TASTE OF SPAIN: Andalusia
Spain is a much-favored vacation destination, with diverse regions, such as Basque, in the North, and Andalucia, in the South, that offer a wide range of delicious culinary fare to explore.
Nevertheless, the cuisines of France and Italy are better known to gourmands than the incredible food and wines from their Iberian cousin. However, thanks to the Tourist Offices of Spain, or TURESPAÑA, U.S. “foodies” are discovering their gastronomical treasures that can be found locally.
The Spanish tourism bureau, from its South-East office in Miami, and the Andalusian trade agency, EXTENDA, and through the Miami Culinary Institute, recently hosted an interactive cooking reception to tout the flavors of Andalusia. Invited guests included fine dining connoisseur s and other important, local influencers.
The historical cities of Seville, Granada and Malaga as well and the famous beaches of the Costa del Sol, Costa de la Luz and Almería can be found in Andalusia (also known as Andalucía). The southern region’s diverse landscapes contribute to its variety in cuisine, such as the Jerez Sherries from Cadiz, the classic cured hams from Huelva and Cordoba, olive oil, and more.
At the cooking demonstration, the main presenters were a representative for the preeminent brand of Iberico hams, 5J Cinco Jotas, Jonathon Lane, the executive chef of Traymore restaurant of Miami’s Metropolitan BY COMO hotel, and a wine representative from Hidalgo Imports.
Before the program started, guests enjoyed passed canapé, or ‘pintxos’, of Ines Roasales salted, crispy olive oil-coated tortas with quince, Spanish cheeses and olives, paired with sparkling Agusti Torello Reserva Cava.
Next, patrons enjoyed an olive oil tasting, showcasing La Espanola’s Special Reserve, and a craving demonstration of Cinco Jotas Ibérico ham. Chef Lane paid tribute to these fine vendors’ fare with a plated appetizer of Pan con Tomate, La Espanola’s Special Reserve olive oil, and Cinco Jotas Ibérico ham, paired with La Gitano’s Manzanilla, a white Andalusian wine.
Next, Lane continued to impress patrons with his demonstrated preparation of a delicious morsel of olive oil-cured tuna, accompanied by anchovies, olives, and served with a glass of aromatic Los Aljibes’ Sauvignon Blanc and superior cuts of Ibérico ham sliced from the shoulder.
The programs’ appetizers concluded with a starter, directly from Traymore’s current menu, of perfectly grilled octopus with olives, potatoes, and a vibrant salsa verde, which was paired with a wonderful full-bodied red wine, Viña Real Crianza from Bodegas Cune.
This singular tasting alone educated the evening’s patrons to the simply prepared dishes, using seasonal local and organic foods, awaiting them at the seafood restaurant helmed by American chef, Jonathan Lane.
The cooking event concluded with a savory celery sorbet, spiked with a section of Ines Rosales Sweet Orange torta, and finished with a sweet and lusciously rich Alameda Cream from Bodegas Hidalgo.