Paella in a can via Grey’s Fine Foods

Paella in a can from Grey's Fine Foods

Grey’s Fine Foods is a new importer of Spanish food to the UK, hoping to take on well-established players like Brindisa.

It’s run by Yorkshire-based, Spanish-born Javier De La Hormaza, and it already stocks 200 products from 18 regions in Spain. The catalogue lists everything from milk-fed lamb and jamon iberico to anchovies, turron, caviar and olive oil. Grey’s (the name comes from ‘graze’) also prides itself on its selection of Spanish wines and brandies.

“Spain’s export markets have always been focused on South America and, recently, Germany, with the UK left to one side. But no more! We want to build those bridges and offer a range of fine foods and wines that have been almost impossible to source in Britain in the past,” Javier says.

Olive oil and jamon iberico

Olive oil and jamon iberico

Grey’s kindly sent me a box of products to try, including this delicious, melt-in your mouth jamon iberico and award-winning Fuenroble olive oil.

But I was most intrigued by their paella-in-a-can offering from Querida Carmen, for people in a hurry.

“A gourmet paella ready in 20 minutes with no chopping or messing the kitchen,” Grey’s promises.

Paella in a tin

Paella in a tin

Inside the can, which promises all-natural ingredients, low in salt, it’s a little soupy. I followed the instructions and brought the concoction to the boil, before adding the rice.

Paella in a saucepan

You leave the stew on a soft boil for 20 minutes, then take it off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes.

I’ll be honest, I gave it a little longer, as the broth wasn’t fully absorbed. I then spooned it out into my paella pan.

Querida Carmen PaellaThe result was a little liquidy – more like a risotto than a paella (and not doing it in a pan means you don’t get the black crispy bits). It was undeniably tasty, with good chunks of sausage and squid, and we made short work of it.

However, it didn’t quite get the taste of paella right for me. Also, at £12.50, it’s not cheap. On the other hand, it was incredibly simple to make.

The paella was a fun experiment – and the jamon was murderously good. I’ll bear Grey’s in mind next time I need to source some Spanish goods – though I wonder if they’ll go the Brindisa route, and open a shop. And a restaurant…

Find out more on Grey’s Fine Foods website.

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