My friend Linda introduced me to Ines Rosales Sweet Olive Oil Tortas (tortas de Aceite) from Spain. She is an amazing cook and a naughty friend for continuously sharing the richest of foodie finds. I hope she never stops!
These handmade tortas are not cookies or bread like you might first guess. These thin slightly oversized cracker sweeties are difficult to describe. They are not super sweet, just lightly sprinkled with sugar so they sparkle as you lift them to your mouth plus they are herbed with fennel that crisply offsets the sweet. A distinct flavor combination results, simple as it is. As far as crackers go, these are flakier like pastry dough and nothing like your average saltine. Let these modest surprises accompany sweet and savory meals and snacks. I like them with fruit and yogurt, light soups (try with celery or carrot) and with afternoon tea. They also hold up well with smooth creamy cheeses. (The egg is just for scale.)
Finally, I know I said it is just a cracker but they make a glowing presentation alongside other textures of breads and crackers. You can't say enough about nice packaging either. Each cracker is smartly wrapped in a slightly waxy paper and tidily stacked in a thin plastic box liner then wrapped in cellophane. Alongside all of the bulky vacuum packed bags and cardboard boxes, one wonders how these handsome little tastes made it here at all.
Linda bought them somewhere out of town, but I have since found them at the Good Food Store in Missoula. Look in the boxed cookie section almost at the very end of the aisle close to the dairy side of the store. See in the photo above (taken with my iPhone), they are on the middle shelf with humble blue and white packaging.
When Ines started making these in Sevilla in 1910, and apparently employed many women of her village to help keep up with the demand for them, do you think she ever imagined they would make it to Montana?