Monday, November 28, 2016

The Arla Promise

This was our breakfast during the presentation at the Arla Factory in Holstebro, Denmark. 
It was a typical breakfast spread - breads, deli meats, cheeses, jams, and Lurpak butter.

I must admit, because I see it so often, I have taken the Lurpak brand for granted.
Obviously, it is good butter therefore the choice of many, kind of like how Colgate 
has become toothpaste for most of us. 

You see, I am a butter monster. Sometimes I eat little pieces of bread just because they
help transport the silky, creamy yellow goodness to my stomach. 

So imagine my delight when I discovered that Lurpak butter is produced by Arla, the 5th
largest dairy company in the world and the biggest organic dairy company of them all! 
During our factory visit, we spotted an Arla truck delivering fresh milk from the farms. 
Fun fact: Did you know that 308,000 tons of raw milk is used to make 130,000 tons of 
butter in this facility each year? It is the biggest butter dairy in the world serving 
918 million consumer units!

Lurpak is produced only in Denmark and Arla takes serious measures to keep the quality 
at its highest. "Butter tasters" are employed to taste the product every 20 minutes during
production and Operations Engineer Jakob Pedersen has been doing it for 16 years!
 No wonder despite serving almost 1 billion consumers, they get only 55 complaints in
a year. Here Jakob shows us how he does quality checks, inspecting the butter up 
close and then taking a big spoonful into his mouth.

And that is me taking advantage of the situation, enjoying my 
own spoonful(s) and eating Lurpak butter like ice cream! 
I think I can live here happily ever after.

That is, until Holstebro Cream Cheese Factory. God, it smelled like heaven in there!
And it is one of the cleanest facilities I have ever been in.

Everything is automated, precise. Watch the video at the end of this post to see the action.

Check out all the exciting flavours. You name it, they've got it!
How about chanterelle cream cheese on your bagel today?

Best part is, there is absolutely no artificial ingredients in the mix. "Arla uses only the 
real deal for all its cream cheeses. There's real garlic pieces in our garlic cream cheese, 
bits of olives in our olive cream cheese," Arla Foods Philippines GM Jen Christian 
Nielsen proudly reports. Arla does not believe in artificial preservatives, 
and instead utilizes sweet buttermilk as stabilisers. 

And Kenneth Olesen guarding the goods from me. Lol.

So delicious we ate them right out of the tubs

My personal favorites are olive, tomato and basil, goat's cheese, horseradish, 
papaya and curry, and chocolate. I pray these will be available in Manila soon.

Cheese snobs will be ecstatic to know that Arla also produces very special small batch, 
single-farm artisan cheeses under the Arla Unika brand.

We were lucky enough to sample a few during our visit, and with Cheesemaster 
John Gynther himself

Nutty, creamy, caramel-y Havgus

Sweet, salty and full of umami Gammel Knas

And an interesting coffee cheese made with Coffee Collective's Guatemalan coffee. 
Bet you've never had anything like this before!

Cheese and tea pairing at 9:00am? Yessir!!!

The most special experience for me was visiting Faregard, one of the 12,600 farms 
Arla works hand in hand with.

There are 400 cows in Faregard and I must say each and every one of them looks 
healthy, meaty, very well taken care of.

It is so wonderful to see the cows live in a clean, stress-free environment, 
and are allowed to move around freely

They get clean water, nutritious food and soft beds

And enjoy a little play time, too! 

Of course, like every parent (although none will admit), Rasmus has his favorite child. 
When asked how he chose his favorite, he said it just came naturally, like the feeling 
he felt when he first met his wife! How adorable is that?!

As for me, my favorite cow will be the one that produces the most milk! Haha!

These are the cows that produce 40-70 litres of milk a day. Because they work harder,
they are rewarded a place in the VIP section where they enjoy all the good stuff in a cow's 
life, like feeds that are higher in nutrients and minerals...

... plus free massages anytime of day!

It is so heartwarming to see the hardwork and dedication that mother-and-son team 
Birtit Gade and Rasmus puts into providing their cows a home. They treat them
like family and with love and respect. Arla cows eat healthy and live happy, and
we all know that healthy and happy cows produce better and yummier milk!

With Senior GM for Arla Foods Philippines Jens Christian Nielsen, 
Cheryl Tiu and Pam Pastor. 

I have always loved Arla, and even more now after experiencing firsthand its company values, its faithfulness to deliver the promise of providing healthy, natural, responsible dairy products. 

Every time I see Arla products on supermarket shelves, I will remember the farms, the cows, the love that Arla farmers put into their work, the quality and consistency that Arla factories aim for to bring to the world food that is not just good and nourishing to the body, but also good and nourishing for the soul.

Arla Official Website
Arla Philippines Website
Arla Philippines Facebook
Arla Philippines Instagram

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Bodegas Castañeda ♥ ♥ ♥

I walked away quickly from La Gran Taberna to make it to my next tapas stop before it closed for the night.

Bodegas Castañeda, a local haunt before Rick Steves brought all the tourists in -
myself included!

A row of sexy jamon legs greeted me as soon as I entered and I knew this was 
my happy place

Bodegas Castaneda is a very typical Andalusian tapas bar which looks like it hasn't
been renovated in centuries. There are barrels of wine behind the bar, and absolutely
no chairs to be seen. You stand by the bar and eat and it's a lot of fun.

I was so hungry I made the mistake of ordering food before the server could give me free
tapas with my drink. For people traveling to Granada, remember that it is one of the very
few cities left in Spain where you get complimentary tapas with every drink you order.
Please take advantage! Haha! :)

At least I was given a generous pour

One of the beautiful things about traveling in Europe is that nobody cares what you do.
You can go about doing your own business and people won't judge. 

Like ordering AND finishing this plate of assorted montaditos

Joselito Jamon Iberido de Bellota

Jamon de Trevelez con Manchego

Salmon, Avocado, Caviar

I wolfed down 6 montaditos in 15 minutes. 
They were still at it when I walked out the door.
 Nobody cared.
I love España.

Bodegas Castañeda: Calle de Almireceros, 1-3, 18010 Granada, Spain
Phone: +34 958 21 54 64

Sunday, July 3, 2016

La Gran Taberna ♥

After dropping off my bags at Hotel Casa 1800 Granada, I ran out immediately to get some nourishment.

I was so hungry I rushed into the first restaurant I saw that was still open at 11:28pm.

La Gran Taberna

A traditional tapas place in a great location in the middle of Plaza Nueva.
There was upstairs seating. I grabbed the nearest seat at the bar.

One of the best things about Granada is that every drink 
you order comes with a plate of complimentary tapas

With my glass of house red came a plate of sad olives and a tiny omelette filled with... 
processed meat and cheese. WHY??? This disappointed me extremely. After all, I was in 
a country known for jamon and queso, not in the Republic of Costco!
I disliked the place immediately.

The jamon de pato montadito and anchovy montadito were good, but not great enough
to alter my initial judgement. Sorry, I am difficult like that. Haha!

Hard to complain considering prices were very reasonable. 
Paid my bill and went in search for a better dinner.

La Gran Taberna: Plaza Nueva, 12, 18009 Granada, Spain

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