Friday, 13 January 2012

Buried Treasure (Black Truffle) - Manjares de la Tierra S.L., FOODS FROM SPAIN interview.


Manjares de la Tierra is a company specializing in the sale and processing of black truffles (Tuber Melanosporum), and is becoming well-known in gastronomic circles thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of three women who believe in their product, know everything about it, and focus on quality. Thanks to their unparalleled aroma, exquisite flavour and the difficulty of finding them, these truffles are the black diamond of gastronomy.





Some 3,000 hectares in the Sarrión area (Teruel Spanish province) are used for truffle cultivation. With its limy soil and extreme climate, Teruel has one of the highest production levels in Spain, and its Truffle-grower Association is currently setting up a Teruel Truffle Designation of Origin.
From 9th to 11th December Sarrión celebrates FITRUF the most important Spanish exhibition, exclusively dedicated to the "black diamond" of the gastronomy: the black truffle (Tuber Melanosporum).


TRUFFLE PLANTATION
Loli Lizandra, Mercedes Marco and María Jesús Agustín are the three founders of Manjares de la Tierra. Their office displays notes from some of Spain's leading chefs thanking Manjares de la Tierra - Juan María Arzak, Pedro Subijana, Sergi Arola, José Andrés, etc. Sarrión is a traditional truffle-growing area, but had no local companies, so four years ago they decided to fill the gap.

Loli Lizandra, Mercedes Marco and María Jesús Agustín
Their location is one of their main assets: the plantations are nearby, and they can send out freshly unearthed truffles to anywhere in Spain or abroad.

Manjares de la Tierra has been slowly growing for four years, based on the quality of its product. They have entered the competitive French market, and now sell truffles in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and even in Venezuela.

They have also introduced preserves: truffle in brandy, truffle in its own juice, truffle juice, patés and mousses, made from truffles that are too small to sell fresh or broken during harvesting, but with the same quality.


Truffle Preserves
The preserves make truffles more accessible, and are popular in delicatessen stores, especially in Switzerland and Austria. Processed truffle products represent 20% of the company's total sales, and they hope to bring the figure up to about 50%, to reach economies of scale and be more competitive, bringing in more customers and more sales.

Fresh Truffle by Manjares de la Tierra
As well as black truffles Tuber Melanosporum and its preserves, Manjares de la Tierra sells fresh summer truffles (Tuber Aestivium). This diversification strengthens the brand because all the products are exceptional; the company focuses on quality and plans to continue introducing new products, opening up new markets, taking the Manjares de la Tierra name as far as they can.


Read full article by Jorge Luís Bartolomé  published in  www.foodsfromspain.com  (ICEX).

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