Sunday, December 5

Rubén Álvarez’s ice cream at home

Tubs of ice cream from Esneu, brie with caramelized apple and pecan nuts, oranges from the tree to the table and, in the center, Pilar Sánchez and Rubén Álvarez.  vicente albero

Tubs of ice cream from Esneu, brie with caramelized apple and pecan nuts, oranges from the tree to the table and, in the center, Pilar Sánchez and Rubén Álvarez. vicente albero

Rubén Álvarez, the pastry chef who has been making exclusive ice creams for great chefs and restaurants for seven years in his 33/35 Studio in Novelda, also makes his products available to the final consumer. Now, anyone can order the ice creams of the new Esneu brand through the web and receive them at home if they are on the route that goes from Elche and Santa Pola to Altea and Benidorm, passing through Alicante, or pick them up at the workshop itself, in 600 ml tubs. Soon there will also be home delivery in the big cities of Spain. Esneu was born with a proposal summarized in twelve flavors that make clear the philosophy developed by Álvarez together with his partner and wife, Pilar Sánchez. Its objective is for the flavor of the best raw material to be the protagonist – along with a texture that is pure silk – in the final result: Piedmont hazelnut, 70% Santo Domingo black coverage, Medjoul date with Marcona almond, coffee from Finca La Ermita …


Oblivious to the trend of eccentric and supposedly transgressive ice creams, Rubén Álvarez seeks the perfection of the most unappealable flavors. To do this, it selects the best products: spices from El Avión, nougat from García Coloma, Friesian cow’s milk from Murcia’s Finca El Barranquillo … Esneu collaborates with great pastry chefs and chefs to develop specialties such as panettone ice cream — together with the pastry chef. Daniel Álvarez from Elche, from Dalúa— or the baked pumpkin, created with four hands with the famous chef Ricard Camarena. In any case, Rubén Álvarez’s technical solvency is as important in his ice creams —the structure, the creaminess— as the raw material itself. Born in 1979, he studied cooking at the Madrid Hospitality School and an internship with Paco Torreblanca led him towards sweet gastronomy. For nine years he was a professor at Aula Chocovic – the current Chocolate Adademy in Barcelona -, during which time he taught and learned all over the world, including Harvard University. In Italy he incorporated ice cream knowledge together with Angelo Corvitto and in 2013 he decided to dedicate himself exclusively to that specialty. His 33/35 Studio, then created in Novelda, is now growing and expanding with the Esneu brand.


Repel the wolves, the fierce cheese

Certainly, cheese is not in abundance between gastronomic product launches. Perhaps that is why we are struck by the poise and conviction with which TGT – a business group based in Catalonia, which is dedicated to the production and distribution of dairy products – claims the character and name of a cheese with an extraordinary character from the brand itself : Repel wolves. And it is not mere «propaganda» Originally from the Roncal Valley, in Navarra, its temperament is the opposite of the cow cowed in front of the ferocious wolf and claims a «uncomplexed and daring» attitude. It is a cheese made from raw sheep’s milk, from Ivory yellow color and with an ocher crust of oil-based mold. After maturing for eight months, it has developed aromas of humid earth and fungi, assembled with dairy in a forceful and intense balance. Delicately crunchy and seductively unctuous in the mouth, with notes of spicy spices and a touch of acid, it goes with an aged red wine in tapas or with a sweet wine at the end of the meal, accompanied or not by grape or fig jam .

The unique launch campaign of Ahuyentalobos is completely unmarked from the pastoral discourse and is situated in the terrain of a brave sheep, which stands up to its fearsome enemy until reversing the roles of the bully and the victim. This approach takes us from the bucolic habitat to a decidedly rogue, eminently urban environment, to the gastrobar, to dinner with friends … TGT is a family business in its second generation that produces cheese protected by the DDOO Manchego, Roncal, Idiazábal, Murcia, Tetilla , Arzúa-Ulloa, Cabrales and Mahón, in addition to distributing numerous international brands. They have Wolf Repellers in the El Corte Inglés stores with a counter.


Lola de Cullera and Marlene de Südtirol

Nor is it that fruit and vegetable products are lavished with regard to their promotion in the gastronomic field. Naranjas Lola was a forerunner, more than twenty years ago, in terms of the complicity of outstanding chefs. This family business from Cullera made them see that the oranges ripened on the tree, without any mediation of cameras or treatments, are “juicy and tasty beyond measure”, in the words of Martín Berasategui. At the same time, Naranjas Lola became a pioneer of online sales, something absolutely futuristic in 1998. Its catalog was later expanded – from oranges and mandarins to lemons and grapefruits and even to kumquats, limequats or finger limes – for, later on , incorporate other fruits, various vegetables and even jams or cakes. Naranjas Lola has just started the season with the first table or juice oranges, in boxes of 5, 10 or 15 kilos.

Marlene apples claim their foodie side through communication campaigns based on recipes with that fruit as an ingredient. The last one offers “Christmas appetizers” as appetizing as brie with caramelized apple and pecans: it involves heating a piece of cheese in the oven and covering it with diced apple sautéed in butter with brown sugar. Marlene is the brand that brings together four thousand six hundred fruit growers and twelve cooperatives from Alto Adige —Italian Tyrol, on the southern slopes of the Alps—, where the largest apple orchard in Europe is located, protected by a Protected Geographical Indication. The orographic diversity —from 220 meters in altitude in the valley to 1000 in the mountains— favors the nuances among the seven varieties of Marlene —royal gala, golden, braeburn, granny, red, fuji and stayman—, with their different attributes sweet, sour, crunchy, or juicy.

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