Catacurian – Day 1 (part 2): Welcome lunch, and intro to jamón ibérico

August 29, 2010

Once we took a few minutes to freshen up, it was time to enjoy a Catacurian-style welcome lunch.

On the menu: Fresh figs; apple paté and green peppercorn paté; rosemary manchego cheese, an incredible local goat cheese, and some other kind of cheese.

Figs, fresh off the tree

We also enjoyed bread (to be rubbed vigorously with half a roma tomato and drizzled with olive oil for the famous “pan amb tomàquet,” exquisite in its simple execution) and Arbequina olives – a tiny olive which grows everywhere here.

Jamon, pate, aceitunas

The superstar of the menu, however, was the black Iberian pig, or cerdo negro, which only feeds on acorns: we were presented with a selection of cured or smoked meats made from the cerdo negrojamón ibérico, lomo ibérico, and a longaniza.

This kind of jamón is said to reduce your bad cholesterol because the pigs only eat grass and acorns, giving it a high amount of natural Omega 3 oils. Alicia even told us that, if you are diagnosed with high cholesterol, your physician may prescribe that you eat so many ounces of jamón ibérico each day to bring your numbers down. Can you imagine how that would go over in the States?

Bandeja de jamones

Last but not least, we drank wine. Lots of wine.

Everything was super-delicious – we enjoyed lunch so much, and we learned a bit about the two major wine regions in this area: Monsant and Priorat.

Priorat is in the center, the site of an ancient paleolithic lake. Monsant region surrounds the Priorat, and is lesser-known, but also produces excellent wines. The biggest varietals grown here are grenache, white grenache (who even knew there was a white grenache?), cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and carignan.

After lunch, we enjoyed a short siesta time…we would meet again at 6pm for our first cooking lessons.


2 Responses to “Catacurian – Day 1 (part 2): Welcome lunch, and intro to jamón ibérico”

  1. mike Says:

    can you try and smuggle some of that salami home?

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