From Spain with Love

Good Bite

Pictured: Paella from Taste of Spain. Photo Courtesty of Taste of Spain.

If you’re searching for a culinary escape, look no further than Taste of Spain, Gulf Gate’s newest addition, owned and run by Fatima Soriano, best known for her catering company Tapas and Fun. “I moved here with my husband and two small children 19 years ago, in 2004. Sarasota at that time was a completely different city,” she says. “Spanish food was starting to become popular in the United States, so I wanted to bring Spain to Sarasota.” With the success of Tapas and Fun, Soriano took the next step by opening Taste of Spain.

“It’s my dream come true. There’s nothing like this in the area, and you can find a little bit of Spain here,” she adds. Bright light filters through the shop’s cozy interior and spills onto the patterned tile floor, calling to mind the sunny whitewashed hilltowns of Andalucia in Southern Spain. Metal plaques and colorful posters adorn the walls with images of the country’s iconic places such as Madrid, Toledo and Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands from which Soriano hails. Taste of Spain is part gourmet market and part grab-and-go eatery which carries imported items including Spanish olive oil, sardines and serrano ham. Chips made with salt from the island of Ibiza are an ideal snack and pair well with the homemade grab-and-go paellas, desserts and tapas options, which guests can purchase and take away to enjoy, perhaps at home, the office or even the beach while pretending they’re lounging by the Mediterranean Sea.

The menu features five delicious paellas including a vegetarian variety. Don’t miss the tasty tapas, like the Almogrote, a spicy and peppery garlic and cheese spread from the Canary Islands. The Spanish meatballs, tortilla or omelet and gazpacho make a terrific meal. For dessert, sample the Tarta Santiago, an almond cake associated with the region of Galicia in the Northwestern area of the country. The gluten-free cake celebrates the rich flavor of almonds and comes dusted with powdered sugar. Delight in the chocolate mousse that Soriano makes with a family recipe that’s over 160 years old. For parties, Soriano takes custom orders, and it’s easy to assemble your own spread of options as well.

Patrons who’ve lived in or visited Spain will recognize familiar brands such as ColaCao, a chocolate drink similar to Nesquik and pico, small breadsticks served with olives before a meal. Whether you’re planning a party or popping in on your lunch break, Taste of Spain reminds patrons that a journey to Spain is just around the corner.

Taste of Spain, 2667 Mall Dr., Sarasota, 941-580-8663, tasteofspainsrq.com.

Pictured: Paella from Taste of Spain. Photo Courtesty of Taste of Spain.

Taste of Spain

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