Artisanal food purveyors of some of our favorite Spanish brands
We love to stock our shelves with small producers who are creating superior products, but it’s not always easy to find them, since they don’t always have the resources to promote themselves. That’s where Philosophy Foods comes in. Specialty food industry veterans David Yourd and Karrie Kimble founded their company in 2014 with this specific intent in mind, and the name reflects it, too. “Philosophy” was chosen for the founders’ devotion to a unique ideology of putting the producer’s success in the market first and foremost. They like to say that they put as much passion into promoting these products as their producers put into creating them and all of the producers they work with have been intensely vetted for sustainable production practices and achieving best-in-class status.
We appreciate getting to work with Philosophy Foods and want to highlight 5 of our favorite Spanish producers and the products they help bring to the Deli: Bahia de la Concha, La Brujula, Badia Vinegars, O-Med, and Molino.
Bahia de la Concha
Named for the famous, shell-shaped, picturesque bay in San Sebastian, their anchovies are fished strictly from the cool waters of the Cantabrian Sea. Spain’s Basque Country is recognized for producing the finest anchovies in the world. Bahia de la Concha takes that a step further by paying a premium for the fish that were caught last on the boat and only selecting the largest-sized anchovies.
The care taken in the curing of these fish is easily recognizable. The plump anchovies are hand-fileted, one-by-one, then cured in sea salt for about five months, before being gently packed in olive oil, giving them a deep pinkish hue and rich umami flavor. These are the ones you want to savor whole, whether on toast or straight from the tin. Or try them in a simple pasta dish.
Sourced and hand-packed in Galicia, Spain, La Brujula’s products are regarded as some of the finest preserved seafoods in the world. La Brujula captures the fresh aromas and flavors, so every time you open one of their hand-selected and packed tins filled with the highest grade seafood, you’ll be transported to the ocean. They’re very focused on sustainability, and help guarantee the future of marine biodiversity by defending responsible and selective fishing methods and respecting closed seasons and catch limits.
La Brujula Scallops in Sauce
Tender small scallops, sustainably harvested from the Arousa estuary, cleaned, trimmed, and cooked with a traditional Galician sauce of tomato, onion, red pepper, spices, and wine.
This century-old, family-run company is so devoted to making the highest-quality artisan vinegars, they say vinegar runs through their veins! Rather than use more modern methods that would allow for higher production levels, their vinegars are made using a traditional method invented almost 200 years ago, that requires a slow and meticulous process that allows the best characteristics of the wine to be extracted, resulting in vinegars with more nuanced flavor profiles.
As the Badia name is synonymous with vinegar, so is Alemany Mel y Turrón with monofloral (single-flower) honey. Both of these Spanish companies have maintained their artisanal production practices for 5 generations now, so it’s no surprise that there’s a very sweet result of bringing their knowledge and experience together into their Orange Blossom Honey Condiment.
Orange Blossom Honey Condiment
Made with organic muscat wine and orange blossom honey, this vinegar blend has a harmonious blend of floral and citrus notes. More vinegar than honey, this bittersweet blend is delicious drizzled on salads, shrimp, and salmon. We also love adding a splash to soda water and spritzers.
O-Med is a dynamic olive farm and olive oil producer in southern Spain, currently managed by Juande and Paula, the 4th generation of the Garcia-Casas family. Controlling the full process, from harvest to bottle, makes for flavorful results—remarkably balanced olive oils with intense fruitiness that are one of Spain’s most-awarded.
Every variety of their extra virgin olive oil is produced in the 2 days, at the very beginning of the harvest, when the olives have the most flavor, but the least yield. Their groves, in the hills of Andalusia, take advantage of a very specific terroir on the skirts of the legendary Sierra Nevada mountains and benefit from a devotion to sustainability. The brother and sister duo refrain from high-density farming to conserve soil health, utilize gravity-fed underground irrigation and solar energy, and incinerate the olive pits to help power their mill.
O-Med Picual Olive Oil
Harvested in mid-October, O-Med Picual is wonderfully complex. You’ll notice aromas of fresh-cut grass, tomato plant, and aromatic herbs, flavors of artichoke and green walnut, and a long peppery finish. This is an excellent finishing olive oil for meat dishes, tomato salads, cold soups, and full-bodied cheeses.
The Molino oils are also created by the Garcia-Casas family, harvested just a few short weeks after O-Med production is finished.
Molino Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
While an incredible value oil for cooking, this all-purpose olive oil is considered strictly a finishing oil for most. This single varietal arbequina extra virgin olive oil has a soft flavor with hints of green apple and banana; try drizzling it on delicate white fish dishes or a leafy green salad.
For more from Philosophy Foods’ David Yourd and Karrie Kimble, check out their interview on Cutting the Curd podcast from Heritage Radio Network, the world’s pioneer food radio station