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Viva tapas and more!

November 1st, 2010 · 4 Comments · Christmas foodie gifts, Foodie gifts, Foodie Travel, Places to shop online

Feeling very lucky,  as the lovely people at The Spanish Food Company sent me the most amazing hamper to try. And what a hamper of fabulousness it was!

If you haven’t come across them before, they are specialist importers of great Spanish food, with great provenance from artisanal producers. They know all the producers, and have certainly selected some incredible ones.

We’ve been enjoying an Iberico, or Pata Negra, ham which is from the woodlands of Extremadura in the west of Spain. Made from truly free ranging animals that live happily on wild grasses, flowers and, of course, acorns. I have to say the words melt in the mouth were made for this, and it was definitely worth the money for a special treat.

I like chorizo, but I love the chorizo that came in this hamper. It puts all other ones I’ve ever tasted into the dark, and from the tasting notes this could be because it is cured over oak smoke. According to the tasting notes, this is made by Jesus.

Sorry, no, it says it’s made by Jesús in a little village in northern León. Great from the fridge sliced onto your tapas selection, or chopped up and added to all kinds of cooking.

Heading further south, and a beautiful goat’s cheese from Los Cameros. Naturally cured, crumbly and perfect for those not sure about goat’s cheese. A hint of grassiness as you’d expect but then smooth and ever so slightly nutty. It was also the perfect partner to the piquillo peppers they also included, and a bit more unusual than Manchego.

If you think all that slicing might be too much like hard work, then make sure to order the almonds, as these will keep you going whilst you get chopping! Perfect with a cold beer, a cold glass of rose, a glass of red, coffee, tea…well, put it this way, they haven’t lasted long around here!

The hampers start at £30, and I would say the presentation is as tasteful as the produce is tasty. If you don’t think you could bear to give any of this away, then you can shop by individual product as well. Worth checking out the honey, the olive oil and the whole leg of ham. If you have £400 to spare! But what a way to spend it! I’d also be tempted to add a copy of “Everything But the Squeal: A Year of Pigging Out in Northern Spain” to understand the devotion of that area of Spain to fabulous pork products. It’s also a cracking good read!

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