The Art of The Iberian Pig – A Week in The Heart of Spanish Pork Country – Part 4 – Jabugo

The bullring of Mérida located on an ancient Roman spot where bulls were sacrificed

The bullring of Mérida located on an ancient Roman spot where bulls were sacrificed

The following morning we woke up to a beautiful day and strolled through Merida’s well preserved and impressive Roman ruins before checking out of the Parador and finding our way out of the city to get to Jabugo in northern Andalucia, one of the main production areas of Iberico also considered by many to be one if the finest, if  not the finest.

A facade at Lazo

A facade at Lazo

We had an appointment to visit the artisanal producer Lazo in the small town of Cortegana within the Denomination of Origin. Begun in 1940, this family owned producer takes local Iberico pigs through the entire process.

Removing hams from their salt cure at Lazo

Removing hams from their salt cure at Lazo

We didn’t actually get to witness the killing of that days pigs, but we were taken through it and did see the full process of the butchery of the pigs all the way through the final products. It was a fascinating exploration that I plan to post in detail. Be forewarned that it will be graphic.

Finishing the Iberico steaks on an open fire

Finishing the Iberico steaks on an open fire

After our tour, we were directed to an even smaller nearby town to find a restaurant that served their product. The restaurant, called El Camino, served us both cured and fresh products from that facility. It was a welcoming place in the middle of the country and their dishes were quite delicious.

Sherry at Casa Bigote

Sherry at Casa Bigote

From there, we entered a long drive down to Sanlucar de Barrameda along the Quadalquivir River and the Atlantic Ocean in southern Andalucia, where we would have a brief respite from porcine products. This respite came in the name of Casa Bigote, a renowned seafood restaurant that serves nothing but locally fished seafood. Atmospheric to the extreme, we engaged in a fine tasting of the local specialties, which in addition to a variety creatures from the ocean, included a number of excellent local Manzanilla sherries that left us all in a happy and laughing mood.


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