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Archive for the ‘Product updates’ Category

Torta del Casar Cheese

The world of Spanish cheese is a wide and wonderful one. From the classic Manchego, and the assertive Covadonga blue to the conical Tetilla and the tangy Monte Enebro, there is something for everyone in Spain’s world of cheese.

Today we’re going to put a spotlight on one of our favorites, the Torta del Casar. This sheep’s milk cheese from the Extremadura region in Western Spain is unique both in flavor and form.  The flavor is full, intense and slightly salty. Some say the cheese has a smoky and somewhat rustic flavor. The cheese gets a subtle bitterness from the rennet  used to curdle the sheep’s milk when it is made, which is derived from the pistils of a wild thistle plant. All of these characteristics would make this cheese a unique one, but we haven’t even touched on the Torta del Casar’s shape and consistency.

Gooey and Gorgeous

Torta del Casar has a soft creamy texture and takes part of its name, Torta, from its cake-like shape. At room temperature, which is how this cheese should be served, the center has an almost liquid, melted quality. In Spain Torta del Casar is cut into slices or a hole is cut in the top and the cheese is scooped out with a spoon or a piece of bread or cracker. Serve this gooey delicacy along with caramelized onions or chutney.

Bocadillo of Veal with Peppers and Torta del Casar

Yes, serving the Torta del Casar opened at the top with a little crusty bread is certainly a traditional and classic way of serving this cheese. But there is more to this versatile cheese than meets the eye. Serve triangles of Torta del Casar with an accent of Spanish Sherry Syrup. Or serve it with pasta, atop onion soup, cooked into a sauce and drizzled over a steak, or fried and served with a raspberry syrup.

Follow the links below for these recipe ideas and more.  (Titles in Spanish link to recipes in Spanish)

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I am convinced that the followers of this blog and Spanish gastronomy lovers, already know the Ortiz  products (anchovies, Bonito del Norte, tuna belly, boquerones …), but for those who have not yet had the chance to know them, we have great news for you! ! A new flavor from Spain is waiting for you! Do you want to know the real taste of the sea??

The Ortiz family has over 100 years using artisan techniques for preserving magnificent Cantabrian Seafood and putting it into shops and restaurants on five different continents. 100 years of presence in the market and five generations of the Ortiz family in the business, are proof that this is a great quality product and the company behind it has done very well.

As the word “Quality” can sometimes be very subjective or uncertain, we would like to tell why in Solex we love these products:

1. A delicious raw material: Bonito del Norte Tuna is the variety of tuna most valued in markets because of its taste and nutritional properties. Anchovies are a very common species in different seas, but they approach the Spanish coast at the perfect time of maturation.

2. Delicate production techniques: examples – each Anchovy is selected one by one to be treated with salt (Brown anchovy) or marinated in vinegar (White anchovy). The loins of Bonito del Norte tuna are removed, maintaining the structure of the fish, adding only extra virgin olive oil. Each anchovy is cleaned and filleted by hand …

3. Environmentally friendly: each piece is fished one by one with the traditional techniques of fish line hook, so the suffering of the fish is diminished, and it doesn’t  affect other fish species. This is performed after the birth of their off spring, ensuring continuity of the species.

4. For its healthy properties: both the tuna, anchovies, and olive oil are basic ingredients of the Mediterranean diet, known worldwide for its fish fat, omega-3 acids and antioxidants.

5. A food with a personality taste that can be adapted to other cuisines: these are ingredients of a very pronounced flavor, unique and characteristic. Thus, it can be used as a unique ingredient in any dish in any worldwide cuisine, respecting the flavors of each gastronomy.

6. Innovative company: a business and a family of products that looks to suit customer needs (complete portfolio of seafood, different formats according to the distribution channel …) and constantly evolving new products (tuna in ecological olive oil, mackerel roe, pre cooked plates …)

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We are proud to continue offering you ‘quality’ products and we’d love to listen to your opinions …

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What is your view/perspective of the Bonito del Norte tuna a an ingredient to your kitchen?
How do you see the difference in maturity between the Brown and White anchovy?
Do you want to share with us some experiences about the northern Spain and the Cantabrian Sea?

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Ray Carbonell
Solex Finance Manager
Member of a team focused on our customers,
Member of a team specialist on our products

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Here is an excerpt of an email from a fan of the Tapas Omelette that made us very very happy!

P1060216“I don’t just like it – I’m obsessed with it!  My daughter loves it too.  I bought it from Costco.  They had a taste demo.   I didn’t try it because of the possibility of contamination from other people but the demonstrater said it was gluten free – but I decided I really should check with the company directly because I like it so much – and just in case she was mistaken.  I’ve been telling everyone about it so Costco will continue to carry it.” Cindy, OH

Yes indeed, the Tapas Omelette is gluten free. The ingredients are only potato, onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. The omelettes are baked in pans just like you would cook your American breakfast omelette.

Visit our consumer website www.solextapas.com

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Congratulations to our friends at Masia El Altet!

panorama 1

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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Congratulations to another award for our friends from Castillo de Canena!

The 2009 Olio Award in the category “Best light fruity oil” goes to: 
Castillo de Canena – Family Reserva – Arbequina – Extra Virgin 

For more information and to order, contact us here

The award is issued by the International Gourmet Journal “Der Feinschmecker”. 

castillo de canena award

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The phones are ringing between the Spanish embassy, FERMIN and SOLEX!

After a long and fierce fight about new opposed 100% import tariff on Jamon Iberico, the US Government decided to lift the new ruling!Uff!!! Great news! (see previous situation)

Now we only need to get rid of the new rule that requires the removal of the black hoof, the Pata Negra, on Jamon Iberico. Then we are back to to normal…

Pig Chasing In Salamanca

Pig Chasing In Salamanca, Spain (photo by Don Juanna)

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Already called THREADS OF GOLD, Saffron increased its price over the last 3-4 months over 100%. Spain, being one of the most important Saffron producers in the world has never seen anything like this before. As a main reason, farmers blame the bad harvest in 2008 and some sick crops.

Three weeks ago, we meet with our main supplier David Torregrosa from Chiquillin, Spain. Chiquillin celebrates this year its 100th anniversary as a well trusted Saffron company. Talking to David, I learned that they expect it to be the toughest year in company’s history. We discussed the previous and upcoming harvests and he is not very optimistic for 2009 regarding the price development.

This makes it almost impossible to import superior quality of Saffron, if the price tag is coming close to 200 USD per ounce. As long this situation goes on ask Solex for alternatives on quality levels! We will have the superior quality on PRE-ORDER ONLY.

Buying cheap saffron mix is like throwing money away – in most cases! That’s true, if you consider what cheap saffron is made of and what you pay for it. So how do you maximize the flavor of this costly pure Saffron?

Here is what the CIA published on this question:

“…San Román has been working with researchers at the local university to understand saffron’s performance in the kitchen and develop innovative ways to use it. “We discovered that saffron flavor, color and aroma increase with time,” says the chef, who dissolves saffron threads in warm (65°C/150°F) water—one gram of saffron per liter—and keeps the infusion warm for four hours for maximum extraction. The stigmas should be white at the end of the steeping time. “You shouldn’t see red,” says San Román, or the extraction has not been thorough enough. …

Toasting saffron before use heightens aroma. Put the threads on a piece of aluminum foil in a hot oven for just a few moments to revive it, then pound in a mortar or steep in warm liquid. Store unused saffron in a cool, dry place, away from light, and it will last for two years.”

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