Last week, between October 8 and 11, I was lucky enough to attend the IV gastronomic meeting of products with Denomination of Origin of Priego de Córdoba and Los Pedroches. It was a meeting to delve into extra virgin olive oil and pure acorn-fed Iberian ham from these two denominations of origin, coinciding with the Iberian Acorn Ham Fair of Los Pedroches. The other attendees: Mar Milá and Lluis Ruiz Soler from Gastronostrum, gastronomic communication company, Jorge Guitián Gastromil from Vanity Fair, Marga Reig from Canal Sur Radio entreolivos, José Ferrer of the Andalusian world, Joaquin geographer of eight leagues. A lujazo of group and present everything I learned during those days of all of them with own appellations of origin.
The first phase was developed in the beautiful city of Priego de Cordoba, Centre of one of the designations of origin of oil that Andalusia has. He accompanied us throughout our stay Rafael Rodríguez Ruiz, of the D.O. Priego and oils Lucía González García, responsible for the promotion and development of tourism in the town area. Kindness and delivery to transmit us your passion for this land and its products.
Excellent oils of this denomination are mainly from the variety Picuda and Hojiblanca, giving their oils fruit tones, memories of tomato and fresh herb aromas. All of this could appreciate it in one of the most interesting events that we are witnessing during these days, as it was the tasting directed by Paqui García González in the denomination of origin of oils of Priego. Paqui delighted us with his wisdom, and explained in this case throughout the process, the path followed the olives until our table: tree, harvesting and transportation. Once in the mill starts cleaning sheets, washing and milling and mixing of olive to get the juice, that precious liquid gold that is extra virgin olive oil.
In addition to the oil tasting, we enjoyed the visit to one of the mills. Mills of la Subbética is a company with 35 hectares which mainly deal in the production of quinces and olive oil. The objective of the company. It is to enhance the product.More than 4,000 members and 8 cooperatives have (that more than 6,000 partners make up them at the same time) and last season were marketed more than 40,000 kg of oil. We could not see the machines at full capacity to have not started yet the olive harvesting season for oil, yes that we could see the entry of table olives, the care process that they follow and their subsequent storage and packaging.
We also enjoyed the richness of Priego. The Villa de Priego de Córdoba is located in the natural park of the Subbeticas Sierras. This historic Cordoba village, boasts thousand and one places of interest, they surprise the visitor, all.
The historic condensed into a few apples amazing places that you will leave open-mouthed, as for example, the source of the King, of Baroque style with three ponds and classified as a national monument. Dates from 1803 and it represented by two sculptures, the struggle of a lion with a snake and the other, Neptune and Amphitrite who rode on a carriage pulled by horses coming out of a clean, transparent water, do not just inciting bath in times of heat. It is difficult to find so much beauty in such waters.
We continue our walk through the streets of the town the Barrio de la Villa, a beautiful neighbourhood remains flowery thanks to the efforts of all the neighbors and I will tell you later with more detail because it is very much worth visiting. And so, calmly strolling a town where everything seems harmony, we reach the recreation of Castilla or Huerta de las Infantas, a garden up to the edge of the wall of the Adarve and from where you can enjoy spectacular views over the city.
The next morning was waiting for us a wonderful gift: a show cooking of José María González, chef of Enea white, one of the best restaurants in Córdoba and which moved to Priego for the occasion. José María prepared us Salmorejo almonds with beads of oil, chopped Octopus with crumbs of EVOO and slices of radish and turnip, juice of oxtail with gnocchi oil and dessert "olive tree on the road (made Orange custard dessert with EVOO and a sand biscuits with a chocolate trunk)."
In short, for all their charms and their good products, a place to return and enjoy the good oil and good French fries San Nicasio. By the way the restaurants where we ate and ate were: restaurant of the hotel Huerta de las Palomas, Adarve balcony bar and restaurant of the river. In all treated us very well and at all we went round to eat. The hotel on the outskirts of the village, called rural hotel Huerta de las Palomas and is a monad.
The second phase of the meeting focused on that other gastronomic treasure that has the area, D.O. Los Pedroches ham. Ibericode Acorn-fed ham was present since we arrived at Priego, and although in reality the production focuses on Los Pedroches, the first morning we find a surprise: in the living room of breakfast, prepared specially for the group, us expected Clement, professional cutter of ham who entertained the breakfast cutting dish after dish. Accompanied us throughout our stay cut ham in all stops for lunch, dinner and show-cooking. A wonder that dragged on until we arrive at Villanueva de Córdoba.
There Clemente was part of the Group of cutters prepare hams of the competition the best ham from Los Pedroches. In this competition the jury, (whose members our colleague was José Ferrer, food journalist in the world Andalusia), tasted eight different hams from the best producers belonging to the appellation of origin Los Pedroches. This year, the best ham of Acorn elected has been ham Jarote.
In the evening, the denomination prepared us a dinner, at which we were accompanied by Antonio j. Torralbo, President of the Council for the regulator of denomination of origin protected the and which could prove part of what pig offers, that is, because as I said my grandmother, the pig... until the gait take advantage.
The meeting continued for two more days, but with all my grief, I no I could continue, so I promise to return the coming year to fully enjoy what I lost this year in the fair of the Iberian ham de Bellota de Los Pedroches.
The restaurant where we had dinner is called Las Columnas and the hotel where we stayed, is called the House of the doctor, a surprise in Villanueva.
In short, a few days to remember always, full of surprises and experiences and two places to recommend.
I'll be back with more calm, the pometo!