Staff Approved

A major aspect of working in retail is creating sales for the business.  Some folks like to push you into buying things one may or may not need or want regardless of quality.  In my experience, a good “sales pitch” in retail is creates an honest environment where the costumer feels comfortable.  My theory is a happy satisfied costumer is a return and spread the good word about The Spanish Table customer.  Often, companies will refer to this as “creating brand loyalty.”  With a wide range of quality products and a friendly work environment, sales at The Spanish Table keeps both customer and employees happy.

Now with all that said, here are some items worth taking a look at in the store.  First off, let me discuss the beauty and magic of Aji Panca chile pepper paste from Peru.  One 8oz jar of paste is the equivalent of at least a pound of dried peppers, my humble estimation of course.  The paste is free of seeds and pepper skins using only the fruit of the chile.  I have made tons of pepper paste in my day, it is a lengthy task.  At $6.19 a jar this product is an amazing value and just as tasty as homemade.  It is perfect for marinades, making homemade hot sauce and wonderful as a base for ceviche or soups.  The brand is “Costa Peruana” and they also offer an Aji Limo and Aji Amarillo chile paste as well.

The Spanish Table has a wide range of delicious dried and jarred beans in stock.  My store favorite legume is the Judion bean from Spain.  The Navarrico brand  has these lovely cooked beans in a 22.9oz or 660g jar.  Making them easy to use with no shortage of quality.  Personally, I like to put the dried beans from “El Maragato” in my crock pot set on low and slow.  The steady stream of heat keeps the bean in tact for the long cooking duration at Santa Fe’s high elevation.  Add some Butifarra sausage, garlic, onions, smokey paprika and some bay leaves with Pebrella for your herbal note.  All of a sudden those simple beans turn into monster sized, creamy, flavor bombs.  Just perfect food for cold winter days.

My next topic tackles one my favorite cookbooks at The Spanish Table.  With a heavy emphasis on Spanish and Portuguese cooking at the store, Jennifer McLagan’s cookbook Fat gets a bit lost in our wider selection of books.  I do not recommend the book to people who are the occasional home cook, just being honest here.  Nonetheless, Fat is full of excellent recipes, nice photos, plenty of cooking technique and great information on what McLagan refers to as  “a misunderstood ingredient.”  Oh how I curse the 1980’s and 90’s with its fat free and low fat labeling craze, end of rant. However with this one I sing the praise of a book that has my heart poached in butter and topped with duck confit! Author’s note: My diet is well balanced with lots of whole grains, fruits
and veg.

My discussion here only covers a small selection of great stuff offered at the Spanish Table.  When visiting the store look out for staff favorite stickers on selected items.  Each staff favorite is a thoughtful selection based on flavor and quality of product.  They are intended to lead you towards products that maybe you did not have in mind before coming to the store, but are more than worth a try.  I hope my little session here was helpful.  Until next time.

Cheers, Rob@TST

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