It’s that time again. The year is drawing to a close, and it’s time to take stock of 2010. What were the best movies of 2010, our favorite songs, the most important events? Here at Solex, we’ll leave all that to the pundits and media. What we care about is authentic food from Spain. So, we’ll share with you our own list of the Solex staff’s favorite Spanish foods of 2010.
This Year’s Favorite Foods from Solex Staff
Eva: My favorite food of 2010 is Lomo Serrano from Fermin. A taste of this cured meat brings me back to the house my maternal grandparents had in a town called Cibanal on the border with Zamora and Portugal. The town of only 50 inhabitants was very close to Salamanca, home of the Iberico pig and for generations the humble people of this area have lived on cheese they make from their own sheep’s milk and the chorizos, lomos and jamones they cure in their own homes, hung by the chimney, like Christmas stockings. The Lomo’s smoky aroma and flavor of the Spanish Dehesa countryside in winter transport me back to my childhood.
Barbara: In 2010 I found the Caramelized Olive! And it is unlike anything I’ve ever tried before. The first time I bit into one I was expecting a regular olive and was surprised by its sweetness. Since discovering it, I have enjoyed seeing the look in someone’s eye when I introduce them to this unique olive. Plus, it goes so well with other foods, like strong cheeses or meats.
Carmen: My favorite food is Cana de Cabra, a traditional fresh goat milk cheese, served with quince paste. I love the combination of the creamy, tangy cheese with the sweetness of the quince.
Christie: I would say that my discovery of the year is the Rosemary Panoleta. I love the fact that this cheese is unique, not only in flavor and taste but also in the shape and size. I love the hint of Rosemary that comes along with every bite. Yum.
Rocio: I’m in love with Ventresca. It’s cut from the belly of Bonito del Norte tuna and has a consistency like butter. I love fish but this is something on a whole new level. The first time I tasted Ventresca I thought I would never stop eating it.
Ruth: This year I have been fascinated by Extra Virgin Olive Oil with White Truffle. Truffles have always seemed special to me. It could be something about the way they are harvested, sniffed out by dogs and pigs. Or it may be their unassuming appearance, camouflaging the delicious flavor inside. But combine white truffles with extra virgin olive oil and you’ve got a fantastic, flavor-packed, extravaganza.
Miguel: I love the “Banderillas” we sell! Named for tool used in bullfighting, they are like tiny little swords that spear a row of olives, peppers, onions and gherkins. They’re so festive and can be used as appetizers or drink garnishes. When I open up a jar of these I have an instant party.
Ignacio: Without a doubt, my 2010 find was Monte Enebro goat cheese. It’s a very delicate cheese that is produced by a small company in Avila and as a result it is sometimes hard to get. But its texture and lightly tangy flavor are totally worth it. I have a hunch that I’m not the only person who has discovered this unique cheese either since many of the chefs we serve order it regularly; they immediately see menu possibilities. Throughout the country I have seen Monte Enebro served in different ways, each one of them delicious. In Texas I had it served cold over fresh vegetables and in Indiana it was even breaded and fried. This cheese is a sure bet!
What are your favorites? We’d love to know!