Specialist food store Sano Manjar only opened two weeks ago, in a small street in the Alfalfa area of Seville, but the shop already has a loyal international following.
For two years Francisco Marín has been offering his public a selection of healthy delicacies (as the Spanish name translates) on the website. He has now made the move to bricks and mortar, and the shop on Calle Muñoz y Pavón, where barrio Santa Cruz meets Alfalfa, is a treasure trove of gourmet goodies, many of which are organic.
From home-baked artisan bread (chorizo and onion was being prepared when I visited a few days ago), to ice-cream (green apple) and gluten-free pizza bases, Sanu Manjar caters to the peckish tourist in search of a healthy snack – freshly-squeezed orange juice, crispy cod skin (think fishy crackling) or savoury pastries; the gourmet visitor wanting to take home some excellent olive oil; or the Sevillano foodie searching for a new product to please their palate.
From Galicia there is organic unpasteurized honey with mushrooms, as well as organic seaweed in various sauces – I went for the Japanese, which was excellent – tasty leaves without the slimy texture found is some sea plants. You can also get fungi to infuse for tea, and a ready-to-eat seaweed salad.
For chocoholics, beautifully designed hand-packed Mayan Monkey Magic from Mijas in Malaga province has organic chilli, orange and mint-flavoured in pretty cocoa pod-style packs, as well as pretty bars from places as far afield as Grenada, Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Brazil and Venezuela. Catering to British tastes, as well as Spanish, this chocolate does not have a high sugar content so it’s not sickly but neither is it too strong.
Unusually, he offers halal wines, as well as some superb extra virgin olive oils, including the award-winning Supremo from Jaen, in the east of Andalucia, as well as a collection of single estate oils – six different olive varieties. Even flavoured oil – lavender and nutmeg, or ginger and grapefruit?
Like any deli worth its salt, Sano Manjar has local craft beer – Mond, from San Jose de la Rinconada, which comes in wheat, blonde and toasted varieties.
Specialty food shops are popping up all over Seville now – but only the best can stay the distance. Francisco plans to hold tastings and show cooking events – check his Facebook page. With his passion and enthusiasm for the unusual, local and healthy, this one shows all the signs of lasting.
Sano Manjar, Calle Muñoz y Pavon 2, Sevilla. Tel (00 34) 955 187 035.