Casa Ruíz, the paradise of legumes

Good ingredients are needed to cook well and Casa Ruíz offers some of the best legumes, cereals and rice dishes in Barcelona. Deulonder visits the store on Aribau street

In Deulonder, always up to date with the most select shops in culinary matters, we have set ourselves at Casa Ruiz. It is a store that sells pulses, cereals, rice and other bulk products. As Deulonder, its motto is quality. «It is a store designed for people who like to cook, for professional chefs, but also for people who take care of themselves and look for local foods of a quality that they will not find in supermarkets,» explains Joan Gimeno, responsible for the store located to Aribau street 169. The products – they have more than 600 – are of traditional and ecological cultivation (those marked with a green label), without GMOs and with careful preparation and controlled by Casa Ruíz. «All our salespeople are chefs or dieticians and can advise customers, apart from our web there are all kinds of recipes,» says Gimeno.

Flours, nuts, pasta, grains, semolina, spices, infusions, seeds, cocoa and chocolates, dehydrated fruits, seaweed and dehydrated mushrooms, Casa Ruíz is Ali Baba’s cave of bulk products. Among the curiosities are the wild pepper of Madagascar, very rare to find and that gives a «spicy and intense» aroma to the dishes. «It’s a pepper that grows thirty meters high and the collectors have to climb the tree to get it.» Or, the frost of salt of Egypt, that grows in an old sea today dry and at the moment buried. They also market the most refined vanilla, «due to climate change, which has reduced its production, its price has multiplied by four in a few years.»

One of the star products of the house are hazelnuts, toasted at its point, and also all kinds of exclusive chickpeas, such as that of Fuentesauco de Zamora, without forgetting the «fèsol» of Santa Pau or the beans «tolosanas» «Reds from the Basque Country. In the sugar section, the same: there is a wide variety such as sugar panela («the most natural of all») or coconut sugar. With the cocoas, we also find several varieties – natural cocoa powder and Dutch cocoa – and even carob powder.

Casa Ruíz was born in 2013 in Madrid, when a Catalonian from Tivissa, in the Ribera de Ebro, went to live in the Spanish capital and could not find this type of bulk trade. The success was brilliant and there are currently four stores in Madrid. In Barcelona there are two: this one on Aribau street and another on Muntaner 515. On its website, you can find the detailed information of all the products, as well as other information of interest, recipes, etc.

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