Posts Tagged ‘piquillo’

Selecting cheeses and accompaniments for the perfect cheese plate is more of an art than a science.  There are a few rules of thumb, but with so many cheeses to choose from, the cheese plate is an expression of the person who puts the selection together. This post will give you some tips for building an extraordinary Spanish cheese plate that reflects the personality of you, the chef.  

Spanish Cheese Selection

Spanish Cheese Selection

Tip #1:Include a variety of flavors and textures.

Cheeses generally fit into a few main categories: aged, soft, firm, and blue. Or you can select cheeses by type of milk used to make them: cow, sheep, goat, or a blend. Regardless of the cheeses you select, it is always a good idea to include one more familiar cheese, like Manchego, but your choices are bounded only by your creativity and of course availability.

Spanish Cheeses by Category

  • Aged:  Montelarreina, Idiazabal, Rosemary Sheep’s Milk
  • Soft: Camerano Semi Cured Goat, Torta del Casar, Monte Enebro
  • Firm: Organic Raw Goat, 12 Month Manchego
  • Blue: Covadonga, Cabrales, Valdeon
 Spanish Cheeses by Milk Type
  • Cow: Mahon, Tetilla, La Peral
  • Sheep: Manchego, Idiazabal, Montelarreina, Rosemary Sheep’s Milk, Olive Manchego, Torta del Casar
  • Goat: Camerano, Garrotxa, Wine Goat, Organic Raw Goat, San Mateu Catalonian Goat
Tip #2: Offer a variety of breads. You can vary taste, textures, shape and size of breads just like you do with cheeses. Include a chewy baguette and fig bread, or picos and tortas de aceite for variety and flavor.
Piquillo Pepers

Piquillo Peppers

Tip #3: Offer jarred sauces or vegetables as an easy accompaniment. Quince paste, or membrillo is a perfect sweet accompaniment to a salty and firm cheese like Manchego or Montelarreina. Piquillo peppers have a sweet, rich flavor that compliments tangy goat cheeses or even blues like Covadonga.

Tip #4: Add a sweet and a salty food.  Salty jamon Serrano or jamon Iberico are perfect accompaniments to a combination of cheeses from Spain, as are Marcona almonds, salty Gordal olives and sweet caramelized olives.

What’s on your ideal Spanish cheese plate?


Interested in the Spanish foods you read about on this blog? Wholesale clients like restaurants and retail stores, please visit. www.Solexapartners.com. Consumers, please visit www.FoodSpain101.com.


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City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia by Santiago Calatrava

City of Arts and Sciences by Santiago Calatrava

Old City by the Sea

Valencia. It’s not the first city we think of when someone mentions Spain. But it is quickly becoming a destination. The third largest city in Spain, Valencia is located in a region called the “Valencian Community” and is scenically located on the Eastern coast of Spain adjacent to the gulf of Valencia and the Balearic Islands. In the past, the Visigoths, Arabs and Romans have all left their mark on the city of Valencia, but today creative geniuses like architect Santiago Calatrava and Chef Raul Aleixandre (a disciple of culinary superstar Ferran Adria) are shaping the city and its culture. Today, Valencia offers more than oranges, paella and the Tomatina. With its innovative restaurants, hip enclaves and unique boutiques it is no longer just an old city by the sea.

Chef Raul Aleixandre of Ca' Sento Restaurant in Valencia

Chef Raul Aleixandre of Ca' Sento Restaurant in Valencia

Taste Valencia!

During the month of November, Solex Partners is celebrating the culinary contributions of Valencia with “Valencia in Chicago“. The region is known primarily for paella and citrus, but it has so much more to offer. The delicious products that have made their way to us for this celebration of Valencia include Bomba rice, a rice that explodes with flavor; cheeses from organic producer Quesos de Cati; the Spanish classic Serrano ham; flavored oils from Oleum Vitae; savory Rosquilletas (bite sized bread sticks) that are the ideal cheese accessory ; rich chocolate from Valor and Piquillo pepper jam from Jalancina.

 If you are lucky enough to live in Chicago, you can visit the many innovative restaurants that will feature foods from Valencia on their menus for “Valencia in Chicago”. Or you can visit the many gourmet food stores that offer artisanal Valencian foods.  But even if you are miles away from both Chicago and Valencia, you can experience Valencia for yourself. During the month of November, this blog will feature stories about the foods of Valencia along with ideas for how to share a little of Valencia with your friends and loved ones.

Paella Valenciana

Yum! Paella Valenciana

Rice Transformed

Stay tuned for the next blog which will be on Paella, one of the most significant culinary gifts Valencia brings to Spain and the world. And be sure to register to receive or newsletter. The November issue will feature a Paella recipe that you will want to try for yourself.

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