19 Jun, 2020 @ 16:48
1 min read

Expat supermarket suggests UK home bakers emulating ‘Mary Berry’ during lockdown to blame for drop in UK flour exports to Spain

Uk Bake Off And Mary Berry Fans Dent Flour Exports To Expat Areas Like Spain

UK home bakers emulating their celebrity heroes during lockdown may be to blame for a ‘drop’ in British flour supplies to Spanish retailers.

The huge demand for flour has seen exports fall, forcing expat cake makers to use Spanish equivalents. 

One former patissier told this paper however that locally-made equivalents are not ‘up to scratch’ for fluffy cakes and other British delicacies.

A number of Spain-based stores told the Olive Press they’ve not been able to purchase any UK-produced flour, while leading retailer Overseas Supermercados said they’re working extra hard to keep stocks topped up.

Caroline Bush from the Benissa HQ of Overseas Mercados – who stock Iceland products in 27 stores across Spain and Portugal – told the Olive Press that baking celebs could be to blame.

“The UK, and everybody else for that matter, seem to be finding their inner Mary Berry and Jamie Oliver and are baking up a storm!” she said.

“Flour is still being delivered here, but is being snapped up as soon as it hits the shelves.”

A big issue in Spain for expat home bakers is that some domestically-produced supermarket flour is not of the same quality of British imports, which makes it difficult to bake high quality cakes and pastries.

Ex-pro patissier Stuart Greveson told the Olive Press: “Cheap Spanish flour in supermarkets is fine for bread, but the quality is just not up to scratch if you want to use it to make fluffy cakes for example. You need specialist Bakers flour.”

“Spanish flour has a much lower extraction rate of particles compared to UK products. That rate is the percentage of flour obtained from wheat, and that’s what makes the big difference in quality.

“Also, the whiter the flour, the better it is and also it feels a lot finer, which does not apply to lower-grade Spanish flour. You also get twice as much salt in basic flour made here, along with more fat.”

He added it was all down to the old Homepride flour advertising slogan of ‘Graded Grains Make Finer Flour!’

Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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