In a city such as New York, the startup culture is alive and kicking.
With founders, engineers, investors, andco-working spaces a vibrant part of Manhattan, very few startups stand out from the crowd of apps, delivery and cloud services. Try The World is one of the ones that does. This gourmet food subscription service delivers artisanal foods from a different featured destination every two months. September brought in its latest box: Spain.
Kat Vorotova and David Foult co-founded the company when they met as graduate students at Columbia University in 2013. The company is growing quickly on the original idea of putting a country’s food culture in a box. Kat was in Spain this past month, and we had some time to catch up with her and David about Try The World’s new box.
I fell in love with Spain a few years ago. The flamenco, the jamon ibérico, the tapas, the riojas and tempranillos, the guitarra, and the love of food and drink is a focal point of life in Spain.
Founder Interview with Kat Vorotova and David Foult of Try The World
Written By: Mariele Marki
MM: Try The World has had boxes that featured France, Morocco, Argentina, Japan, etc. What are the main factors that go into picking a country for a Try The World box? And why Spain?
DF: We ask our subscribers to rank countries they would like Try The World to curate boxes from. It’s also a question of logistics; we have to import hundreds of thousands of gourmet items from each country.
KV: Spain was very highly rated by our community, and it has a vibrant and innovative culinary culture. The city of San Sebastian in the north of Spain, for example, has the second highest number of Michelin star-rated restaurants per square mile, beaten only by Kyoto in Japan.
MM: Kat – what is your favorite memory from your trip to Spain?
KV: I accidentally stumbled upon the Mercado de San Miguel and thought I walked into heaven. The last remaining iron market hall in Madrid, it is filled with the best Spanish food vendors serving anything from sumptuous paella, innovative pintxos and tapas, to rich hot chocolate and desserts.
MM: What’s in the Spain box and how do you select the items for each box?
DF: For each box, we work with celebrity chefs with expertise in the local cuisine. We were incredibly excited to work on this box with James Beard Award-winner Jamie Bissonnette, whose restaurant group Toro focuses on Spanish tapas.
KV: Chef Bissonnette created several exclusive recipes using the items in the Try The World Spain Box, which are available on our digital magazine and youtube channel. The Spain Box contains seven Spanish products so you can create your own delicious tapas experience at home.
MM: What is your favorite product from the Spain Box?
KV: The Tumaca sauce by El Navarrico is a magic ingredient that can bring a taste of Spain to your plate in less than a minute. Simply spread this tomato sauce on a piece of toast and you have a delicious pan con tomate. The jar is very cute with a toreador on the lid.
DF: I’m a fan of the paprika. I put it on everything; it adds a nice kick to otherwise bland boiled eggs and sandwiches.
MM: Those are indeed delicious. I loved the Ines Rosales citrus crumble cakes. Those are my favorite for an afternoon coffee.
MM: Do you have any favorite tapas? What about them do you like so much?
KV: I love the history of the tapa, as well as the concept. They first came to be after the king ordered that they be served in taverns with every glass of wine to prevent the crowds from getting too rowdy. Centuries later, El Tigre in Madrid still honors this tradition: your beer comes with complementary plates of patatas bravas, jamón serrano, or Spanish omelettes. This legendary bar gets filled with a standing crowd. I thought the best part was throwing your napkins right on the floor. As for my favorite tapa, I loved pulpo braseado (braised octopus) served on mashed potatoes from Las 10 Tapas de Santa Ana. I liked it so much, I came back the next evening and ordered it again!
Spain really is a passionate culture. It’s evident in the food, the people, the music, the dance, and more. The Spain Box from Try The World is chock-full of premium foods imported directly from Spain, including floral jams, salsa tumaca (a tomato sauce), paprika, extra-virgin olive oil, turrón (a traditional Spanish nougat), canned seafood, and either caper berries, citrus cakes or coffee caramels. All that for just $39 per box.
Try The World is offering a special offer for readers of The Four Hundred. With promo code FOURHUNDRED, readers can receive 30% off their first box when they subscribe for the bi-monthly subscription on www.trytheworld.com.
By: Mariele Marki