IN A VILLAGE OF LA MANCHA…
Paco “el moreno” and the fields
For the people of his native village, Francisco Cuesta is “Paco el moreno”. He cultivates family fields in both Villalpardo and Minglanilla, two villages in the Spanish region of Castile-La Mancha. Paco was still a child when Francisco, his father, and Venancio, who would several years later become his father-in-law, transformed vineyards and cereal fields into almond fields, a novelty in the region at the time. Seventy years later, the cultivation of almonds has spread widely in the Manchuela county. Paco continues to look after the fields, which were converted to organic agriculture in 2016, with passion. It is in these organic fields that we harvest almonds used in the preparation of our Morenitas, according to a unique recipe, one that was almost born of magic…
WHO IS PURI
The magic formula
Purificación Pérez López – “Puri” – was 18 years old when she said to Pura, her mother: “I don’t like caramelized almonds as we have always made them. There is too much sugar. You can hardly taste the flavour of the fruit. We have to find another way of doing it.” It took a few days, but by the time she’d left the kitchen at her home in Villalpardo, Puri had found a recipe she was looking for and it’s a result that continues to surprise anyone who tries them today: the sugar that covers the almond is kept to a minimum, with only a very fine layer that exalts the flavour of the fruit providing a slightly toasted flavour. For this reason, Puri’s almonds are unique, elegant and delicious since they have not lost the original brown colour of the fruit (the veil of caramel that covers them is minimal). Half a century later, we continue making Las Morenitasexactly as Puri made them on that day, strictly by hand, without any additives and with the same ingredients as always: water, sugar and almonds.
It was near the Italian Alps – in Belluno, Treviso and Trento – where the first jars of Las Morenitas de Puri were sold. Mari Carmen, daughter of Puri and Paco, and her husband Giovanni, created Ecobelman (“eco” for organic, “bel” for Belluno and “man” for La Mancha), a company based in Villalpardo, with a clear objective: to add value to the fruits grown by the family and in particular to the Las Morenitas, the caramelized almonds prepared according to Puri’s unique recipe.
Since their inception, our almonds have delighted customers fond of delicatessens (i.e. stores that specialize in wine, cheese, ham, sweet, coffee, delis supermarkets and gastronomies), organic food shops, restaurants and hotels in Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Hong Kong.
Today customers can buy five types of products:
- Classic Las Morenitas de Puri;
- Las Morenitas de Puri with unrefined brown cane sugar;
- organic caramelised almonds Las Morenitas de Puri BIO;
- organic natural almonds Las Morenitas de Puri BIO;
- organic toasted almonds Las Morenitas de Puri BIO.
The workshop where we prepare all of our products is in Villalpardo, in the Spanish province of Cuenca, and is close to the fields that provide us with the most important raw material: almonds.
There are many people that help us every day, from suppliers and customers to the people that buy our Morenitas at their trusted store. To anyone of you who chooses one of our products or recommends it to a friend: thank you.
Thanks a lot to the Buzzatti and Cuesta Pérez families.
And now discover our products…