July 26, 1998
Horchata in Manhattan
A Valencian Woman cares and manufactures Spanish products in United States
By Patricia Fernández
To drink an Horchata made of tiger-nut in the middle of Manhattan, to eat a
Spanish-style sausage sandwich in Ohio or to savor a polvorón (powdered cookie) during a busy day
of Thanks is perhaps a dream for many of the Spaniards living in the United States. A
company located in California named La Española Meats, Inc. can make that dream a
reality. This company, owned by a Spanish woman and imports all types of products
characteristic of the Spanish kitchen beginning from condiments like
nougats, piquillo peppers or octopus. The products that cannot be imported due to the
strict North American legislation-mainly sausages, they manufacture in a small factory
located in Los Angeles.
To realize the idea they had to congeal among local consumers; Horchata is currently in
fashion for the restaurants in the center of Manhattan, The New York Times even published
an article on what denominates the Spanish sweet white milk.
The La Española Meats company is the idea of Juana Faraone from Valencia, Spain, who
has spent the last 20 years living in the United States. It occurred to Faraone to
put the business together not only to provide a living for herself but it permitted her
to do something for the homeland, she explains.
The company was founded in 1982, primarily importing canned products. But, little
by little, she added to their catalog cured cheeses, marzipans, chocolate, and
typically prepared plates of regional Spanish cuisine, such as fabada or
Some years ago, the company launched their own product line, and now manufactures up to
23 types of sausages such as chorizo Pamplona-style sausage, cured ham, salami, blood sausage or
sabrassada mallorquina. The company also carries paella pans and paella pan gas burners.
The business bills about 1.3 million dollars a year, without investing a dollar
in publicity; only by word of mouth from their clients and restaurant chefs,
Faraone explains. The companys success has had a snow-ball effect; the
restaurants have begun to incorporate the Spanish products into their menus, in turn their
customers taste them and begin to purchase the products for themselves, which provokes
them (the restaurants) to use these products in all their menus. The company
does business through-out the United States but its main business is with
restaurants and hotels, like the Carlton or the Ritz.
In fact, to the contrary of what they intended, the main consumers of La Española
Meats, Inc. are not among the Hispanic population, but ultimately the medium to upper-class
Americans whom little by little, begin to appreciate what it is to have a good-wine
But this apparent success of their Spanish food has a glitch because its products are
not exactly typical. The Americans don't care for fat or hot spices, so we provide
foods low in calories, little salt and no cholesterol, Faraone affirms.
In this way
La Española Meats, Inc. sells Spanish products adapted to the American way.
The sausage for
example, is manufactured with pig loin.
Spanish food is also becoming apart of the most typical American traditions. La
Española Meats, habitually incorporates new personnel between September and December
because that is when high season begins, Faraone comments. It is the time of
Thanksgiving Day - day of giving thanks -, Holloween and Christmas. Faraone
explains, some families have come to incorporate our party products like the
their holiday entertaining.
Ultimately, it seems the Americans continue bringing to our attention details of the
Spanish cuisine as published in a cuisine magazine some months ago regarding La Española
Meats, describing their Spanish charcuterías as a museum of sausages.