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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

02/29/2016 - Tastes of Spain

This week, Slow Living is excited to bring listeners a taste of Spain, broadcasting from the iconic Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco.  We welcome our Spanish guests as they share their story, a glimpse of their region, and the wonderful products they have introduced to the US market.  We also welcome Jeffrey Shaw, of the Spanish Trade Commission, ICEX, to share an overview of Spain, and Christine Weiss, from Culinary Collective whose company is responsible in bringing these marvelous products to our doors.  Sit back and dream your way to Spain!

Jeffrey Shaw

 Spain is well known, among other things, for its excellent quality of life, the open-minded character of its people and the wealth of opportunities on offer, both in the fields of education and culture and in the worlds of sport and leisure. 

It comes as no surprise that Spain has been ranked among the top world list of tourist destinations, not only in terms of visitor numbers but also in terms of revenues generated. 

Spain’s appeal for foreign investors lies not only in its domestic market, with 46.8 million potential consumers and a further injection from around 65 million tourists who flock to the country each year, but also in the possibility of operating in third-country markets using Spain as a base.
This is thanks to Spain’s privileged geostrategic position: it is a member of the European Union and serves as a gateway to the North of Africa and Latin America, due the country’s strong economic, historic and cultural ties with the latter.

Marc Moreno
Blanxart Chocolates, located in region of Catalonia, Spain, produces over 100 types of pralines and chocolates, each with its own personality and flavor, using traditional recipes and hand-made processes. Blanxart selects their own cocoa beans from Ecuador, Brazil, Cameroon, The Ivory Coast and Guinea, and then roasts them to ensure the right blend, aroma and texture. The finished products are 100% natural and 100% delicious.

In 1954 three brothers got together to produce chocolate with the belief that manufacturing chocolate is an art form. The company is still run on that hard and fast rule by the sons of the original founders. Traditional recipes, years of experience and an unfaltering attention to detail has made the Blanxart name a symbol of quality.

Everyone that works at Blanxart seems to be part of one big family. Or maybe its just that being enveloped by a cloud of chocolate when you walk into the workshop makes everything seem so wonderful! The love of creating chocolate as an art is infused into each yummy morsel.

Veronica Escuer

Paul & Pippa is a young company established with the objective of bringing fun and quirky biscuits to the market that reflect Mediterranean flavors and healthful ingredients. All of the products are made by hand in small batches using certified organic ingredients, sourced from small producers.

In keeping with the owners’ principles, the company contributes monthly to Doctors without Borders and to Smiles of Bombay. They also participate in pro-bono marketing campaigns for Pere Tarres Foundation and the Make a Wish Foundation of Spain.

These thin, sweet and pleasantly quirky biscuits come in four unique flavors; Cocoa & Salt (Cocoa Chips), Lime (Lime After Time), Apple Cinnamon (Me & Grandma), and Coconut (Coconut Valley).

Anna Vilaseca

Aneto has been curing Serrrano hams and other charcuterie in the region of Cataluña for over 40 years. Making natural home-style broths from their Serrano hams was a natural extension. Today Aneto produces a wide variety of broths and cooking bases for paellas.  The Paella broths combine the Aneto fresh broths with finely cut vegetable, seafood and/or meat.


Rosa Vañó
Castillo de Canena

Rosa with her brother Paco

 Castillo de Canena, a family owned business, takes its name from the family castle nestled in the hills of the township of Canena, in Spain’s Jaen province in the region of Andalusia, the largest olive producing region in the world. The company’s olive producing history dates back to 1780.

Since 1780, the Castillo de Canena estate has been producing exceptional oils in the Guadalquivir Valley of Andalusia in the south of Spain. This Picual oil has been produced using strict Biodynamic processes and standards, including producing their own organic fertilizer through composting, incorporating beehives and sheep into the olive groves, and using crushed quartz in place of copper on the fields.

Biodynamic agriculture is a step beyond Organic farming method. It is founded on the harmonization between the different forces that govern nature: seasons, atmospheric phenomena, lunar cycles and the position of the constellations in the cosmos. Biodynamic agriculture seeks a comprehensive balance of soil, trees, animals and humanity.

Nine precision agricultural weather stations control variations in the diameter of the tree trunks, the climatological conditions, the soil and humidity in the area with a view to optimizing water resources available for irrigation. The electric power needed to run the orchard is obtained by onsite solar energy plants and all prunings are used for biomass. In addition, Castillo de Canena is the first Integrated Producer of olive oil capable of monitoring its carbon footprint.


Christine Weiss
Culinary Collective

Based in Lynnwood, Washington, Culinary Collective is an import and distribution company specializing in gourmet cultural foods that embody and promote native cultures and traditions. The company works with small family and community companies that take pride in producing all-natural foods using methods and recipes passed down through the generations. Under its Matiz España label, Culinary Collective imports and distributes an extensive line of traditional products from Spain. Under its Zócalo Gourmet brand, the Collective supports small-scale producers of all-natural cultural foods in Peru by bringing quality products such as grains, flours, beans and chili pastes direct from the producers to US and Canadian retailers and consumers.

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