23 April 2010

Aperitivo time

Aperitivo time...good at any time! The small hamlet of Fuente Nueva just outside the village of Orce in Granada only has a handful of full time residents, most live cave houses with the odd few residing in cortijo's. You could say that the hamlet is "muy tranquilo" most of the year - except during holiday season. Made up predominantly of cave homes the two barrios which make up Fuente Nueva are scattered with holiday caves, all of which become occupied during Easter, Summer and occasionaly for new years eve celebrations.

Our own neighbours arrive four times a year, from Barcelona and Madrid the family turns up for a couple of weeks to enjoy some time off. From one end of the spectrum to the other coming somewhere as quiet as this from the capital. Its normally around two in the afernoon that you hear a cry "Aperitivo!", a small metal table is laid out under the largest tree in the garden for shade and is covered in all manner of tapas, olives, jamon, chorizo and seafood.

The kids are usually creating havoc somewhere nearby in the campo while us adults sit down for a cerveza or two and a bite to eat. This happens every day for the duration of their stay, a very friendly affair and something to look forward to whenever the "vecinos" turn up. Plus of course there is nothing quite like a free cold beer in the sun on a weekday afternoon...

From a foodie point of view there is always something going on in the background, the bbq usually lit with escalivada roasting away and a batch from the day before being peeled by someone having been wrapped up in newspaper - Spanish tip of the day: wrap the veg for your escalivada in newspaper as it makes the skins infinately easier to peel off!

Chorizo and other sausages presented in a good selection of small tapas bowls come from Orce (carniceria de Julian) and occasionaly the market town of Huescar where you can find a small indoor market boasting fruit and veg stalls, fish shops and no less than four butchers, all of whom sell the same cured meats, hams and chorizo etc. You would think that competition would be fierce but in true Spanish style it is all very relaxed, even looking after each others store fronts while the other takes a break.

Below is one such carniceria, "secadero Ovalo" is a long established family run business with their signature "lomo de orza" (lightly fried pork tenderloin preserved in extra virgin olive oil) is always on display. There chorizo isn't half bad either with a nice sweet variety available, a favourite with the locals.

Discover more about Orce Serrano Hams suppliers (click on the image above) and find out where your hams and charcuterie comes from.

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