Author’s Wines with Valentine’s Vives

February is especially known for two things: its releases and Valentine’s Day.

In San Jamon we are constantly adding new products to our catalogue and this month couldn’t be different. We have selected three brand new author’s wines that combine perfectly with these dates. Why don’t you have a look?

 

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Wine & Roses. Author’s Wine from Mitarte Winery. An avant-garde wine from the label to the last drop.

You will be surprised by its fruity taste and its aromas, as it’s been aged in American and French oak barrels for 6 months. Pair it with one of our hams and enjoy it to the fullest!

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Zarzuela Joven. A no added sulfites, natural, Ribera del Duero wine. A new acquisition, but made with the best 30-40-year-old vines.

You won’t be able to forget neither its red colour, nor its forest fruit and fresh grape taste. If you decide to combine it with one of our Ibérico hams or charcuterie, you’ll note the difference.

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El Marido de mi Amiga. A great Rioja blend. The union of Malvasía, Sauvignon Blanc and Tempranillo Grapes.

Appreciate its straw yellow color. Smell its aromas of tropical fruits. Taste its sensations of fruit and a long, warm finish. Try it with vegetable stews, traditional Rioja-style potatoes, fish and wood-fire roasts.

Now that you have discovered them, you might want to acquire our Author’s Wines Special Selection where you will find all of them including another treble of our best-sellers: the smooth red Guerra de Pura Cepa, the bright withe Mitarte Barrel-Fermented and the intense black-fruity Condesa de Ramos Joven.

Remember that you can get a nice discount in this, and other selections using the special coupons that you will find in our monthly newsletter.

 

Tuck into our wine cases!

Barrel-aged, medium-bodied, spiced, yet still fruit-forward tempranillos from Spain, prosecco, spumantes  and the perfect mixed case… It is all about remembering so we have included some of our most popular wine collections.

The New Parker Red Selection. In this case you’ll receive three bottles of a juicy red 91-pt Parker Rioja from Lar de Paula, three bottles of the robust, forest fruit 90-pt Parker Montetoro from winemaker Ramon Ramos in Toro, three bottles of the deep purple, full-bodied 90-pt Parker Calderona Crianza from Cigales and three bottles of Muruve Roble ruby red 90-pt Parker also from Toro.

 

New Parker Red Selection

 

The Perfect Mixed Case. A little red, a little rosé and lot of white make this colored case and exciting mix of winemaking styles from Rioja, Penedés, Cigales, Ribera del Duero and Italy.

The Perfect Mixed Case

And last, but not least, Bestselling Prosecco and Spumantes. Toast to the end of the Summer in Style with four different styles of sparkling, prosecco, organic wine and spumante. Make it a perfect toast.

Bestselling Prosecco and Spumantes

Enjoy life!

Salty Hearts and Fine Wine

As the summer comes to an end, we are spending every waking minute drinking wine, feeling fine and remembering…

Once again we had a great time at the beach emerald waters and feeling the white sand between our toes, memorable sunsets in the evenings….

But now,  we down here at San Jamon are busy gearing up for the holiday season already. But before we get going, we’ve prepared some “remembering” cases special to our customers. Apart from our wine cases, this month we have a special hamper, Simancas, the perfect Charcuterie and Cheese board. The range introduces less well known, but equally fine example of regional specialty, our beloved Lomo.

Lomo loncheado sobre

Cured pork loin is lean, easy to slice and wastage-free.  Lomo is wonderfully tender and lean. It is one of the most valued and tastiest pieces, made from the tenderloin of Iberian pigs that had a free-range diet feeding themselves on roots, shoots and acorns (bellotas) that they find abundantly in autumn. It is seasoned with salt, authentic Spanish paprika and garlic before it is inserted into a natural casing, then cured in a controlled environment. The marbled effect that you will notice on every slice is what makes the lomo so distinctive giving it that delicate aroma and fantastic flavor.

Try it in sandwiches or in charcuterie platters.

The weather is still warm, but the leaves are turning. Our skin still has a wonderful golden brown color…. We still have salty hearts. Enjoy life!

 

 

The Old Rule, the Perfect Pairing.

Top quality preserved fish, healthy and delicious, with fresh white wine… the old rule, the perfect pairing. There is simply no better way to enjoy during the summer.

We do have the wine and now we are glad to announce the addition of the Serrats fish preserves to our range for you to enjoy this summer: bonito del norte, tinned mussels and sardines directly from the north coast of Spain. These healthy cans are simple exceptional, tender, flavoursome, rich and perfect to pair with young, crisp and fresh white wines.

Wines with good acidity to cleanse the palate, and dry, not sweet. We have a few wine paring options in mind, so we have made a selection of those we consider ideal to pair with the flavor of the sea.

Viura from the north of Spain, one of the most popular white wine grape in our country. Good acidity, food fruit, dry, fresh, one young, one fermented in stainless steel; Albariño from Rías Baixas that pairs beautifully with sardines; a buttery chardonnay-viogner from La Mancha perfect with bonito; Muscat, perfect as an aperitif or with sardines; and our rosé “El capricho”.

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Serrats Preserved Fish, yummy!

 

5 San Jamón Pairings for 5 Kinds of Holiday Dinner Guests

You are standing at the entrance to Waitrose or Fred Meyer or where have you scanning down the list of items to buy for your holiday dinner party. You lament that you do not in fact live in the Love Actually movie and Ms. Knightley will not be showing up at your stoop with pudding in a tin and a side of holiday cheer. You must soldier on alone with your list, crafting a dinner party that will satisfy all your guests’ tastes and appetites.   This might mean Tofurky for the  tofu crowd and dry-aged ibérico ham for the gastro pub friend in your group (the ham we can help you with, the tofu we cannot, keep reading).

We all approach the holidays with a mix of anxiety and excitement. It is important to start off an intimate gathering by acquiring the appropriately matched food to the guests. Imagine if your crazy uncle/cousin/colleague/neighbor turns up and you haven’t the properly rolled Yule Log cake? What is a host to do?  To save you time, we have gone ahead and recommended some  pairings for you. Lo and behold San Jamón’s 2015 Holiday Pairing Guide:

1. Queso Zamorano (€6.90 wedge, 250 grams) for your Culinarily Challenged Cousin who cannot cook and always brings the dish to a potluck that nobody wants to eat. Since he cannot cook he eats an inordinate amount of cheese (in sandwiches, on canapés, or as tapas). For him we recommend our best-selling, award-winning sheep’s milk cheese, El Fundador, from the farming countryside in the province of Zamora. It is sharp and nutty like manchego, but a bit more strongly-flavored and less oily. This cousin will remark about how they have no time to shop or cook and then ask which items they may take home in tupperware and if you have any cheese left. You’ll have to remind them to take their dish.

Bellota Jamón Ibérico

Bellota Jamón Ibérico

2. Acorn-fed bellota jamón ibérico (€17.90 sliced, 100 grams) to impress those who need impressing. The shiny, unctuous slices of a traditional, craft gastronomical luxury like bellota ham are usually reserved for special occasions like encounters with in-laws or bosses. These two parties are especially susceptible to the charms of melt-in-you-mouth, nutty, sweet free-range Iberian pork aged for more than four years. The balance of the tangy, flavorful meat and translucent, delicate white fat loaded with monounsaturated fats is no match for finicky out-of-towners or exigent employers. This is truly the recommended gift to have on hand when a raise may be on the line or your father-in-law is inexplicably giving you sidelong glares.

Mitarte Crianza Rioja

Mitarte Crianza Rioja

3. Mitarte Crianza (€19) for the son-in-law who will loves, loves, loves his wine. He can talk about vintages, obscure grapes and regions. He’ll school or try to school any audience showing any modicum of interest in wine. His passion is sincere, but talking at length about the resurgence of Pét-Nat is not for everyone. Off-the-beaten-track Riojas might be up his alley. The Mitarte Crianza is easy-drinking and its juicy tannins, toasty French and American oak and medium body matches wonderfully with hearty winter holiday dishes and roasts. The Mitarte story is also worth telling: winemaker Ignacio Gil’s family has been for the last 60 years making wine from the centennial vines around the mountainous village of Labastida. Ignacio battled nationalist separatists from the Basque country while mayor of Labastida when he was not harvesting grapes. You can turn the tables on your son-in-law with that anecdote.

Bellota Lomo Ibérico

Bellota Lomo Ibérico

4. Lomo for your sophisticated world-traveler friend. This friend is the one you turn to when you need to know the best AirBnB in Bangkok or the fastest way to get to Tierra del Fuego. She is entertaining if only slightly obnoxious as there is no where she has not been and her funds seem to come out of thin air. It takes a lot to shock her and she’ll eat anything, so it is tough to impress her with anything on the menu anywhere. Enter lomo ibérico (€5.95 sliced, 100 grams; €14.50 whole, 450 grams) a magical cross between a soft, chewy jerky and a savory gourmet fruit roll up. It is the acorn-fed Iberian pig tenderloin that has been coated in curing salts and Spanish paprika and then slipped into a natural casing. It does not matter how many times this globetrotter has been to the plaza del toro, she has not ever had anything as organoleptically pleasing as lomo ibérico. High in protein and very low in fat.

La Delizia Extra Dry Prosecco

La Delizia Extra Dry Prosecco

5.  La Delizia Extra Dry Prosecco (€15.95) for grandma because grandparents need to be taken care of over the holidays. They are the reason we are here and usually revel in the attention given to them as it is one of the rare times of year that we put aside the coordination of our daily lives and try to focus on our grandparents. There was something floating around social media recently that said, “Be patient teaching your parents/grandparents email as they taught you how to eat.” To ease the transition from ‘grandma is just a phone call away’ to ‘now she’s hear telling me how to mash the potatoes’,  top up her champagne flute with a touch more La Delizia prosecco. It has touches of apple and pear and just enough finely-beaded bubbles to bridge that gap.

Stay safe out there, with love from everyone at San Jamón.

Vermouth is the New Aperitif!

If you are traveling to Spain this holiday season, you’ll probably hear people saying “vamos a tomar el vermouth! (Let’s have a vermouth!)”.

Vermouth is made from aromatized wine, which means that the wine has been infused with flowers, roots, herbs and spices to add flavor and color. It is as well a fortified wine. The alcohol percentage has been raised through the addition of alcohol to the juice of crushed grapes. The caramel color is achieved though the addition of burnt sugar. Vermouth has a long tradition in Spain as a ritual, an experience. That may sound old-fashion, but nothing could be further from the truth. Vermouth is on the cutting edge of drink trends.

The younger generations coming up now are becoming vermouth lovers, embracing this tradition more and more. The trend is to sip as a stand-alone aperitif, neat, or over ice. Sometimes we find it is the only way to cool down in Spain when the summer temps consistently hover around 95°F.

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Plaza Mayor Valladolid. Vermouth time

“Tomar el vermut” is synonymous with spending  a nice morning in a terrace, with family or friends in a relaxed atmosphere, just before lunch because our vermouth ritual always occurs before lunch. In fact, aperitif derives from the  Latin aperire meaning “to open”. Vermouth has, as does the rest of bitter-sweet aperitifs, the aim of opening up the appetite. But this is just an excuse to have a vermouth to share stories and laugh. It is our moment of connection with ourselves – the perfect moment of friendship and the perfect moment for debating or engaging in silly conversation. This is the way we Spaniards find to pass the time.

So, as the coolest thing is to reinvent old traditions, if you want to have fun, enjoy your vermouth and remember that works best with chips, olives, almonds or canned seafood apart from the thousands of cocktails you can prepare with it.  You decide! And, please do not forget to take a pic at your vermouth moment and tag us … you will be the trendiest in the place!

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Vermouth casero Pérez Barquero paired with Zamorano cheese for a mid-morning “pick us up”

A Morning at Tinto Arroyo, Ribera del Duero

Winding our way from Peñafiel, past the castle on the hill, under and intensely lit morning sky. The wineries off the beaten path in Ribera del Duero rarely get as much attention as their more famous neighbors like Pingus, Pesquera or Vega Sicilia. But, there are some juicy finds just around the river bend, driving on N-122 direction Burgos. If you go north through Roa and La Horra, where the soils start to turn to limestone and and the red cuts a contrast with the white buildings and the green vines, you;ll come to a village of Burgos called Sotillo de la Ribera.

Salón de Gourmet, 10 Novelties That Left Us Dumbfounded

The International Fine Food and Beverage Fair, Salón de Gourmets 29th edition, left us dumbfounded. It is true that this event is just for professionals (and a couple of privileged people) and those up-to-date on food and beverage, but trust me, if any of us miss it, we’d get left behind.

Four days, three pavilions, or in other words 20,000 sq m, and 1,400 exhibitors dedicated to leave more than 79.000 visitors with an excellent taste is their mouth. Salón de Gourmets is undoubtedly one of the best ways to make contacts, a great occasion to meet old friends or discover the latest products. And let’s not forget: it is the perfect showcase to soak up new ideas like stylish printed cartons, eye-catching labels and other awesome branding tendencies.

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The San Jamon Team at Emily Food stand 🙂

 

We spent a whole day from 10:00 a.m. to 19:00 p.m. scrutinizing every single corner, exhibition, workshop or demonstration and we did not miss a single detail: how to carve a huge tune, how to open an oyster or how to enjoy with all the senses.  There was a wide range of activities for everyone. So absorbed were we that we had to make do with a burger and a bit of salad eaten in a hurry to come back inside the pavilion.

If I had to condense the experience into a few lines I’d say: producers are going for excellent packaging and magnificent designs and reverting back to traditional know-how, but to reviewed and updated tradition. The highest standards of design and manufacturing go hand in hand.

I’ve written the below list for any foodie or wine lover willing to discover exciting new products from Spain, here is it, our stand outs in the crowd:

  1. Morcilla por un Tubo, Devillada Morcilla. A revolutionary morcilla (blood sausage) paste tube ready to be heated in a microwave in 1 minute flat or to enjoy at room temperature. It is not a toothpaste tube, but it looks like it was. Is it not wonderful? And exquisite!

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    Morcilla por un tubo

  2. Choco Crisps. An irresistible pleasure, indispensable to have on hand. A must-have snack. Delicious potatoes covered with the most exquisite chocolate.

    patatas con chocolate Indeal

    Choco Crisp

  3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Perlas, Orobailen. An explosion of sensations, yeah, they literally explode in your mouth.

    perlas aceite

    Pearls OrodeBailen

  4. Bag in Box Oil, BuenSalud. Yes bag-in-box is becoming one of the most popular containers, limited to the packaging of wine -so far! We think they hit the spot.

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    Bag-in-Box Olive Oil

  5. Gourmet Jams, Cucumi. A new concept of hand-made jam. Incredibly surprising ingredient combination: grape and vanilla; orange and pumpkin; lemon, lime and mojito or cherry-cava… even monovarietal jams: garnacha, tempranillo or syrah… a treat for the taste buds and low in sugar!

    Cucumi

    Cucumi jams, yummy!

  1. Sangria & CO Red, Rosé or Doré, The Sangria House. Slogan: Proudly made by Spaniards. A new generation of signature Sangrias. A combination of wine and critics, essential item in all celebrations. Besides, its low alcohol content 8% ABV allows you to celebrate in moderation if you feel like.

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    Sangria The Sangria House

  2. Marine Plancton, Parque Natural Veta la Palma. You do need to follow the instructions to use it, but is worth it. A whole new world of possibilities full of organoleptic and nutritional properties.

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    Plancton

  3. Orujo Verdejo, Panizo. It looks like a perfume bottle, but is one of the most popular Spanish liquors. Fine, clean, and clear appearance with a delicate aroma, green fruit nuance, reminiscence of flowers. Balanced in mouth, unctuous and with a long aftertaste with light almond bitterness coming through.  Want to try?

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    Panizo Verdejo Limited Edition

  4. Convennience Food Querida Carmen. A new way to recover Mediterranean gastronomy. Super cool design, they really believe in the quality of details to make our lives easier.

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    Querida Carmen Beautiful Tin

  5. Vermouth la Cuesta. An innovative box made from hardboard, light and easy to assemble. Perfect to keep your vermouth in perfect conditions and ready to be enjoy at any time.

    VermutLaCuesta

    Vermut Lacuesta, with one slice of each lemon and orange

In short, tinned food, cheese, dried food and nuts, extra virgin olive oil, convenience food (of course Gourmet), charcuterie, rice, liquors… everything was characterized by an excellent packaging design, a flawless presentation and an unforgettable flavor. We are eager to come back next year.

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Cooking Demostration

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Cuatro Rayas

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Rebeca and Sero Emily Foods

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Serpeska, huge tuna and swordfish

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Salón de Gourmets visitors

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Cute little pig 🙂

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Salón de Gourmets

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Hams, Hams….

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Artisanal Valencian Horchata

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Olive Oil Tasting

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Our supplier La Chinata Exhibitor

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La Chinata

quesos tallados

Beautiful carved cheeses

quesoenormetaquitos

Cheese tasting, exquisite!

panesartesanos

Artisanal Bread

pan gigante

Super Huge Fresh Bread

orujos

Great Liquors

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Nice Ham

indeal

Indeal

Ilbesa

Our supplier Ilbesa… award.winning cheeses

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Excellent ham ready to be carved

detalleArroces

Rice from Valencia, wondeful vintage packaging

Detalle Cuatro Rayas

Cuatro Rayas ice bucket

CortadorJamon

super Huge Cecina

carne madurada

Exquisite meat “madurada”

ADM and Iberian Ham2

ADM wines, ham and almonds

 

Miguel, Rebeca and Julio at Cuatro Rayas

Miguel, Rebeca and Julio at Cuatro Rayas

Ideal Wine to Pair with Ham

 

When the weather warms up in Spain, you can pretty much count on plazas and terraces full of people taking advantage of the long, sunny days and the plentiful gastronomy, as they seem to go hand in hand. We love to move outdoors and into the sun. We enjoy having a few slices of Iberian Ham and a glass of wine… so tasty!

terrace

Trend in consumer preferences has not varied in centuries, in fact the most ideal wine-paring for ham is still red wine. At least this combination is the most appreciated  by experts so far, apart from fino and manzanilla which were always considered the perfect accompaniments to Iberian ham due to its dryness and freshness.  For common people ham presents a challenge when trying to decide which wine to pair it with especially now that experts and sommeliers are becoming increasingly bold, breaking from this classic idea. According to the more innovative ones, red wine is intense as is the ham, thus this combination will fill your taste buds more quickly than expected.

However, fresh albariño or verdejo from Rueda are excellent pairings, ideal to cleanse the palate of the Iberian ham fat and refreshing your taste buds between bites. The perfect, clean, refreshing flavor to contrast with the salty complexity of the cured ham. Surprising fact, right?

We’ll have some tips for the perfect wine paring for ham, whether it centers on bellota Iberian ham or Serrano gran reserva. The type of wine is not the only important thing. We have to take into account the way in which the ham is presented. Is it sliced? hand-carved? or cubed? The format influences the taste and flavour of such a palate-pleasing product combined with a fine wine, cava or champagne. Finely sliced ham enhances the flavor when paired with any wine; cubed ham combines perfectly with aged red wines for being thicker and fuller-flavored.

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Iberian ham is characterized by its deep flavor sweetened by the fat. As we said, these hams pairs perfectly with an aged red, full bodied and fine aroma, but without covering up the ham taste. Its complex flavor  is better paired with a wine that can hold its own. Whereas fino and manzanilla are also ideal to pair with Iberian ham,  a young red is ideal to pair with a bellota Iberian shoulder. The Iberian paleta shoulder still has an intense aroma and the lighter-bodied wine does not mask the experience of enjoying the meat.

A red wine low in tannins will never cover up the exquisite ham flavor.  Another surprising combination is having cava along with Iberian ham. The taste of the sparkling wines, the drier the better (brut or brut nature), also enhance the taste of the Iberian ham. Certainly you cannot go wrong with these ham-loving wines.

Hams from white pigs, serranos, are sweeter than Iberian hams and a little less flavored, so they also pair perfectly with dry whites and light reds. Try a nice rosé with a light bitterness, serrano ham can make a wine’s rough edges come out. For those keen on sweet wines, do not hesitate to grab a bottle of frizzante or semi sweet and try it.

If you want to enjoy this experience, choose what you like and try out until you find the perfect combination. Different strokes for different folks 😉

 

 

Delicious Easter Garlic Soup

Easter is one of the most authentic, emotive and deep-rooted of Spanish celebrations. It commemorates the passion and death of Jesus Christ. Every region has its special  way to celebrate both festive and religious aspects. Castile-Leon, where our company Sanjamon.com is located, is characterized by the silence and austerity of its religious processions. Streets are crowded and people admire the figures devoutly and respectfully. The sober atmosphere is only broken by the sound of the trumpets and drums, accompanying the religious figures, which are excellent Spanish works of religious art.semana santa, Easter, Spain, Valladolid, Castilla y León
At that time garlic  soup is a typical dish to eat, especially in Lent, not in vain, during the dawn of Good Friday. It is a long-standing custom to have this soup, served hot, of course, for breakfast after having spent the evening and night accompanying the religious figures as they pass.

Any soup is always an excellent starter and one of the best ways to get warm. Spanish garlic soup is certainly one of the most typical Spanish recipes, due to its long-established tradition. It is made with water, bread and garlic, the most humble ingredients in times of shortage. Garlic soup was not part of the menu enjoyed by wealthy people at those days.

“No hay campana sin badajo ni sopa buena sin ajo.”

“There is no bell without clapper or good soup without garlic.”

Garlic is an indispensable ingredient in traditional cuisine and the basis of most Spanish specialties. We inherit this particular recipe from the Castilian shepherds, who usually took garlic soup for lunch, made from stale bread, water, paprika, bay, garlic and one or two eggs poached in the rustic soup.

Bread contains carbohydrates which helped battle fatigue during the long and hard working day in the fields; eggs, ham, chorizo or salt pork enhance the soup, providing proteins and fats, and sometimes onion, apart from garlic, which provides antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Paprika is used as seasoning to flavor the soup.

We can find a wide variety of versions depending on the regions. F or instance in Cuenca, Castilla la Mancha, even the name of the soup changes, there it is called “shepherd’s soup” and they add dried pepper “pimiento choricero” instead of paprika; in Andalucía they add cauliflower and in the Basque country, salt cod.

This recipe is genuine Castilian and a real nutritional treasure.

Traditionally, the stale bread was used because it was impossible to bite into it and there was no other use for it. Apart from bread, stale or not, we need water, olive oil, some cloves of garlic, paprika, eggs and salt.

It would be perfect to have a clay pot, but if you don’t have one, no problem.

Place it in the pot with the olive oil and brown the peeling garlics, add the bread slices along with the paprika, water and salt. Let it simmer on medium for about ten minutes. Just before serving, turn the heat down and poach the eggs in the soup and let them cook for about three minutes. The soup will be ready when the egg whites are white. Enjoy your garlic soup and Happy Holy Week!

sopa ajo