has it that the grape was brought to Andalusia by a soldier in Charles V’s navy named Pedro Ximenez.  Regardless of the veracity of this history, the Pedro Ximenez wine imparts its sweet flavor and grape coloring to this cheese. The resulting aromatic cheese has a sweet, slightly salty flavor and an edible wine-colored rind. This cheese provides a unique flavor experience, perfect in salads or paired with a semi-dry or sweet wine.


Nature’s first Green Citizen

Malaguena Goats

Malaga Goats

The maker of these cheeses, Biznaga Spanish Delights takes its name from the Jasmine flower that is the symbol of the city of Malaga, located on Spain’s Southern coast. Malaga has a long tradition of cheese making that has its roots in the region’s ideal conditions for goat herding. Their cheeses are made from the milk of Payoya and Malageña and goats. The Malageña goat is indigenous to Malaga and is well adapted to the mountainous terrain that has been its home for centuries.   This rustic goat is one of nature’s first “green” citizens, thriving in areas with limited natural resources and highly adaptable to different zones and ecosystems.


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Four months ago, I started working for Solex and received an extensive training portfolio of Spanish products. Some of them were well known and others more new for me, but all of them had a wonderful story behind them of a historical origin, exclusive breeds from Spain or funny stories about its applications in the variety of clients across the United States.

The family of products that caught my attention the most was the blue cheeses. The Covadonga, Cabrales, Valdeon and La Peral are cheeses that are made from the more artisanal and historical processes in the world of cheese. At the same time, this is a family whose success in the U.S. has grown tremendously. For instance, our Covadonga has grown year after year and this has led us to call it our “Best Rookie ever” . Other strong flavor cheeses, such as Valdeon and  Cabrales,  are present in most of the tasting menus of our customers.
Slowly, I continued learning … to become an addict.

Because of  it tastes: traveling through several states I have enjoyed many different applications created by our partners  & customers: a perfect point of Covadonga melted on grilled meats or barbecues (Texas), La Peral in fig & cherry mustard (Chicago) or Cantaloupe, Iberico Ham and Cabrales Salad (Ohio).

Because of its history: I had the opportunity to meet the producers in Spain, most of them in northern Spain along one of the most famous mountains in Spain, the Picos de Europa. The secret of his curing process is the several months that each piece cures in natural caves in the mountains of the area. Although, this is the reality of the process, the oldest story tells that a shepherd was milking in the valleys, and when seeing one of his latest conquests, left the milk in a nearby cave and ran after her. When the winter came and the shortage of milk followed, he remembered that he had left one vessel in the cave and went to that cave; he found the curds and the original cheese. It is probably  just a story, but in the area, the oldest people say that the shepherds’ name was Gervasio …

Because of its versatility: our blue cheeses have something in common with each other; their strong personality but show a variety of aromas and flavors. You can decide which one best fits in each situation. Let me tell you my use: I buy mostly Covadonga, I use it mainly in combination with meat, and because it is the softer, I use for tapas with friends or assortments with other cheeses. I use Cabrales combined with other more mature: Montelarreina, Idiazabal or Roncal, sometimes combined with a fruity EVO – Picual or Hojiblanca olive variety. And finally, the Valdeon or La Peral, for me the strongest the pick from the refrigerator when my level of addiction comes to a peak… I find very few French blue cheeses, Belgian or English … that offer me so many possibilities.

I hope that you also like them and I will love to hear your opinions…

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