A fresh take on a cool soup
Hermanos Gazpachos captures a Spanish classic in a bottle
When you think about a soup recipe what comes to mind? Manuel Murillo wants you to think about a nice, Spanish gazpacho, designed specifically to suit the Canadian palate. Gazpacho is a traditional cold soup from Spain and Manuel, owner of Hermanos Gazpachos, has a goal to share his love of the recipe on an industrial scale without compromising flavour or taste.
Working alongside the Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt), creating two new contemporary offerings to enjoy in a travel friendly bottle was top of mind. Manuel says he learned a great deal with the researchers at FIRSt, “Originally I wanted to go straight to formulation, but with team discussion the decision was to approach the focus groups and then proceed. It was the right choice. A competitive analysis of other gazpacho recipes in the marketplace provided data that we would have otherwise not used if doing this outside of FIRSt. It was a big milestone.”
“Industrial recipe development is a far cry from home cooking,” continues Manuel. “To create the right formulation we worked through laboratory aspects, focus groups and tasters profiling the product. We tasted every Monday for a while and declared Gazpacho Mondays! We also had a fun competition in developing the spicy formula.”
FIRSt’s multi-functional team provided key support in two separate areas in the product’s development – science and business. The science team included Senior Food Scientist Robert McCurdy, an industry expert when working with ingredient function and multi-variant testing; Culinary Technologist Candace Rambert, an expert in recipe development and sensory product development; and Student Researcher Priyanca Patel, a George Brown College graduate of the Culinary Management – Nutrition program, who has worked in various kitchens across Toronto. “Hermanos Gazpachos wished to focus on clean, green, local and healthy combinations when creating the final product,” says Robert. “It needed to have that beautiful tomato red colour, with a smooth, pourable consistency and demonstrate the same or better sensory scores when compared to the competition. A specific thermal processing method was created to ensure the fresh, delicate vegetable flavours remained. Manuel now has a product that, in comparison to competitor products, emerges as a strong contender with a fresher, more complex flavour and better texture.”
FIRSt’s Director, Tricia Ryan, approached the project from the business side, with her expertise in market research, client service and communications across the food, retail and hospitality industries. Manuel felt nothing but support from the team, “I considered myself extremely fortunate to have Tricia involved. She completed the other side of the equation working on the industry and business side of things, while Robert, Candace and Priyanca focused on the scientific aspects.”
Standing beside his finished bottled product, Manuel is proud of the result, “I made the right choice engaging with FIRSt and George Brown. Without their expertise I probably would have wasted precious financial resources, not have learned as much and was glad to have a partner that will stay involved beyond our initial engagement.”