What: Small, top-quality canned sardines from Spain’s Galicia region.
Why: When Spaniards Alvaro Gonzalez and David Gonzalez (who are not related) wanted to start a business in their new home of Ottawa, they decided to bring the best that Spain has to offer to Canada.
“We analyzed the market and found that the quality of the olive oil was improvable and the quality of the canned seafood was very improvable,” says Alvaro Gonzalez.
Under the name Solfarmers, the pair now import four types of premium olive oil and 11 kinds of canned seafood to food shops and chefs from Vancouver to Quebec City.
“The quality, flavour and appearance are amazing and all the work is done by hand, which is really cool,” says Jon Svazas, chef and owner of Hintonburg’s new Bar Laurel where Conservas de Cambados razor clams, baby squid in ink, and small sardines in olive oil are on the menu.
The most popular of all Solfarmers’ products are those small sardines, says Alvaro. “People go crazy for them.”
Where to buy them: Epicuria, Jacobsons, Lapointe in the ByWard Market, Market Organics, Herb & Spice on Bank Street, Glebe Meat Market, Merivale Fish, The Soca Kitchen, Grace in the Kitchen, Pastina in Gatineau, Les Fougères and Solfarmers’ website.
How much: $9 for a 115-gram tin.