Forgive me, for I have not posted in 3 weeks. And I have so many things to tell you about. I shall not say (yet again) where has the time gone to, but I really really want to. So I am just going to get straight into continuing on about Tapas. We made quite a religion of it on our travels, sitting ourselves down and making pre-dinner food. Today I am going to show you some of our cheese, chorizo (paprika salami) and olive tapas.
I had tried a couple of Spanish cheeses available here in France and found them to quite rubbery, so we were pleased to be taught otherwise. I bought the cheese you see above (and below) just for its shape and mercifully it actually also tasted great. It is called Queso Tetilla and when I put this into google translate, it is really honestly called nipple cheese!
I went on to about.com and found this very interesting info on Spanish cheese which I will accompany with some of my cheese tapas photos. http://spanishfood.about.com/od/cheeses/a/introcheese.htm
Quality cheese production is taken seriously and there are currently 13 cheeses with Denominations of Origin in Spain. Spanish eat cheese every day, whether it is by itself, or with bread, as a tapa, or as a dessert. Because of the variations in climate and geography, as well as culture, each region of Spain produces several varieties of cheese.
Each cheese has its own unique characteristics that affect the finished product, such as the type of milk (sheep, goat, cow or a mixture), the production process, the history or traditions and the aging or curing process.
As far as chorizo (the Spanish word) or chourico (the Portuguese word) goes, I’m trusting Wikipedia for great info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorizo
Chorizo can be a fresh sausage, in which case it must be cooked before eating. In Europe, it is more frequently a fermented, cured, smoked sausage, in which case it is usually sliced and eaten without cooking. Spanish chorizo and Portuguese chouriço get their distinctive smokiness and deep red color from dried smoked red peppers (pimentón/pimentão or colorau). Due to culinary tradition, and the expense of imported Spanish smoked paprika, Mexican chorizo (but not throughout Latin America) is usually made with chili peppers, which are used abundantly in Mexican cuisine. In Latin America, vinegar also tends to be used instead of the white wine usually used in Spain. Traditionally, chorizo is encased in natural casings made from intestines, a method used since the Roman times.
Chorizo can be eaten as is (sliced or in a sandwich), grilled, fried, or simmered in apple cider or other strong alcoholic beverage such as aguardiente. It also can be used as a partial replacement for ground (minced) beef or pork.
Spanish-style tapas bars that serve traditional-style chorizo have gained in popularity in recent years, and now appear in many large cities throughout North America.
So that’s it for today folks. More great posts (I am so conceited) will follow very soon!