La Española is not only an importer, distributor, retailer, and wholesaler of fine Spanish foods, but it is also a manufacturer of premium Spanish-style artisan sausages and or cured meat products. Then ‘charcuterie’ is made in the company’s U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved plant with the same fine ingredients and cherished recipes that are used by the best producers in Spain.
The company can turn out about 1,000 pounds of sausage a day, which it distributes to restaurants and stores across the country. That is quite a jump from what the company was producing when Faraone purchased it from an old Spanish couple eight years ago. Faraone trained at La Española for a month before the owners turned their formulations over to her. But the first batches of Sausage she made on her own were a disaster. “My Sobrasada, which should always be a beautiful, deep red, developed white spots and I couldn’t figure out why,” she remembers. Faraone consulted a family friend, Father Miguel, a priest from Majorca who had been in charge of hog butchering and traditional sausage making at a Nevada monastery. Together they prepared La Espanola’s first successful batch of Sobrasada Mallorquina. Father Miguel counseled Faraone on a few fine points of sausage making: the correct temperature for the meat before it is ground, how to watch for rancidity in sausages as they cure. Faraone then traveled throughout Spain to observe sausage-making techniques firsthand. Back in the United States she attended professional seminars and eventually obtained her USDA status. Spanish food has vivid, earthy flavors and Mediterranean accents that seem natural for California. But it has only recently been finding a following here. You can prepare Spanish food without the authentic ingredients you find at La Espanola, of course, but your cazuelas, egg tortillas and Iberian bean dishes will be missing that essentially “Spanish” taste. And unless paella is prepared with the sort of soft-grain Valencia rice sold in La Espanola’s deli, it won’t have the chewy texture that reminds you you’re eating the genuine item.