Monday, 28 May 2012

Documentary 'Sólo Ibérico' english version: everything about Black Iberian pig

Black Iberian pig is the most important reason for the high quality of Spanish ham (jamon). This race has a great capacity to accumulate fat under it skin and muscular fibres. This fat is what produces that typical white streaks that make its hams so special. 

Spanish Association of Pure Select Iberian Pig Breeders gives us this fantastic documentary about Iberian pigs. Enjoy it!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Three quick Spanish ham tapas recipes for frenzied moments

Tapas are to be quick in fact. Today we want to inspire you to cook three quick and easy tapas recipes. Tapas are something different that could help you to impress your friends and guests, even more with Spanish ham. These tapas can take no more than 15 minutes to be cooked and served, so is a perfect option when we don’t have enough time to cook.


In Spain we usually start special dinners or events with a plate of hand-sliced jamon. Normally accompany with other traditional foods: chorizo or spicy sausage, cheese… This recipe is really easy: buy some hand-sliced Spanish ham and decorate a plate like a star (see photo). Do the same with chorizo and cheese. What kind of cheese? We recommend Spanish Zamorano ‘Pago Los Vivales’ Curado. Perfect partners.


First of all toast bread slices, and rub each slice with garlic and then with fresh tomato, being generous with the amount on each slice. Spinkle with salt (not too much, ham is already so salad). Then a trickle of extra virgin olive oil (we recommend ‘Castillo de Canena’) and a thin slice of our delicious Spanish ham in the top.


Toast the bread and spread with balsamic reduction. Drizzle with olive oil and the chopped garlic. Top it off with a slice of cheese and Spanish ham. Then grill until the cheese begins to melt and serve.

Remember to pair your tapas with a hard Spanish red wine. Everything is better with a good wine. We have a large cellar for you with all types of wines. Have a look! 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Pairing cheese and wine

Everytime we taste a cheese think of a situable wine to accompany (at least in Spain). Nothing is so linked to tradition of cheese as wine and Spanish Ham. And seems obvious that cheese tastes better with wine. Years ago in Spain, when you went to buy a bottle of wine, was common to buy a cheese in the same store.

We’re going to propose different combinations of cheese and wine, depending on its composition, texture, age and obviously, flavour.

Normally we tend to think that a strong cured cheese goes well together with a strong and potent wine. Not true! A general rule we can follow (contrary to popular belief) is always offset a sharp cheese with sweet or aromatic wine. As well, is really good to pair acid and fresh wines with fatty cheeses.

Here we go!

  • Sharp cheese (old Gouda, Parmeggiano, ‘Bajoragon’ aged cheese): Syrah and Zinfandel red, strong bouquet and sometimes smoked.

  • Aged or cured sheep cheese (Zamorano ‘Pago Los Vivales’ Curado): Oporto Tawny, if we want a white, Gewurztraminer, low acidity and extremely aromatic. Regarding reds, Syrah or maybe Merlot, very aromatic.

  • Mild sheep cheese (‘Don Luis’ rosemary): Pinot Noir, no tannin and aromatic. With really smooth cheeses, even a Riesling, a bit of acidity and very aromatic. You can choose Gramona Riesling.

  • Semi-hard cheeses or not excessively strong (Brie, Tetilla, Idiazabal, Emmental, Semi-hard ‘Rubielos’): Tempranillo, as Pago de los Capellanes 2007.

  • Fresh cheese (Arla Avarti): Champange, Spanish cava or Riesling, a bit of acidity and aromatic, as Gramona Brut Imperial.

  • Goat cheese (Puro de Cabra ‘La Cabrita): Sauvignon Blanc, aromatic and acidity, as Gramona Gessami.

  • To all kind of cheese: if we want a grape that goes relatively well with any cheese, you can choose the Viogner, medium acidity and a great bouquet range.

That’s all! Hope to help you to enjoy this ancient tradition of pairing cheese and wine. In Spain, we always add our superb Spanish Ham, especially with our loved Jamón fromTeruel.

Bon appetit!

via @Vinnum

Friday, 11 May 2012

How to cut cheese: ways, types and tools

Cheese is one of the products we love, because is the perfect partner for the Spanish Ham (but red wine as well). As you know, there are so many varieties and sometimes is difficult to know how cut and serve each one properly.

First of all, a bit of History about cheese:

Cheese is one of the oldest foods of mankind. The ancient Greeks believed it had healing properties. Attila ate cheese made from mare’s milk. And the Romans, great cheese manufacturers, extended its consume and tradition around the Empire.

Throughout History, man had devises several ways to make cheese, different tastes and textures. Nowadays, many cheeses are made using traditional methods, but the process has been improved thanks to technical developments.

Cheese is only the remaining solid matter when you remove milk serum, by pressure or cooking. All cheeses are made from milk, whether cow, goat, sheep (really good in Spain) even donkey. You know that famous Cleopatra’s story, don’t you?

Well, and how to cut cheese?
Cheeses have different shapes and sizes, and it’s not easy to know how to cut each type. To avoid unnecessary waste and make each piece more appetizing, it’s interesting to use a proper technique for each one.

-    Soft cheeses (round or square), and the moldy, have to be cut into small pieces.
-    Cylindrical cheeses are cut in two parts.
-    Those roll or bar-shaped have to be cut into individual slices (thicker or thinner, depending on the guests).
-    If it’s a ball, first split in half, then cut a hexagonal piece, and from this you can make slices.

Ok! It seems easy. But, what about tools for cut cheese?

All cheeses can be cut with a knife (obviously), but according to their consistency and texture is more appropriate to use a special cutting tool.

-    The extra hard cheeses can’t be cut into sliced, it’s better to break them. Is necessary a small short knife. The tip should be applied to the cheese and as a lever to cut it down.

-    For cutting large cheeses is used a strand wire. First crust is marked for strand wire slides easily.
-    Moldy semi-rigid, which normally are brittle, are also cut with a strand wire. Tip: cut it right out of the fridge (the hotter, the softer).
-    To slice moldy rigid, cream or roll cheese, use the bow. In this case, the strand wire is fixed in a carrier.
-    Hard cheeses can be cut with a palette knife. But they are small normally, so if is a large cheese, use a big knife with a wide blade.

-    There are special knifes with two tips, for small pieces and soft cheeses. With this tool you can serve directly to the plate. Tip: normally dull knives cut better than the sharp. If heated slightly (eg by soaking in hot water) the blade will slide by the cheese as it was butter.

-    The ‘girolle’ is a tool with a wood round base and a blade attached to a shaft at its top, which allows to make rosette-shape pieces.

-     Graters are useful for skim hard and extra hard cheeses. For rigid is better to use small holes graters, to make thin strips. For semi-rigid is more appropriate to use large holes graters, resulting larger cheese strips. To grate cheese, electric grinders can also be used.

 We hope have helped you to know more about cheese. We recommend one of the best Spanish cheeses: Pago LosVivales. Cheeses of sheep milk, from tender to very cured, they are a tasty and really high quality delicacy. Remember: you can eat just cheese, or with Spanish Ham and a good red wine

Friday, 4 May 2012

Serrano Ham with Crusty Tomato Bread

This is one of the most typical tapas in Spain. Sweet tomato with a little bit of garlic, all spread on bread is perfect for some slices of Spanish Jamon. Let's see how to prepare it, it´s so easy! 

INGREDIENTS (for 12 servings)
  • 12 plum tomatoes (they are called 'plum' beacuse this type of tomato is smaller and has less water. Kind of dry. But you can use any type of tomato)
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 spoons garlic oil (oil has been infused with fresh garlic)
  • 1 whole-grain baguette (cut in 24 slices)
  • 6 ounces thin sliced Spanish Ham (for expample: Jamon from Teruel, really fantastic!)
Tomato with garlic on a bread slice


Preheat oven to 150ºC and coat a large rimmed baking sheet with oil. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise and place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle all with oil (extra virgin olive oil is quite better), some oregano and salt. Roast for 1 hour. When finish with the oven, coarsely chop the tomatoes and transfer to a bowl to serve (all juices included).

To serve in tapas: preheat oven to 180ºC. Place bread slices on a baking sheet and brush with garlic oil. Bake 3 minutes (maybe 4) per side. Let cool slightly. To serve, arrange bread and ham in a big plate and the bowl of tomato for spreading. Also, you can chop some garlic and spread on the tomato mixture.   
That's all! Enjoy this delicious tapa with the best Spanish Jamon.

Spanish Jamon from Teruel on a bread slice with tomato and garlic sauce