Seeing a mammoth ham-shaped hole in the German market, former Spanish foreign trade expert David Salcedo decided to up the ante with his shop/deli Azafrán.
By directly importing Spanish products from the small artisanal producers Salcedo avidly supports, Azafrán manages to fight the crisis back home while enlightening German tastebuds.
They sell their jamón ibérico de bellota of Sierra Morena, made from acorn-fed pigs and involving a six-year slow food process from forest to plate, to Karstadt and over 20 restaurants in Berlin – but you can get it at the source for far cheaper (€7-15 per 100g). And picking up wine from the Ribera del Duero region (from €11.90), 12-month cured Manchego (€2-4/100g), or olive oil from Baeza, province of Jaén (€8/half-litre), is as easy as paella (ready-prepared Querida Carmen paella from €8.50).
For the ultimate Spain-via-Neukölln touch, stick it all in a hip to-go bag adorned with the store’s logo, a rare commercial design from Berlin-based Spanish artist Violeta Lópiz. Salcedo’s also got his thumb on Berlin’s gastro-pulse, selling croquetas at street food events and jumping on the supper club bandwagon with Ágape, a monthly dinner event with menus by celebrated Spanish chef Roberto Martin and catering events.
Next up? An adjoining restaurant, food trucks, cultural events and more shop locations Germany-wide.
Originally published in issue #120, October 2013.