Flavours of Spain brings Galician goods to Borough
For the last five years, Flavours of Spain has been importing the finest Spanish produce to the UK, with an emphasis on food from Galicia, Spain’s wet, green and rugged north-western corner.
I caught up with co-founder Ana Caballero at the company’s stall at Borough Market, which is in place every Friday and Saturday under the railway bridges in the Green Market.
“At the moment we are a small team working with small producers,” Ana said. “Less than five people… We’ve been at Borough Market for two years, in the English market five years.”
Ana and her Catalan colleague David took the time to explain one of Flavours of Spain’s prime items – Galician chorizo, which can be eaten without being fried.
“These ones you can even eat as they are, you don’t need to cook them, as a Spanish person would eat them like that,” Ana explained. “With supermarket chorizo, when you open it, in a few days, it’s dry, and that’s not normal. We try to have a more balanced [product].”
The company’s range doesn’t stop there. The Flavours of Spain website sells award-winning extra-virgin olive oil; hand-harvested seaweed; and gourmet fish and seafood including monkfish liver, razor clams and sea urchin roe with wakame.
Flavours Spain also prides itself on its selection of white wines from grape varieties found only in Galicia, as well as red wines from Galicia and Navarra.
I followed up my visit with a few emailed questions to Ana:
What inspired you to set up the company?
A beach in Galicia in summer, drinking a good Albarinho wine and enjoying fantastic fish and seafood tapas done by a local, which made us realise the lack of both in England of that quality and done by artisanal methods.
Do you have any new foods on sale this year?
Yes, we have anchovies from Don Bocarte, rated the best in a recent article by The Guardian. Octopus (already cooked and from the same producer), and more types of artisanal cheeses.
How does Galician food and wine differ from the rest of Spain?
Galicia is still a very wild landscape, mountainous, with ocean and beaches to find. It is also Celtic and nothing to do with Flamenco. Galicia is well known for its outstanding fish and seafood throughout Spain and is used by world-class chefs such as Ferran Adria, who rates it as the best in the world.
Galicia is famous for speciality dishes such as pulpo a la Gallega, caldo and empanada, which is often made using cod, scallops and cockles.
It is still very rustic and village-like in its way of life; for example someone will always know someone who grows something, who is a fisherman, who hunts something and gives it to you. Galicians enjoy sharing the good things in life. They are very hospitable and love to offer their good food and wines to others.
There always seems to be something to be discovered. If you know people, you can be sure to eat and drink like a king.
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