Luxury safes blog will speak about the culinary travel in your wish list. Some things are worth traveling around the world for; great sights, sounds, and experiences that engage all the senses. That’s why culinary tourism is such a growing trend. Great food and drink are always at the top of my list. One of the most prized foods in the world that any foodie visiting Spain must try is Jamon Iberico, a.k.a. iberico ham, the country’s most prized national delicacy. Costing $1,200 and up for a 15-pound leg, the highest grade is more pricey than Champagne and more esteemed than truffles or caviar.
“It’s one of the reasons I love this country,” says global gastronaut Anthony Bourdain about Spain’s legendary jamon, a melt-in-your-mouth dark red meat cured for three years, then served in paper-thin slices. Deeply flavorful, it’s intensely packed with more umami flavor than Japan’s Wagyu beef. “It’s pornographically good,” Bourdain purrs. “To pass through Spain and not try this most traditional, most loved expression of Spanish history and culture is like letting the great love of one’s life slip through one’s fingers.”
Going to such spots as Spain and Portugal it is worth to focus on insight tour of the Iberian Peninsula, including a roadtrip across the Alentejo Plateau to the Spanish oak forests of Sierra de Aracena where black Iberian pigs called “pata negra” breed and feed on the acorns that give them their distinctive flavor.
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The best Iberian ham comes from the perfect combination of a pure-bred Iberian pig, natural food and traditional production, especially the long drying stages. That’s when handed food-safety uniforms to wear for insider tour of the ham’s entire farm-to-table process. The salting process is critical to enrich the color, flavors and aromas. It is also crucial to impede impurities, so the temperature is kept at 1-degree Celsius with 90 percent humidity to help the salt absorb evenly.
“The ham and shoulder on top applies the pressure for the ones underneath, and gravity does the rest. If it’s too heavy it makes it too salty. It’s a very delicate balance.” Next, the meat is hung on hooks in thick-walled rooms where they cure by drying naturally in fresh air for 18 months to three years.
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Then bite it, eat it, take a little white wine to freshen your mouth, then start again. You will notice that one taste will last longer in your mouth than the other, one bites more, one is juicier, and one has more smell.” Also there are jamon, there was also chorizo, salchichón, and lomito to try, plus local sheep and goat cheeses.
“Spain and Portugal have so much to offer and are still undiscovered in many ways,” says Insight Vacations CEO John S. Boulding, who joined our group for a few days. “People know the highlights, Madrid and Seville, but places like Evora aren’t on the typical tour circuit. My wife is Portuguese and she never knew about it, so even the local people haven’t discovered some of the places we go. That’s the exciting thing for me. In Spain and Portugal there’s so much untapped. For that reason we’ve added Northern Spain to a lot of our itineraries. It’s just fascinating.”
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In Portugal dockside restaurant exist for endless platters of local crab, lobster, clams, grilled prawns, and garlicky Guilho-style prawns. The original Pateis de Belem with the only bakery chef who knows the 100-year-old recipe for Lisbon’s famous baked egg custard cups, sipped Portuguese sour cherry Ginjinha liqueur served in chocolate cups and tasted Port while touring historic cellars with descendants of the legendary Fonseca winery founder.
Another highlight is dining in a rural dot-on-the-map location at an old olive oil factory reborn as an enigmatic restaurant/art gallery called Sem-Fim, meaning “without end,” for an astounding meal of endless-courses (including more jamon). Insight Vacations’ eye-opening tour showed the sights and wined and dined across the Iberian Peninsula in fine style and with minimal cliques, hanky-panky or drama.
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