Working trip to SOSA Barcelona – Castelltercol, catalonia

Spain for the Day…

Had a fantastic day working at SOSA Barcelona with access to a dry stores you could only dream about. Read on for my tour around the factory, photos a look at a few products and recipes..

Sosa is a company servicing the savoury and patisserie sides of the kitchen and their products are being used worldwide. A former biscuit manufacturer, Sosa has extended their product range in recent years and focused their attention on flavour compounds, chemicals, equipment and freeze dried products. Led by Director Francesc (Quico) Sosa an enthusiastic and  talented professional, whom many know by SOSA and his work as researcher and producer of ingredients.  Delivering cutting edge technologies to the industry.

Collected from the Airport by Quico gave me chance to have a good old chat and ask so many questions on the one hour drive to the SOSA factory in a small village Castelltercol, Catalonia. Where I received a warm welcome from Quico`s Father, Sosa`s executive chef Jordi  Puigvert Colomer and the rest of the staff.

Jordi  Puigvert Colomer is a Lecturer at the famous Escola d’Hosteleria de Girona and has demonstrated all over the world. He is also Technical Demonstrator for SOSA and was formerly Head Patisserie chef at Les Cols Restaurant (1 Michelin star)

First a quick tour of the factory….
Not all of you may realise SOSA was set up as a family business & all there products still to this day are Created, produced & packaged on site. Its such a grand impressive operation run like clock work, in such a small warehouse. With majority of the work still done by hand. The Warehouse is separated into different areas.
Nut grinder in operation in the nut room.
All the nuts are roasted, Ground, Pressed & caramelised & packaged in this room. There was an amazing aroma coming from this room reminding me of my trip to New York for new years a few years ago.
SOSA have a wide range of nut products available both Raw, Roasted & some cases Caramelized:-
  • Whole, Ground & Nibbed:- Almonds, Pistachio, Pine nuts, Hazelnuts, Walnuts and Macadamia nuts.
  • Pure Nut Pastes:-  Hazelnut, Almond, Pistachio, Pine nut, Pecan, Peanut, Macadamin & Walnut. 
  • Praline 50% Sugar nuts:- as above..
  • Organic Cold Pressed Nut Oil:- Coconut, Walnut, Hazelnut, Macadamia & sweet Almond oil.
  • Essential Oils:- Green Peanut, Bitter almond, Roasted Hazelnut and Pistachio. 
  • Turron Paste:- both refined & Granulated. A traditional Flavour of the Mediterranean.
Next the Freeze drying operation….
There is a fundamental difference between freeze drying and conventional drying.
With freeze drying the moisture is removed by utilizing freezing in conjunction with pressure. Where as conventional drying removes moisture by the application of heat, in essence cooking the moisture out and thus altering the chemical and physical attributes of the product. Due to this key difference freeze dried products retain all of the original flavour, colour, antioxidants and essential oils. By freeze drying common everyday ingredients and changing their form it give chefs the opportunity to experiment with texture and intense flavour there by giving them the tools requiredto create sensational dishes that push the boundaries.
How it all works…
Freeze drying uses a process known as lyophilization to lower the temperature of the product to below freezing and then a high pressure vacuum is applied to extract the water in the form of a vapour. In this way the water inside the ingredient changes straight from a solid to a gas in a process known as sublimation.
All SOSA freeze dried products are 100% natural with no additives or preservatives. The only exception to this is the addition of maltodextrin to some of the liquids to aid in the drying. The quality of freeze dried products is  inextricably linked to the quality of the raw ingredients. Freeze dried products have an extensive applications due to their intense flavour, colour and texture.

The Next four pictures are of the Demonstration & Test kitchen. With all the products laid out ready at hand to see, Smell, taste & use. This is where I spent the rest of my day trying out new recipes and ingredients.

What a dry stores?

All the products Separated into sections.  Alphabet of Flavours, Salts, Technological sugars, Organic Chocolates and Chocolate Products, Nut products, Spices, Freeze dried, Powdered, Dried Flowers, LioFruit, Fruit Pastes, Gelling Agents, Stabilizers, Thickeners, colourings, Emulsifiers, Gums,  Aerating agents, Acidifies, Temupura, Fonds and Air bag.

 

 The Demonstration and Test Kitchen.


The Demonstration and Test Kitchen had so much kit the only thing missing is a PaccoJet.

A Close up of the Kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Work room and yes more SOSA products

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Machine to produce the fruit Pastes                                                                  Evaporating off the water at low temperatures with pressure keeping maximum flavour and Colour of the natural product.

Flavour Pastes Available:-                        Banana, Blackberry, Coconut, Green Apple, Mandarine, Mango, Orange, Pineapple, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Strawberry, Wild strawberry.

The pastes are excellent for Boosting the Natural Flavour in Mousses, Ice cream, Sorbets etc.

                                                                        The Flavour Room…

All the Essential oils & Flavour drops are produced and decanted by hand in the flavour room.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The new range of Flavours offers the essence of every Flavour in some drops. You can use it in any Gastronomic application to increase a flavour.

Because the Flavours are Alcohol free it makes life easy to prepare “Alcoholic” ice-creams and sorbets with out the balancing problems.

The Flavour drops and Essential oils can be purchased in the above 50g bottles each coming with a dropper making it easy to apply flavour accurately. It also comes with a spray head allowing you to spray warm freshly baked products such as sponges you will not only receive a better flavour but save money by flavouring it after words then using excessive amounts flavouring the raw mix as the flavour is lost through evaporation when cooking.

 The Whole range of Flavours can also be bought in this presentation box of over 190 essences its an ideal for learning sensory analysis. Its also a great instrument to experience pairing flavours.       There is everything from Fruits, Flowers, Vegetables, Herbs, Spices, Alcohol, Smoke, Trees & Forests, Roots, Cocoa, Nuts, , Flavours of the Sea, (Lobster, Sea Urchin, Oyster).                                                                                                       To the Fiction bringing back childhood memory’s Such as Chewing gum, Cola & Candy floss.

Watch this short Video of the Alphabet of flavours been produced in the Flavour room.       A little better than my photography.

A few products that I used and really liked:-

  • Gelcrem Cold:- A modified potato starch in the form of a powder. Gives a creamy texture  Like confectioners cream & curds with out the application of heat. Just simply blend into the sauce or juice. Stable in acidic mixtures lemon curd can be achieved with out the addition of eggs.
  • Maltosec:- Soluble both hot & cold. Capacity to absorb oils and convert them into powders that can be handled. Try mixing it with melted chocolate to achieve  chocolate rock. Mix with SOSA`s Pure nut pastes, Or oils flavoured with essential oils.
  • Sucro emul NEW:- Sugar to produce lecithin like foam but use with products containing alcohol.
  • ProEspuma cold:- Dissolved in cold does not need heat to take effect, stable with alcohol. This results in a full bodied foam with no after taste that holds up for a long length of time.
A few recipes to try…
Basil Madeleine`s 
 Ingredients
  • Maia whole egg – 480gr
  • Sugar – 400gr
  • Flour – 400gr
  • Baking powder – 10gr
  • Butter – 400g
  • SOSA Basil Flavour – Desired quantity (Spray after cooked).

OR instead of Basil use:                                                                                                            Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract Sosa – desired quantity                                                                  Semi-candied lemon peel crushed Garnier – desired quantity

  1.  Whisk the egg & sugar but do not allow to stiffen.
  2.  Fold in the sifted flour with the Baking Powder.
  3. Add the Melted butter Gradually.
  4. Bake in buttered Moulds.
  5. When golden brown & springy, remove from the oven & spray lightly with the basil flavouring while they are still hot.

Serving sugestions 

Watermelon soup, Compressed Diced Watermelon (Vacume packed), Vodka Jelly, Watermellon Sorbet, Basil leaves,

Watermelon  Sorbet  

Ingredients

  • Watermelon juice – 1.000 gr
  • Pro-sorbet base Sosa – 0.100 gr
  • Freeze-dried watermelon powder Sosa – 0.100 gr
  • Sugar – 0.150gr
  • Sosa neutral acid Á – 0.005gr

Instructions

  1. Mix solids and liquids separately.
  2. Integrate with a blender and blend well.
  3. Allow to stand 1 or 2 hours, blend again.
  4. Churn.

74% Fruit.

Note 

This works well in a Pacco jet. For a more Creamy finish substitute the Pro-sorbet for Pro-crema.

Watermelon Soup

Use the same recipe & Method as Sorbet but with out the Pro-Sorbet or Pro-Crema.

For more recipes please see my recipe file….

After been a Pastry Chef for the last 17 years working at the Two Michelin Star Restaurant Midsummer House for the last 8 1/2 years as Pastry Chef and later Senior Sous. I spent a long time using & experimenting with SOSA products. I recently trained with Jordi Puigvert Colomer in both London and Spain and now work as Chef Consultant for the Home Chocolate Factory (UK SOSA importer). Offering support, advice, recipes and demonstrations to all our SOSA Customers, T&J Fine Foods and Woods Food Services and Direct to Chefs buying from those company’s.

Here are a few useful contacts & Websites  for SOSA Products;


About Michelle Gillott UK Sosa Consultant

UK Sosa Consultant, Chef Consultant for Home Chocolate Factory. Guest chef at Claire Clark Academy & Barry Callebaut. Private pastry consultancy available. Ambassador or PreGel, Former Pastry Chef & Senior Sous Chef for 8 1/2years at Midsummer House Cambridge. Proud Mummy of Ray & Molly. Also happy to create a special cake for your special occasion.
This entry was posted in Alphabet of flavours, Freeze Drying, Modern Gastronomy, Recipes, SOSA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Working trip to SOSA Barcelona – Castelltercol, catalonia

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  2. Pingback: My second trip to SOSA in Spain – 2013 | Chocolate Shells

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