While in Edmonton a while back, I had the opportunity to meet Ivonne Garces De Isla, owner and operator of Borbolla Foods. She and husband, Gerardo Borbollo Alegria, began with a tiny restaurant called Mexico Lindo. It was meant to be a way to bring authentic Mexican cuisine to Edmonton. Within a short time Ivonne and Gerardo’s venture had become so successful that they found the shoebox that was their kitchen could no longer contain them. Customers had started requesting more substantial take-home meals, and the two owners decided to give the good residents of Edmonton a delicious taste of the varied spread that covers Mexican dining tables. They decided to call that extension of their business, La Abuela (grandmother in Spanish).
La Abuela produces artisan Spanish and Mexican sausages, like Mexican chorizo (made from pork, guajillo peppers, herbs and spices), Spanish chistorra (a specialty of Navarro, Spain) and Spanish chorizo (which comes in about 200 varieties with ingredients and fat content determined by what’s growing in the area and how the cook wants to use the sausage, in tapas or a stew, for instance). La Abuela’s sausages are gluten-free, dairy-free, MSG-free, filler-free, and the flavour comes from the addition of real tomato, herbs and spices.
I met Ivonne one day while my colleagues and I were touring the Italian Centre Shop thanks to our very knowledgeable and gracious tour guide, Mary Bailey, editor of The Tomato – Food and Drink. The Italian Centre Shop is a grocery store that’s become a regular stop for local chefs looking for high quality, Italian products, and owned by Teresa Spinelli (who, with typical Italian hospitality gave us three very large pannini for lunch despite the fact that we’d already stuffed ourselves silly that morning and were looking forward to sampling even more of Edmonton’s chef-driven creations that night). Ivonne had set up a table with three chaffing dishes at the back of the store. She didn’t have to work very hard to convince shoppers to taste her products: the earthy aromas wafting through the store drew people to her.
If you’d like to find out if La Abuela’s products are sold near you, contact them here. Otherwise, pick up some of your own favourite sausages and try the two recipes below courtesy of Ivonne and La Abuela.
My trip to Edmonton was sponsored by Edmonton Tourism.
Chorizo Scrambled Eggs
6 oz Mexican chorizo (spicy raw pork sausage)
10 large eggs
1. Remove Mexican chorizo from casing and cook (without oil) in skillet, stirring and breaking up meat until bubbling and completely separated, 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Whisk eggs together in a bowl and stir into chorizo. Cook, stirring, until eggs are scrambled and just set, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Accompaniment: warm corn tortillas
Chistorra Mexico Lindo
1 onion, chopped finely
1 green sweet pepper, chopped finely
250 grams Chistorra sausage
Chop the sausage in small pieces and fry. Add the onion and the pepper, and keep frying until it is cooked through. Add a pinch of salt.
Serve with bread or corn tortillas.