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Welcome to Fancy Food & Culinary Products' blog, your place to read reviews of the great fancy and gourmet products we find in the marketplace.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Editor's Choice: Spanish Suitcase

One of the biggest regrets I have so far in life is that I have never traveled anywhere internationally. I've been to just about all 50 states in the U.S., but never anywhere outside of the border. Money and time never seem to combine into a perfect scenario to take a trip. For someone who loves food as much as I do, I can do nothing but dream of the many cuisines I'm missing out on around the world.

Luckily, sometimes products come along that give me a chance to sample worldly cuisine from the comfort of my desk. I recently received a wonderful package from a retailer called Spanish Suitcase, and was incredibly impressed by this unique experience. Spanish Suitcase is based in New York City, and they specialize in unique gift baskets featuring gourmet foods from Spain. These "suitcases" are loaded with all kinds of goodies that were hand-selected for their excellence in flavor, packaging, production and sustainability.

Speaking of the packaging, it's nearly impossible not to be impressed with the presentation - everything is packed neatly in an attractive box, and each item features beautiful labeling. It is a lot like opening a present from someone who has mailed you a package from overseas, and my officemates and I couldn't help but ooh and ah with each thing we removed from the suitcase. Throw in a nice explanatory booklet, and you have a really handsome overall product that anyone would be thrilled to receive as a gift.

There are many different varieties of suitcases you can get - the Original Spanish Suitcase is an enormous smorgasbord of gourmet items including cheeses, chocolates, bread sticks and even anchovies! There are seafood and vegetarian suitcases, as well. They also make several smaller "carry-ons", which consist of the same quality items from the larger suitcases, in such varieties as Healthy Sabores, La Vide Dulce, and Bonito to Go-Go.

I sampled the Siesta Snack Pack Carry-On, which delighted me (and the entire office). I was a big fan of the San Nicasio Potato Chips, which were made with authentic extra virgin olive oil from the nationally accredited Almazaras de la Subbética (olive oil mills) in Córdoba. The oils in combination with the touch of sea salt really made a rich impression on my taste buds. The 1880 Marcona Almonds were immediately whisked away to the safety of my home after just one taste - these were, without any exaggeration, the best almonds I have ever had.

Everyone was a big fan of the Sweet Olive Oil Tortas - the aftertaste was an exquisite blend of crystallized Seville oranges and sugar. It was enjoyable on it's own, but is even more enjoyable with cheese. There were also some tangy peppers (great on sandwiches) and Dequmana olives, completing an excellent package of gourmet goodness.

If you're looking for a unique and tasty gift (or someone who wishes they could be on a warm Spanish beach during the cold Chicago winter), head on over to for a wonderful taste of life across the sea.

-Marc Kozak (