- Trip to Seville
Andalusia is flamenco, gazpacho and shady narrow streets…
I was hoping for a little 30°C instead of the 17°C we had but we can’t have it all, at least it was warmer than in London and the food was beautiful.
In between our 5 stops a day for tapas, we also stopped for beer, hot chocolate and sandwich with fried chorizo. It was definitely a foodie trip.
The original tapas were the slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalusian taverns used to cover their glasses between sips. This was a practical measure meant to prevent fruit flies from hovering over the sweet sherry.
The meat used to cover the sherry was normally ham or chorizo, which are both very salty and activate thirst. Because of this, bartenders and restaurant owners began creating a variety of snacks to serve with sherry, thus increasing their alcohol sales. The tapas eventually became as important as the sherry.
It was not Sherry for me but ‘Tinto de Verano’, bad red wine mixed with lemonade and sometimes slices of lemon. I love it!
Andalusia also means ‘pata negra’…One of the world’s most expensive ham.
Immediately after weaning, the piglets are fattened on barley and maize for several weeks. The pigs are then allowed to roam in pasture and oak groves to feed naturally on grass, herbs, acorns, and roots, until the slaughtering time approaches.
At that point, the diet may be strictly limited to olives or acorns for the best quality ‘jamón ibérico’, or may be a mix of acorns and commercial feed for lesser qualities.
The hams from the slaughtered pigs are salted and left to begin drying for two weeks, after which they are rinsed and left to dry for another four to six weeks. The curing process then takes at least twelve months, although some producers cure their ‘jamones ibéricos’ for up to 48 months.
The one I had was the’ jamón ibérico de Bellota’, 159 euros per kilo. We had the choice between 3 with different prices, I bought the most expensive (it is not every day that I go to Seville after all).
When I put a slice in my mouth for the very first time I could imagine my pig eating acorns, happily wandering in fields, having a great life. It is pure beauty. Salty, greasy but not too much, heaven.
As a dessert I would talk about churros, but it will come in my next post. Churros with Caribbean hot chocolate… Because I love mixes.