Joy, colour, and daring contrasts are what the marine salts and balsamic creams of Glosa Marina add to your meals and drinks – as well as creating a lasting memory of the island. Toni Calvó is a Mallorcan entrepreneur who is offering a varied range of products to tempt tourists visiting Mallorca to buy something different. “My wish is that people who are looking to take home a souvenir of the island, choose something that is made here: our local products – and not the typical souvenir made in China or Taiwan.”
In Mallorca a ‘glosa’ is a song or a verse, generally short and improvised. Toni wanted “each of his products to be like a ‘glosa’ to the sea, to the Mediterranean.” That’s how Glosa Marina was born – a company specialized in the production of sea salts and balsamic creams that are ideal for seasoning meals with a multitude of different aromas and flavours.
But let’s go back in time, to the beginning of the story. “Ten years ago, I had a workshop for frames and mouldings and every week I went to the market in Valldemossa to sell my paintings. One day I read an interview with Robert from ‘Llum de Sal’ which made me very curious about this product. I bought some sea salt, put it in a glass jar, and took it to market to sell. I remember returning with all the paintings but without any of the salt pots. Every time I took more salt and fewer paintings until finally I only brought salt.”
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Toni had it clear from the beginning: “I wanted my product to capture the interest of people who wandered around the shops and markets, so I therefore focused on colour, a personalized product, and the variety of the salts.” The idea worked. Little by little it was sold and became known on the market.
He started with cooking salt, spicy sea salt, and salt with Mediterranean herbs, but soon introduced other ingredients to create new flavours, aromas, and colours to his salts. Today, he produces more than twelve varieties, a whole rainbow of salts. He offers sea salt with garlic and tomatoes, chili and rosemary, rose petals, olives, ‘chimichurri’…any combination is possible in his well-packaged-and-presented products, which make highly suitable gifts or souvenirs.
Toni’s entrepreneurial and determined nature pushed him towards a new product: balsamic creams. Again, by transforming a raw material (in this case vinegar), he created a different product. “The texture of the balsamic cream is different to vinegar. By adding a little starch it’s denser but also softer; it is like a balm combining acidity and sweetness, something bittersweet.”
Just as with the sea salts, the variety of balsamic creams has increased. “At present, we have twelve but we have already thought about twelve more.” To the classic flavours like orange, raspberry, and apple, they add tropical flavours like passion fruit and mango, as well as Mallorcan ones like figs and capers. “The number one in sales is the mango balsamic cream, followed by the fig one. The caper cream is still quite unknown, but the people who try it are pleasantly surprised and buy it again.” Although he claims that professional chefs best know how to use his products, he does not hesitate to recommend his creams for salads, desserts, ice cream, cheese boards, or even cocktails. “A drop of raspberry balsamic cream in a glass of champagne is a delight that changes the colour and flavour.”
The Glosa Marina factory and shop are in the village of Llubí, once known as the “caper village”. There, you can buy and taste their sea salts and balsamic creams as well as other new products like honey, jam or oil. Toni however, stays true to his beginnings and goes to the markets of Andratx, Pollença, and Santanyí every week. “They are my test beds, where I discover the taste and wishes of the customer.”
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