Bring Spain’s delicious heritage to your friends—or yourself

By Erik Mathes

From smoky-spicy chorizo and delicate, cured jamón, to salty-savory cheeses like Manchego and Mahón, to the ultimate pièce de résistance, paella, Spain’s gastronomic heritage is as diverse, remarkable, and delicious as any nation’s could ever be. To really experience it used to mean that you just had to be there—spending thousands to fly to Spain for a fulfilling feast that eclipsed anything your local “tapas” spot could muster. That is, until La Tienda graced the interwebs with its groundbreaking Spanish food/drink/gift delivery service.

La Tienda was founded in 1996 by an American family from Virginia with a serious passion for Spain—co-founder Don Harris was even awarded Spain’s Official Cross of the Order of Civil Merit by Spain’s ambassador to the United States—on behalf of His Majesty the King of Spain—for his dedication to promoting the food and culture of Spain in the U.S. Now starting its third decade in business, La Tienda ships the best of Spain’s culinary offerings to Americans who share this passion. And their gift boxes and sampler sets are absolutely perfect for the holidays.

Depending on how baller a gift you need, La Tienda has gorgeously packaged boxes filled with goodies like charcuterie, award-winning anchovy-stuffed olives, sweet anise-spiked tortas, and black truffle potato chips. If you’re throwing a party, the Ultimate Spanish Feast Gift Box contains enough eats to serve 10 to 12 people, with four kinds of cured sausage, fire-roasted piquillo peppers, premium tuna in olive oil, bottles of sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, an assortment of Spain’s legendary almond confections, and so. much. more. It even comes with an assortment of classic terra cotta cazuela dishes and special wide toothpicks for serving your snacks, so you’ll have everything you need to entertain—and impress.

Word on the Street

  • Singled out by Bon Appetit for its artisan membrillo (quince jelly) from Cal Valls and bone-in jamón Serrano by Fermín
  • Raved about in the New York Times for its “excellent” Ibérico de bellota pork sliders
  • Showcased on The Today Show for its hand-blown glass porrón wine pitcher
  • Highlighted in the Wall Street Journal as a spot to score Spanish squid ink online

Recipe: Smoked paprika pasta salad with chorizo and piquillos

Owner Jonathan Harris, one of Don’s two sons who now runs the company, has chronicled his visit to Spain’s piquillo pepper harvest and featured some of his favorite piquillo-packed recipes with piquillos on the company blog. Here’s one of his favorite spicy salads:

1/4 medium sweet onion, diced
1/8 cup sherry vinegar
1 package pimentón de La Vera smoked paprika macaroni
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 ounces Spanish chorizo, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup roasted piquillo peppers, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
Sea salt
Ground black pepper

1. Mix diced onion and sherry vinegar together in small bowl and let stand for at least 15 minutes to lightly pickle the onions.

2. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until tender, about 6–7 minutes. Drain pasta well and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cool, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.

3. While pasta is boiling, cook chorizo in small skillet over medium-high heat until chorizo is crisp. During last minute of cooking, stir in garlic.

4..Toss pasta with chorizo and garlic mixture, olive oil, parsley, green onions, piquillo peppers, and lemon zest. Drain onions and add to salad. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper to taste.

5. Serve immediately at room temperature, or assemble one day in advance and refrigerate, returning to room temperature before serving.