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Taste Mahon-Menorca Cheese at Winter Fancy Food Show

Specialities, Inc. will be showcasing Spain’s prized Mahon-Menorca cheese at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco this coming January. Mahón-Menorca cheese is crafted to the highest standards using a unique process handed down by centuries of meticulous care, time and knowledge.

Mahón-Menorca cheese is produced on the island of Menorca, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands. A paradisiacal Biosphere Reserve island (certified by the UNESCO) located in the Mediterranean Sea. Mahón-Menorca Cheese is a Protected Destination of Origin (P.D.O.) cheese based upon the geographic and distinct climate factors including its temperature, humidity, light, wind and salty pastures, and its ancient farming methods mastered by generations of the Menorca family farms. It’s made from Menorcan cow’s milk (pasteurized or raw) and matured exclusively on the island of Menorca.

Mahón-Menorca cheese is very versatile, often grated and used for topping pasta, rice and vegetable dishes or eaten sliced thin and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. It’s a must on the traditional Spanish cheese table. The cheese is also delicious with vegetables (aubergine or tomatoes) or used as a stuffing or filling (cannelloni or peppers). It can also be mixed with breadcrumbs in breading and frying. The less matured Mahón-Menorca cheeses go fantastically well with white and young red wines, while the more aged cheeses are better suited for mature wines.

Mahón-Menorca Cheese has two degrees of maturity:

SEMI-CURED two to five months – Characteristic and unmistakable. The rind, orange in color. A firm cheese yet easy to cut, showing an ivory yellow-color and a number of holes distributed in an irregular manner, depending on the piece. The milky taste and flavors are developed, with slight buttery reminiscences of toasted nuts and dried fruit (hazelnut); a moderately persistent aftertaste, having developed the typical bouquet of the Mahón-Menorca cheese.

CURED – HARD – More than five months – A delicacy for cheese lovers. The texture is firmer and hard; less creamy and in advanced stages of maturity, it breaks flaking. It has a very developed flavor and aroma, complex and intense, with a long persistent aftertaste. Brittle and flakes when sliced. The taste and aroma are very developed, complex and intense. Hints of old wood, tanned leather or a wine cellar, usually with a slight spicy nuance.

When purchasing Mahón-Menorca cheese, consumers are supporting the viable economic livelihood of the Menorca farmers and promoting a sustainable agricultural environment for future generations. Mahón-Menorca Cheese can be purchased nationwide at Whole Foods, and at other fine retailers such as Fairway Markets, Safeway, Albertsons, Kroger, Murray’s, Central Markets, Costco, Gourmet Garage, West Side Markets, Zabar’s, Central and Town & Country Markets and at the best specialty food stores all over the country.

Mahón-Menorca cheese will be sampled at the Specialities, Inc. booth at the Winter Fancy Food Show.

Stonewall Kitchen to Acquire Tillen Farms Brand of Premium Cocktail Garnishes

Stonewall Kitchen, a leading specialty food manufacturer, marketer and retailer, just announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Tillen Farms® brand of premium cocktail garnishes, including crisp pickled vegetables and Pacific Northwest cherries. The transaction is anticipated to be completed in January 2018.

Stonewall.Tillen.boardJohn Stiker, Chief Executive Officer of Stonewall Kitchen said, “We have long admired the premium quality and variety of Tillen Farms’ delicious products, from their pickled asparagus spears and dilly beans to their signature Bada Bing® cherries. The product line is completely complementary to the specialty food categories we currently offer, and provides us with an immediate leadership presence in the cocktail garnish category. We also see great synergies between these two specialty food brands, from innovative product development to expanded distribution, and we are excited about the opportunity to grow Tillen Farms alongside Stonewall Kitchen.”

“After growing the Tillen Farms brand over the last 13 years, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect partner than Stonewall Kitchen to help take the brand to the next level,” added Tim Metzger, the Founder and Owner of Tillen Farms. “We share similar values of providing superior product quality, clean ingredient labels, and predominantly U.S.-based sourcing and manufacturing. I look forward to working with John and the team to continue to grow both Tillen Farms and Stonewall Kitchen in the coming years.”

Stonewall Kitchen is committed to building the premier specialty foods platform by leveraging the company’s expertise in brand building, product development, and multi-channel distribution and fulfillment, according to Stiker. “We are dedicated to providing our loyal customers delicious and innovative new products, and could not be more excited to welcome the Tillen Farms brand into the Stonewall Kitchen family as we continue to grow both organically and through selective acquisitions,” he said.

Manuka Honey Brand Gains U.S. Distribution

Melora, one of New Zealand’s mānuka honey brands, is gaining distribution in the U.S. this month in select retailers in CaliforniaHawaii and Arizona.

“We are thrilled to bring Melora’s premium mānuka honey to our American friends,” said Karl Gradon, CEO at New Zealand Mānuka Group. “In a category that has been subject to misleading activity claims, the Melora brand offers a guarantee on quality, purity, and responsible harvesting practices, underscoring the most healing properties of the mānuka superplant. With Melora, U.S. consumers can feel confident toward an investment in good health.”

Mānuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native mānuka bush. Research shows – when ingested – mānuka honey can help with stomach problems such as H.Pylori (in-vitro). Additionally, more research is emerging on mānuka’s prebiotic role in promoting beneficial bacteria and gut health.

The UMF™ grading system appraises natural markers found in mānuka honey and assures purity and quality. As part of the UMF Honey Association testing process, every batch of honey must go through a series of additional checks and supporting programs to ensure adherence to the highest standards in authenticity, quality and safety. All UMF license holders are independently audited to meet stringent standards in terms of production, manufacturing, sampling and handling. The UMF quality trademark is an indication to consumers that they are buying the best, 100 percent natural, unadulterated mānuka honey.

Particularly unique to Melora is its partnership with landowners. Understanding the need for landowners to receive a fair return for the use of their land by beekeepers, Melora created an open agreement between the landowners, beekeepers and processing company. This agreement ensures all parties receive a fair share of the profits from all honey sold. This was the first time any business had ever recognized the support of the landowners in this industry.

Available in select Costco stores.

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