Jose Andres Foods Launches in the U.S.

José Andrés is a man of many talents. In addition to his restaurants, which number more than a dozen, Andrés is a cookbook author and television star. He’s Dean of the Spanish Studies program at the International Culinary Center, and lectures on “Science and Cooking” at Harvard; he also founded the nonprofit World Central Kitchen. Now, with the U.S. launch of José Andrés Foods, the legendary chef can add food purveyor to his resume, perhaps solidifying, once and for all, his status as Spain’s culinary ambassador. To create the collection, Andrés turned to his home country’s top food artisans and each product bears the name of its Spanish producer. Some items, such as a small fleet of sherry vinegars and an assortment of extra-virgin olive oils, fall under the pantry-staple category, while his Paella, Fideuá, and Arroz Negro are complete dinner kits. There’s also white tuna in olive oil, and cans of mussels, clams, and cockles. The Pisto and Escalivada can be served atop Andrés’ Catalan toasts for a 5-second tapa; potato chips, bread sticks, and five different olives make for even faster snacking. We haven’t tried the entire collection, but enjoyed what we did sample. Andrés’ Pisto, made with tomatoes, zucchini, and red and green peppers, was the crowd favorite, eliciting responses such as “tangy and satisfying” and “remarkably fresh for something coming out of a jar.” Andrés recommends pairing Pisto with tuna, eggs, or a salad. We loved it on crusty bread and would like to try it as a “sauce” for pasta. The tuna in olive oil was another hit. “This was tuna to savor,” said one fan, adding that the flesh was moist and meaty, and not at all fishy. “I’d rather eat this than fresh tuna,” was another response. Canned fish isn’t for everyone but we did have one enthusiastic taster who called the sardines “far and away the best I’ve ever had.” To be more specific, she said they were “meaty, yet tender” and tasted incredibly fresh. Currently, José Andrés Foods are available on the company Web site,, and at Nosa Ria in San Francisco and Despana in New York City; they’ll soon be on shelves at select Whole Foods Markets in the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC area (prices start at $4). But be on the lookout: They’re in the midst of expanding distribution. Photos: Clockwise from top left: Jason Varney; courtesy of José Andrés Foods (2)

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