One of the main differences about Birba biscuits is that they are not made with powdered egg but rather with fresh eggs cracked by hand one by one. Just like at home. We only use fresh eggs from farms in Girona province.
From a nutritional point of view eggs are one of the most complete foods and also very useful and versatile in cakes and pastries.
They are rich in proteins with high biological value (ovalbumin), essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6) and calcium. They also contain almost all vitamins (thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), biotin (B8), folic acid (B9), cyanocobalamin (B12), vitamin A, β-carotene, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K) and are a good source of minerals (phosphorus, iodine, iron, selenium, zinc and chromium)
They have many natural properties: a clarifying agent, gelling agent, colouring, thickener, etc. Their foaming means they are particularly handy when making pastries and they are essential in countless recipes.
The process at Birba is as follows: first the finest fresh eggs are selected from local farms. They are then stored refrigerated in the factory and every day an employee manually breaks the eggs (they crack 3000 eggs a day). The white is separated from the yolk; the yolk is used for biscuit dough and the white is also added to the dough once whisked or beaten until stiff.
Our use of fresh eggs gives our biscuits their distinctive and unique taste.
Birba biscuits are made with authentic fresh cow butter. Birba’s factory is one of the few biscuit factories that use fresh butter to make its products. We use premium quality butter (82% fat) that comes exclusively from the cream of cow’s milk, contains no BHA or BHT additives and is from Girona, Lleida, Asturias and the Netherlands.
Butter is rich in nutrients that are very beneficial to health such as vitamin A and vitamins D, E and K2. It is also rich in minerals such as manganese, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium (a powerful antioxidant) and is an excellent source of iodine.
It is much prized in cuisine and brings a unique and different flavour to our products.
Did you know that…?
There are significant differences between butter and margarine. Butter fats are natural and have highly appreciated sensory characteristics. Butter is made from milk cream and is especially rich in vitamins A and D. Margarine is a fat obtained industrially from vegetable oils (mainly corn, sunflower and soybean). The disadvantage is that trans fats are formed in this process. Hence butter and margarine are two different fats and although margarine may also contain fat-soluble vitamins they will always be added.
Milk is a natural and traditional product which has been used since ancient times. It has high nutritional value and is one of the most complete foods. It provides minerals and vitamins such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A, C and B12.
Milk improves the nutritional value and flavour of pastry products as all its components affect the dough and finished products by improving their texture and taste.
At Birba we use whole milk and skimmed milk depending on the product we want to make. Skimmed milk also provides lots of nutrients but without the fat.
Flour is a staple foodstuff that gives us energy thanks to its slow-absorption carbohydrate content. It is a key ingredient in making biscuits. The flour used at Birba is wheat flour (both refined and wholemeal) for use in biscuits and differs from the type used to make bread. It has less strength so the biscuits are shaped better and have the desired fluffiness. To achieve this we use wheat from various countries such as Spain, the UK and Canada. We source wheat from rainy areas to get the strength we need.
We also use rice flour and corn flour in our gluten-free products.
Besides being a main ingredient that provides sweetness, sugar helps give structure to pastries and confectionery. It is also a NATURAL preservative.
When baked with the other ingredients it produces Maillard reactions that provide the distinctive smell, colour and toasted flavour of our biscuits. It also helps to make the dough crunchier as it crystallises with the heat in the oven.
Hence sugar is crucial for the basic features of the product such as colour, flavour, texture, moisture and preservation.
At Birba we use refined white sugar and brown sugar. Most of the sugar is converted into icing sugar in our own facilities.
At Birba we use chocolate for coating and filling some of our varieties. The chocolate used at Birba is authentic dark chocolate with at least 60% cocoa. This type of chocolate is usually only used in confectionery.
Chocolate has many properties: it helps reduce stress, lowers cholesterol, is an antioxidant and helps maintain gut flora.
The chocolate that we use at Birba comes from Central America. It is a healthy chocolate high in flavonoids and with high antioxidant power. Healthy and delicious!
Cacao nibs are bits of roasted natural cacao bean. They are very nutritious and healthy. A superfood with all the aroma of cacao, they are crunchy and have a delicious, intense and slightly bitter pure chocolate flavour.
They have lots of benefits: they are very rich in antioxidants and magnesium and a good source of calcium, iron, copper, zinc and potassium. They provide healthy energy and help improve your mood. A very healthy way to eat chocolate!
The almonds we use at Birba are shelled sweet almonds from Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. We use various types (Llargueta, Comunes, Soleta, Ferraduel, etc.) and sizes.
Sweet almonds are especially suitable due to their numerous nutritional properties.
Besides being a great source of energy, they provide fibre, are high in protein and very high in essential fatty acids which are extremely good for health: they contain a high percentage of monounsaturated fats which protect the cardiovascular system.
They provide significant amounts of B vitamins (B2, riboflavin) and vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant) as well as copper, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and in particular calcium.
Birba biscuits use ‘negreta’ hazelnuts from Catalonia. They are bought raw and baked and roasted at Birba as if they were a biscuit. They are then shelled by hand leaving a little skin as it is very nutritious. Finally they are crushed and added to the biscuit dough as an ingredient.
Hazelnuts are a nut with high nutritional value: they are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, provide a lot of energy and are a good source of fibre. They also contain vitamin A, vitamin E and folic acid and are an excellent source of calcium and magnesium.
Olive oil is one of the oldest vegetable fats and the main source of lipids in the Mediterranean diet which are so beneficial for health.
Olive oil gives us a range of nutrients and is rich in vitamin K and vitamin E.
The olive oil Birba uses contains a minimum of 20% Spanish extra virgin oil. Many of our biscuits are made only with olive oil.