Gastronomic Cargo promises the start of a fantastic culinary journey. Their goal is to offer a well-selected limited stock of exquisite products which we provide together with local experts and connoisseurs. The journey starts in Spain, but will take you to France, Italy and other European countries that produce fine wine and food.
FROM SPAIN WITH LOVE
First GC would like to present you with two essential Spanish gourmet products: The 100% Iberian acorn fed ham and the Manchego cheese.
There is a marked difference between Spanish Serrano ham from a traditional white pig and the much more delicate and flavourful Iberian ham from the black pig.
Spanish Jamón Ibérico is a type of cured ham of the highest quality, made from black Iberian pigs, therefore also referred to as pata negra (black hoof). The most desired type of Iberian ham is the Jamón Ibérico de Bellota. Bellota stands for the acorns the pigs eat, which gives the ham its nutty flavour. This ham derives its taste much from the way in which the pigs are farmed and the impeccable curing process. The pigs roam free in nourishing pasture eating kilos of acorns every day whilst getting plenty of exercise. Because of the antioxidants in the acorns and the unique curing process, saturated fats are changed into healthy mono-unsaturated fats high in oleic acid.
Expertly sliced in small, thin pieces that melt in your mouth, this sweet, nutty, soft and juicy, silky textured ham with all the flavours of Spain’s noble black-hoofed Ibérico pig and the country’s rich dehesa oak pastures, is almost too complex to explain in words; We believe you will just have to try it for yourself.
“The ham and pork of Spain are the best in the world” Michelin-starred French chef Joël Robuchon
Manchego cheese is an internationally renowned, purely Spanish, deliciously creamy but firm, and slightly piquant cheese. It is made solely in the Spanish region of La Mancha, from the milk of manchega sheep. The designation queso manchego is carefully protected under Spain’s Denominación de Origen (DO) regulatory classification system.
Manchego is sold in four versions of maturity:
Semicurado – young is a semi-firm cheese aged around three months, supple and moist, fruity flavour
Curado – aged for six months, firm with a sweet and nutty flavour
Viejo – aged for one year, crumbly with a rich and deep peppery flavour
Spanish celebrity chef and author Ines Ortega explains the concept of tapas: “Once upon a time in Spain, a small, free tapa was served with drinks in bars, often a piece of sliced cold meat, such as cured ham or chorizo, or a piece of cheese. According to culinary legend, these tapas were used to cover wine glasses to keep the aroma in and to keep the flies and insects out (the word tapa originally meant ‘cover’).”
Tapas can almost be made of anything and they vary from north of Spain and the Basque country down to the sunny Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. However, a few products can be found in every decent tapas bar: The Lomos de Bonito – white tuna that comes from the northern Atlantic coast; the large white asparagus and the sweet Piquillo peppers. We think that you don’t need more from that tapas bar except of course a cold beer or glass of good wine and the right company.
Spain has the largest wine producing volume of land with over over 1.17 million hectares of vineyards, and is the third largest producer of wine in the world, however catching up quickly to number one France, and two Italy. With the exception of the northwest quarter, largely open to Atlantic influences, and the Mediterranean coast, the climate is continental with alternating tough winters and hot summers, but altogether agreeable to producing a good and healthy grape.
Spain’s vines are old, with a viticulture dating back between 4000 and 3000 BC. Spain produces first and foremost intense red wines made made from grenache and tempranillo grape varieties well adapted to hot summers, but its range of whites is growing with the inimitable sherry and Catalan cava, and its excellent Verdejo grape variety white wines.
Major Spanish wine regions include the Rioja and Ribera del Duero; Valdepeñas, a favourite of Hemingway, made of high quality tempranillo at low prices; Jerez, the home of the fortified wine Sherry; Rías Baixas known for its white wines made from Albariño and Catalonia which includes the sparkling Cava, and the Priorat region.
Due to the abundance of wine on offer, a lot of time has gone into choosing Gastro Cargo wines, resulting in a small but quality selection with something for every taste and purse.
Website: Gastronomic Cargo