Updated: Nov 28, 2021
Story of Espa-Fil Import Export Corporation
by Rebecca Torres, Manila Philippines
Filipino cuisine is significantly influenced by Spain since the Philippines was its colony for almost 400 years, from 1521 to 1898. Among the favorite Spanish inspired Filipino dishes are the adobo (adobar in Spanish for marinade), saute in vinegar and garlic, chicken relleno (stuffed chicken) and lechon (roasted pig).
Spouses, Pablo Garcia-Morera, a Spaniard, who hails from Madrid and Marilou Bautista, from Manila, established the Espa-Fil Import and Export Corporation (Espa-Fil) in 1987 in Sta. Cruz, Manila to introduce the best Spanish and European food products to the Philippines. The company celebrates its 34th anniversary this year.
Espa-Fil’s first product offering was the Molinera, a well known Spanish brand from one of the biggest canning factory from Murcia, Spain. The premium kitchen staples introduced to the Philippine market were canned fruits and vegetables, olive oil (aciete de oliva), canned crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce and other kitchen condiments which are vital ingredients in Filipino kitchens, hotels and restaurants. The company marketed also Don Simon, the number one juice brand in Spain and J. Garcia Carreon wine and juices with its 120 year history in Spain. Capri, the company’s own brand, was also introduced with its great taste and value from Capri, Italy and this was as well received by its loyal clientele.
A milestone of the Garcia-Moreras’ company was the launching of the Easy Spanish Cooking cookbook where Marilou shares her and her Mother-in-law’s favorite family recipes. The cookbook features Spanish delectable recipes, using the Molinera and Capri Espa-Fil products, such as the Fabada, a rich Spanish bean stew, Cocido Madrileno, a traditional chickpea-based stew prepared with meat and vegetables, and Almejas la Plancha (grilled clams).
Marilou Garcia Morera’s advice in cooking - the “best meals are those that are simple but USE THE BEST INGREDIENTS”
*Espa-Fil Import & Export Corp. is in Facebook and www.espa-fil.com for online orders of Spanish kitchen product offerings, cooking tips, new Spanish recipes, Filipino-Spanish events and online copy of Easy Spanish Cooking.