Secret No More: Ines Rosales Olive Oil Tortas
It occurs to me that I am remiss in sharing a story regarding one of the most amazing items in our store, and I would like to remedy that now. I’ve personally been enjoying these delicate, crisp rounds of perfection for a few years. I just haven’t bothered to tell anyone else about them, and for that I feel truly guilty. But what’s the holiday season without a little guilt?
As I write this, my coworker sits next to me, scarfing his way through the entire package, so I feel certain that you will have a similar reaction. I was hoping there would be one left for me to enjoy with coffee this afternoon, but it looks like I’ll miss out if I don’t grab one from his clutches now. I guess that’s my payback for trying to keep them under wraps all this time.
Ines Rosales Sweet Olive Oil Tortas are imported from Seville, Spain, and they are worth every drop of fuel it took to get them here. They are made with 24% extra virgin olive oil and unbleached wheat flour and flecked with tiny anise seeds. Then they’re baked to a gorgeous golden brown and topped with sugar, which is then caramelized perfectly and drizzled with more oil.
Each torta is handcrafted and lovingly wrapped in tissue by women in Spain (or so claims the website). As you may imagine, they are extremely delicate. Serving suggestions include cheeses, but use only the softest and most supple varieties like Brie or Camembert. A hard or heavy cheese will not do, as these precious gems will crumble under the pressure. Nor would you want a pungent or garlicky dip or spread, which would overwhelm the beautiful ingredients. These tortas are equally delicious solo, with a cup of the aforementioned coffee or hot tea.
How I love to eat them: with delicately smoked salmon, real honey, whipped cream cheese (regular cream cheese is not soft enough) and capers. You can blend the salmon into the whipped cream cheese if you prefer, but I find that leaving the salmon in large pieces and using it to surround the cream cheese is a more dramatic presentation. I like honey with the comb intact (Goya makes an excellent and reasonably priced version available at CM), which I drizzle over the plate, leaving pieces of comb.
For garnish, sprinkle a few salty capers and break the tortas into large, manageable pieces for your guests to use for dipping. Stack up the tortas around the edges of your platter, or stage them in a lined basket.
Ines Rosales also makes an orange-flavored variety that is equally fabulous. Try a wedge of it next to your favorite vanilla bean gelato. These and the original flavor can be found in your local Central Market in the Deli department, next to the flatbreads and fruit spreads.
Now that I’ve gotten this off my chest, I’ll serve these up guilt-free this holiday season and hope that you and yours are doing the same.