Product FAQ

WHAT IS SOBRASADA?

Sobrasada is a raw, cured sausage from the Balearic Islands, traditionally from Mallorca and made by seasoning chopped pork with paprika, salt and other spices.

HOW DO YOU EAT SOBRASADA?

Sobrasada has a softer texture than chorizo, which means it’s better spread onto toast rather than cut up into slices, just like a soft pate. Then it can be topped with honey, quince, fig or used as a tapas and it’s ideal for stuffing. It can also be cooked with meat, fish and vegetable dishes, since it adds a powerful flavor and adds color to casseroles, pasta or rice dishes. Find 3 delicious recipes with sobrasada 

Why is it called paella?

Originating in the rice-growing areas on Spain's Mediterranean coast, the dish is especially associated with the region of Valencia. Paella takes its name from the paellera, a flat round pan with two handles in which it is cooked. Did you know that paella is traditionally eaten from the pan?

WHAT IS THE BEST RICE FOR PAELLA?

The best rice for paella is a short-grain rice that can absorb the juices of their ingredients and the stock. In Spain the most common rice for paella is called Bomba, and it is cultivated in Valencia and Calasparra, two of of the three geographic indication for rice in Spain.

What is typically in paella?

The main ingredients in every paella dish are rice and saffron. The ingredients vary depending on the type of paella or region where it's made. The paella can be cooked with shellfish, chicken, vegetables, even rabbit.

IS CALASPARRA RICE THE SAME AS ARBORIO?

Calasparra is a short-grain rice from the Spanish region of Calasparra, Murcia, and it’s used for paella. However, arborio rice, as well as Carnaroli is an Italian rice for making risotto.

WHAT IS THE BEST SPANISH HAM?

The finest Spanish ham is 100% Jamon Iberico de Bellota, also known as Jamón Pata Negra. This type of ham comes from authentic Iberian pigs with a 100% pig’s breed purity and are fed with acorn.

WHAT IS JAMON DE BELLOTA?

Jamon de bellota means acorn-fed ham and is the finest grade ham. This ham comes from free-range pigs that roam oak forests (called dehesas) and are fed with acorns until they reach 50 kilos weight. Thanks to the diet based on acorns and the exercise they do in the pastureland, the process is enhanced and results in a juicier ham and more aroma.

WHAT IS SPANISH CURED HAM?

Spanish cured ham, called jamón, is a type of dry-cured meat produced in Spain. This meat comes from the legs of pigs breaded in Spain. Depending on the type of pigs, this ham can be classified as Iberico, made with Iberian-breed pigs, or Jamon Serrano (obtained from white pigs).

What is the difference between prosciutto and ibérico ham?

Ibérico ham is mainly produced in Spain. It’s not made from “normal” pigs but from Iberian pork. In contrast, Italian prosciutto is an uncooked, unsmoked, and dry-cured ham. Prosciutto is cured for a longer period and in the open air. Although there are many ways of doing it. Also, a pig’s feeding is important for the final result; for example, in some regions of Italy they are fed with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese whey.In general, Spanish ham is more intense in flavor and prosciutto is lighter and less expensive.

What are piquillo peppers?

Piquillos are a unique little pepper that's typically found in Northern Spain, where it's popular in the cuisine of the region. The pepper, however, can be grown anywhere the weather is suitable, such as Peru. They are sweet in taste and not spicy.

HOW SPICY ARE PIQUILLO PEPPERS?

You can get on the pepper scale: 500 – 1,000 Scoville heat units (SHU). Piquillo peppers have a complex, slightly bitter flavor underlying their sweetness, roasted red peppers tasted fruitier in comparison.

WHERE CAN I BUY PIQUILLO PEPPERS?

You can buy piquillo peppers at specialty gourmet stores like Le Gourmet Central. Our piquillo peppers are from DO of Lodosa, Spain.

WHAT IS SMOKED SPANISH PAPRIKA USED FOR?

Spanish paprika can be added to many dishes. Just a little bit adds an incredibly seductive smoky flavor and aroma to any dish. One of the most popular ways to add a burst of flavor to nearly any Spanish dish is with a sofrito, a slow-simmered sauce of olive oil, veggies, and pimentón. Sofritos are a common base for stews, beans, and even many paellas.

Whats the difference between virgin and extra virgin olive oil?

If the olive oil is found to be fruity, has no defects and has a free acidity that is less than or equal to 0.8 , it is graded as extra-virgin. If the olive oil has minimal defects and is found to have a free acidy between 0.8 and 2.0, it is graded as virgin.

WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT SPANISH OLIVE OIL?

Spanish Olive oil is one of the greatest gourmet products produced in Spain. It is a staple of Mediterranean diet with many health benefits, and it can be used in so many ways.

How many types of olive oil exist?

There are five primary grades of olive oil:extra virgin oil, virgin oil, refined oil, pure olive oil and olive pomace oil. Each type of oil has a different smoke point, and this smoke point depends on the quality of the oil. The lower the smoke point of oil, the better the quality.

CAN YOU FRY IN OLIVE OIL?

Absolutely yes! In Spain, most people usually cook with olive oil on their daily basis. Varieties with a high smoke point, like picual, are especially good for this.

What are manzanilla olives?

The Manzanilla is a Spanish green olive that is lightly lye-cured then packed in salt and lactic acid brine. These olives are most often available pitted and sometimes stuffed.

What does manzanilla olives taste like?

It has a crisp texture and a slightly smoky, almond-y flavor. They're often stuffed with pimientos or cracked and dressed with olive oil and fresh garlic.

what is foie gras?

Foie is one of the most decadent and flavorful gourmet foods produced in France, and it is made of the liver of a duck or goose. Foie gras belongs to the protected cultural and gastronomical heritage of France.

what is a good brand of foie gras?

One of the leading Foie gras producers is Rougié. At Le Gourmet Central you can find the best foie gras online by Rougié.

how do you eat foie gras?

Foie gras combines very well with brioche, crackers or toasted bread. If you like sweet and savory combinations, we recommend adding one of our specialty fruit jams from France, like fig, morello cherry or violet.

What is the difference between a mushroom and a truffle?

Mushrooms grow above ground, whilst truffles always grow underground and are attached to tree roots. The average mushroom can be harvest all year round, whilst truffles have very short seasons and are very difficult to cultivate on farms.

Why are truffles so expensive?

The reason behind such high costs is the scarcity of the produce, truffles are seasonal, extremely difficult to grow and take many years to cultivate. They also have a short shelf life, white truffles last for around five days; black for over a week.

what is truffle oil made of?

Truffle oil should be made with oil and oil. However, you can find some products made synthetically with ingredients like 2,4-dthiapentane, and aromatic molecule, instead of real truffles. At Le Gourmet Central, we only carry real truffle oils, made with black and white truffle from Italy.

what can truffle oil be used for?

You can use truffle oil in so many ways. We recommend using it as a finishing oil on toasted bread, pasta, vegetables, cheeses, meats, eggs, potatoes, chicken and fish.

How long does it take to grow truffles?

It takes a minimum of five years for truffles to begin emerging after the trees are planted, and seven to 11 years to achieve peak production. Truffles are fungi that process nutrients for trees in exchange for sugars secreted by the roots

where to buy truffles?

You can truffles at specialty gourmet stores like Le Gourmet Central. Our truffle products are 100% made with real truffle from the best truffle producers in Italy and France.

What is the difference between semolina flour and regular flour?

Your day-to-day baking flour is made from what is known as common wheat, which makes up around 80% or more of the entire world's wheat harvest. Semolina, on the other hand, is made from a species of wheat called “durum” wheat. You can find it in pastas wheat and macaroni wheat.

Is semolina healthier than all-purpose flour?

Semolina is the clear winner! It contains more vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats and fiber than popular grains.

What is the difference between Madras curry and curry?

The main difference is that it’s a little spicier than the curry powder. This heat comes from chili peppers that are added into the spice blend. The chili also gives it that darker and more red color than regular curry.

What does the DOP stand for?

Protected Designation of Origin

DOP is one of the most important things to consider when learning how to cook traditional and authentic Italian food outside Italy. DOP stands for Denominación de Origen Protegida, in English this translates to Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).

What does the IGP stand for?

It stands for Indicación Geográfica Protegida (literally in English “Protected Geographical Indication”) label. This label guarantees that at least one phase of the production or one primary ingredient originates in a specific geographical area.

What does Gianduia mean?

Gianduia or gianduja is a homogeneous blend of chocolate with 30% hazelnut paste, invented in Turin during Napoleon's regency (1796–1814)

What is Gianduia used for?

Lighter than dark chocolate, yet darker than milk chocolate, gianduja comes in a variety of forms, from crunchy bars to smooth and creamy spreads.

What are Marcona almonds?

Sometimes called "the queen of almonds," Marcona almonds are a type of sweet, gourmet almond from Spain that are very popular in Mediterranean countries, and now in America. They are large, flat and typically have been fried in either olive oil or sunflower oil and then salted.

Why are Marcona almonds better than regular almonds?

What is special about balsamic vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar is a slightly sweet, dark, richly flavored vinegar used to enhance salad dressings, marinades, and sauces. It can be reduced to a glaze and drizzled over strawberries, stirred into a risotto, or tossed with Brussels sprouts or red onions to let its sugars caramelize in the oven.

HOW TO USE BALSAMIC VIENEGAR?

-Paired with garlic and olive oil for a steak marinade.

-Dressing for a Caprese salad, or any type of salad.

-As an ingredient for a zesty barbecue sauce.

-Balsamic glaze goes perfectly drizzled onto vanilla ice cream or over roasted Brussels sprouts (hyperlink de recite y del products glaze).

What is the difference between balsamic vinegar and regular vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar is a flavorsome, aromatic vinegar that has a leaf grading system to discern their quality. Regular vinegar is more acidic and stronger in nature. Regular vinegar is also used for laboratory and cleaning purposes. Balsamic vinegar is used purely for cooking purposes.

What is Italian colomba and what is the difference with the panettone?

It is made with candied orange peel and a sugary almond topping. Panettone is the traditional Cake/Bread for an Italian Christmas, usually made with raisins, candied fruit peels, almonds, and brandy.

Why the colomba is eaten at Easter?

In English, colomba means Dove and is the traditional bread for Easter. The white dove has long been a symbol not only of Easter and peace, but also of rebirth, a value celebrated in the Pagan spring festivals. Nowadays, colomba is served at the end of Easter lunch alongside with chocolate eggs.

How do you serve colomba?

Delicious on its own, colomba is often served with fresh berries, drizzled in dark chocolate, slathered in sweet spreads, or paired with whipped cream. Italians will enjoy a slice with coffee for breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up!

How do you eat panettone?

Serve as a simple dessert with chocolate, caramel, maple or pumpkin dipping sauce. You can eat it at breakfast or brunch.

Why does panettone last so long?

Panettone or “big","strong" bread mostly last because of its double rising of natural yeasts insures panettone's long shelf-life - and the reason you can enjoy a "fresh" cake made months ago in Italy and shipped to this country.

WHAT ARE TAPAS?

Spanish tapas are basically small plates of food. They're essentially bar snacks served alongside beer or wine. In southern Spain, restaurants serve them for free with each drink you order.

What are thre most popular tapas?

  • Gambas al Ajillo-Spanish Garlic Shrimp
  • Chorizo al Vino-Spanish Chorizo cooked with wine
  • Tortilla Española-Spanish egg and potato omelette
  •  
  • Jamón Ibérico- Iberico jam
  • Pimientos de Padrón- Spanish Padron peppers
  • Ensaladilla Rusa-Spanish Potato salad
  • Patatas Bravas- potatoes accompanied by hot sauce.
  • Croquetas

Why are they called tapas?

The word tapa means 'lid' and comes from the verb tapear, meaning 'to cover'. Many people say that the custom of tapas came about when bar keepers began covering their customers' drinks with a slice of bread, ham or cheese to stop flies and dust from entering.

What does antipasto mean?

The word derived from the Latin root “anti” meaning “before” and “pastus,” which means “meal”. Itsimply refers to the dish that precedes all others. It is usually made of bite-size small portions and served on a platter from which everyone serves themselves

Who invented the antipasto?

The history of antipasto is rooted in medieval Italy. Sweet and savory finger-foods such as sugared nuts and sliced ham got diners in the mood for a meal. With the evolution of Italian cuisine, antipasto has taken on the form of many new dishes.

What is an example of antipasto?

Cured or smoked meats and sausages, olives, salted anchovies, sardines, fresh or pickled vegetables, shellfish, peppers, and cheeses.

WHAT IS SAFFRON?

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, The vivid crimson stigma and styles, called threads, are collected and dried for use mainly as a seasoning and coloring agent in food.

What does saffron taste like?

Saffron has a sweet, floral taste to it. It's earthy and has a complex nuanced flavor. If the saffron tastes bitter, metallic, or plastic like these are cheap imitators of this unique spice and should be avoided.

Why saffron is so expensive?

Since such a small part of the flower is used, it takes 75,000 saffron flowers to make one pound of saffron spice. The small amount of saffron spice per plant, along with the fact that harvesting must be done manually, leads to saffron's being majorly expensive.

What is romesco made of?

Romesco is a rich sauce from the Spanish region of Catalonia. It is made of charred tomatoes and roasted red peppers, puréed and thickened with toasted almonds and bread. The flavors are further sharpened with the addition of raw garlic, vinegar, chile powder or red pepper flakes

How do you eat romesco sauce?

Romesco is traditionally served with fish and other meats, such as chicken or steak. You can also serve it with raw, roasted or grilled vegetables (especially eggplant, cauliflower and potatoes). Romesco is also a delicious dip for flatbread or crusty bread.

How do you stored Romesco sauce?

Homemade romesco sauce can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Otherwise, it freezes well for up to 3 months.

What is torta del Casar cheese?

Produced in the Extremadura province of Spain, torta Del Casar is a soft cheese with a dense, creamy texture and a rich, slightly funky flavor. The cheese is made from the rich raw milk of Merino and Entrefino sheep.

How do you serve torta del Casar?

The best way to eat a torta del Casar is to enjoy it spread on a piece of bread, crackers, or pita chips. We also recommend it to pair it with confitted piquillo peppers.

Is Dijon mustard same as regular yellow mustard?

Dijon mustard is a pale yellow color, while yellow mustard is bright yellow. Dijon is creamier than yellow mustard and contains less vinegar. The taste of Dijon mustard, however, is spicier than yellow mustard because it's made with black mustard seeds while yellow mustard is made with white and yellow seeds.

How do you use Pommery mustard?

Pommery wholegrain mustard is known all over the world for being one of the finest wholegrain mustards ever made. It has a a rich, nutty flavor. This wholegrain mustard blends perfectly in salad dressing or mayonnaise, or highlights your fish, chicken or steak based dishes.

What is the story of Pommery wholegrain mustard?

Pommery mustard is made in Meaux, a cathedral town 60km west of Paris. The town has a long history of mustard production. It began in 771 AD, when Charlemagne decreed that canons and monks in cathedral towns like Meaux should cultivate mustard.

What exactly is polenta?

Polenta is a northern Italian dish made of coarsely ground corn. Freshly cooked, polenta is soft and creamy, like porridge or mush, and makes a terrific bed for sauces. It's a good gluten-free substitute for just about any dish that calls for pasta.

Is polenta and grits the same thing?

Yes, both grits and polenta are made from ground corn, but the main difference here is what type of corn. Polenta, as you can probably guess from the color, is made from yellow corn, while grits are normally made from white corn.

What is traditionally served with polenta?

In Abruzzo, especially in the province of Aquila during Lent, polenta is served with snail sauce or cooked in milk and served seasoned with oil, garlic and chili peppers. For more contemporary dishes, serve the polenta with beef stew.

What is amaretti cookies made of?

Small, crunchy, chewy-inside, these macaroon-like cookies are made with only a few ingredients: almond flour, egg whites, and sugar. Usually, they contain a small amount of almond liqueur such as Disaronno.

Where did amaretti cookies originate?

Amaretti biscuits have been a part of Italian patisserie for hundreds of years. Early records indicate they originated in Venice during the late Renaissance period (mid 17th century) and were the creation of Francesco Moriondo, a pastry chef at the court of Savoy.

What flavor is Arbequina olive oil?

This early oil has a clean, fresh flavor with herbal notes of apple, sweet almond, and artichoke undertones. It is fruity without much bitterness and slight pungency.

What is Arbequina olive oil used for?

Most people in Europe use it as a salad dressing. In Spain, people pour it raw on toast with tomatoes or marmalade for breakfast. Arbequina is great for roasting or sauteing vegetables. Seafood: Arbequina is a great pick for cooking salmon, white fish, or other delicate seafood, since it's not overpowering. To really get the flavor, drizzle some on top too.

What is Salsa Brava made of?

A traditional Salsa Brava (bravas sauce) is simply made of olive oil, spicy pimentón (smoked paprika), stock, and a little flour as a thickener. Modern recipes add tomatoes instead of stock and flour for more depth and a little tang.

What is Salsa Brava used for?

The main dish Catalonians use the sauce with are fried potatoes. Patatas Bravas (brave potatoes), is named for its sauce, which may or may not be spicy.

What type of cheese is Manchego?

Like cheddar, Manchego is an uncooked, pressed-curd cheese; it must be made using the tangy, fatty milk of the Manchega sheep native of the provinces of Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, and Toledo. This area is south and southeast of Madrid, and it’s called the region of La Mancha.

How does Manchego cheese taste?

It has an intense, zesty taste and a crumbly texture that's rich, full, and slightly salty at the finish. Even its aroma has been described as special, suggesting roast lamb to some. Manchego is marketed at various stages of maturity from "cured" at 13 weeks to "aged" at more than three months.

What is Manchego cheese good for?

Its intense flavor and crumbly texture make it an ideal table cheese. It is well paired with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, crusty bread and a robust red wine or dry sherry. Manchego is also ideal for grilling.

What is aioli sauce made of?

In some Mediterranean cultures, aioli refers very specifically to a sauce made from olive oil that has been emulsified into mashed garlic, usually with a mortar and pestle.

What is the difference between aioli and mayonnaise?

Although aioli and mayonnaise are both creamy emulsions, aioli is made from garlic and olive oil while mayo is made from egg yolks and canola oil. The result may look similar, but the two sauces have distinctly different flavors.

What is aioli eaten with?

As a dip with raw vegetables such as cauliflower. it's quite good on boiled green beans or with almost anything roast; fish, beef or lamb. It can also be added to a Patatas Bravas dish.

What does hors d'oeuvre mean?

“Outside the work” or “not part of the main course”. It is an additional dish served as an appetizer, usually before the main meal.

What is an example of a hors d'oeuvre?

An elegant example is caviar and creme fraiche tarts, while a simple one would be mini quiches. Small fried items such as turnovers, empanadas, samosas, and egg rolls, often served with a dipping sauce, would also be a type of hors d'oeuvre.

What is the difference between an appetizer and hors d oeuvre?

The main difference is that while appetizers are typically served at the start of a meal, hors d'oeuvres can be served at any time, not necessarily at the beginning of a meal. Appetizers, however, tend to mark that a meal is coming.

Why is it called a petit four?

While petit four means "small oven" in French, petit fours are not baked in tiny ovens! Originally French bakers would cook meats and other dinner foods on the high heat setting, then as the coal oven was cooling down, they cooked the petit fours.

What are the 5 types of petit fours?

There are several types of petits fours: petits fours salé (“salted,” or savory appetizers), petits fours sec (“dry” as in cookies and macarons), petits fours frais (“fresh,” referring to highly perishable items like éclairs and madeleines which must be eaten that day when kept at room temperature), and petits fours glacé (“glazed,” which are decorated miniature cakes covered in fondant, chocolate or white chocolate and decorated with royal icing)

What are Chipirones tapas?

'Chipirones' are baby squids that are usually served battered and deep fried with a slice of lemon.

What is Pedro Ximenez vinegar?

The real Pedro Ximenez or PX sherry vinegar is aged for a minimum of seven years, has the dark inky color, exciting aroma and flavor associated with all good PX vinegars. Pedro Ximenez Sherry vinegar is perfect drizzled onto hard or soft cheeses or added to salads and soups.

What is special about sherry vinegar?

Sherry vinegar is a Spanish vinegar made from fermenting sherry wine, then straining and bottling it. It has a roundness in flavor with less acidity than red or white wine vinegar, and subtle caramel notes. This makes it a fantastic all-purpose vinegar for vinaigrettes, marinades, and more.

What is Idiazabal cheese?

Idiazabal (also known as Idiazabel / Queso Idiazabal La Vasco Navarra) is a traditional, farmhouse, hard cheese made from raw milk of Latxa or Carranza sheep in the Basque and Navarra regions of northern Spain.

What goes with Idiazabal cheese?

Idiazabal pairs well with a simple red wine like tempranillo, dry cider, or saison.

What does Mahón cheese taste like?

A unique cheese with a sweet and fruity aroma and a rich, bold flavor, Mahón is not for those who prefer bland cheeses.

What is Mahón cheese made of?

Made from cow's milk, this cheese has a yellowish rind and a spicy and somewhat salty cheese flavor. As with most farmhouse cheeses, Mahón gains flavor as it ages and is sold at various stages of maturity.

What cheese is similar to Mahón?

It can be challenging to find a suitable substitute for Mahón, especially since it ranges in flavor and texture depending on its maturity. The closest comparison may be to Gouda, although it will be missing Mahón's unique, salty taste.

What are regañás?

Regañás are salty, crispy crackers made with wheat flour and extra virgin olive oil. Its origins date back to the Spanish Conquistadors: during their long trips to the New World, they needed high-energy, moisture-resistant food.

What goes with regañás?

They are the perfect companion to seafood, cold meats, cheeses and patés.


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