Sunday, November 06, 2011

Jerez and Sanlucar Tapas

The eating in Jerez and Sanlucar was pretty great. It's all about tapas, small dishes that you order too many of and share with friends. Generally, you go to lunch at about 3:30 and eat a lot of tapas. You finish at something like 5:30. You take break, and then go to dinner at something like 9.

Olives are amazing. Often so lackluster here in the states, olives were truly delicious in Jerez. Stuffed with anchovies and garlic, marinated in a brine that includes the juice of the bitter Seville orange, they are really memorable, and I crave them now.

Then there are the deceptively simple potato tapas. I liked them best with olive oil, Sherry vinegar, and topped with cured fish. Perhaps this dish is the roast chicken of Jerez - easy to make and ubiquitous, but actually very difficult to make perfectly. Judge a chef by the simplest of dishes...

And there is Jamon. No self-respecting establishment would use a slicer to serve Jamon. You can see the striations from the knife on each slice. The fat glistens and is clean and richly flavorful, each bite fragrant and nutty. This is difficult to replicate here in NYC. Many tapas bars display their Jamon right over the bar for all to drool over.

Seafood is fresh and delicious, and typically quite simply (and expertly) fried. Anchovies, sardines, red mullet, tuna. This stuff is actually good for you. Mojama is cured tuna, a special cut. It is creamy in texture and rich in tuna flavor. The Jamon of the sea, if you will. Langoustines and gambas (shrimp) are everywhere. The freshest ones are dropped in salted boiling water for a few moments, just until they are barely cooked, and then put on a plate. That's it.

Here are some pics, and I hope they inspire you to eat something great for lunch or dinner today:
La Moderna, Jerez:

Potatoes in olive oil and Sherry vinegar with fish.

Chicharrones, in this case fried pig belly. By the way, the richest person in southern Spain is the one who makes those cracker tubes. They are EVERYWHERE.

Toro, stewed bull.

Bustling behind the bar.

Taberna der Guerito, Sanlucar:

Excellent olives. My favorites of the trip.

La Bota No 30 is not a bad wine.

Cuttle fish stewed with chick peas and tripe.

Beef stew with french fries.

Casa de Balbino, Sanlucar:

Tortilla de Camarones (fried tiny shrimp tortilla, amazing with cold beer).



Octopus in olive oil with crisp vegetables - shaved celery?

Bar Juanito
, Jerez:

Artichoke hearts in olive oil and herbs, and garlic.

Anchovies with sea salt. Absurd.

Jamon Ibérico, wild mushrooms with langoustines, Inocente. Hard to argue with that.

Bar Navarro, Sanlucar:


Tomato salad with onion and tuna.

Scorched Padron peppers with sea salt.

Anchovies. Eat them whole.

A fish they called "little sole."

Red Mullet.

Las Terraces, in Seville:

Jamon. Is there a more appealing way to display a pig's leg? I don't think so.

Jamon and Chorizo Ibérico.

Roast peppers in olive oil, potatoes with cured fish, tuna en adobo, and seafood salad.

Okay, now go meet a friend for lunch.


Anonymous said...

I'm so happy you liked your trip! I lived in that area the past few years (now I'm in Madrid) and I miss the food so much! Your pictures remind me of my favorites!

Anonymous said...

Ah Tortilla de Camarones, my favorite in Spain when done well. I liked them with sherry as well, late in the evening made me many dinners!

the zinfidel said...

There are so many, too many, things which are making me long for southern Spain. The trip must have been amazing, how could it not have been. Word Up Brooklyn Guy!


The Wine Mule said...

Casa Balbino is an amazing place. Are you still in Seville? You need to visit "La Azotea."

King Krak, I Drink the Wine said...

I see that you are suffering from too much great food and wine. You need to go on vacation.

Do Bianchi said...

Can you expand on the mojama, please?

great series of posts man! love these...