When you live in Spain you tend to take the quality of its cured meats and the tradition of the charcuteria for granted because for the Spanish, it’s just a normal part of the everyday diet. Jamon with tomato on toast for breakfast…. a good hearty fabada stew for lunch or a tapa of chorizo with cider when meeting up with friends at the bar…..Throughout Spain, you will always be able to taste the very finest cured pork or chacuteria no matter the region or location.
Now that the world is getting ever smaller, Spanish charcuteria is generating a lot of attention overseas with master chefs like Jose Andres, Nacho Manzanoand Marcos Moran setting up restaurants in America and the UK and offering these incredible meats to a very appreciative public. Indeed, such is the interest that American Chef and food writer Jeffrey Weiss thought it was time to write a book all about the Spanish meat curing techniques and charcuteria recipes with the aim of highlighting some of the classic aspects of the charcuteria traditions and also uncovering some lesser known facts such as the small artisan producers, the types and breeds of pigand the recipes past down from family to family over the centuries
Jeffrey set out on his tour of Spain along with food photographer Nathan Rawlinson to capture the spirit of these traditions passing through locations such as Salamanca, Extremadura, Madrid, Toledo and Galicia to mention but a few but also stopping in Asturias to witness the tradition of curing by smoke which is quite unique in comparison to the rest of Spain.
The Asturians are very proud of their charcuteria traditions and welcomed Jeffrey and Nathan into their homes to sample the home cured Chorizo and Morcilla always accompanied by a good chat and a glass or three of homebrewed cider.
www.whereisasturias.com travelled with them on the Asturian leg of their tour and talked to Jeffrey about his love for the region and his awe with the integrity and passion of the local producers here in Asturias.
The book is set for release in America during Autumn 2013 from Agate Publishing in Chicago.
You can find out more information about the book Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain in Asturias on the facebook page.
All the wonderful photos in the video and below were very graciously supplied by photographer Nathan Rawlinson
Types of Charcuteria from Asturias shown in the Video:
Chorizo Asturiano / Asturian Smoked Sausage and Morcilla Asturiana/ Blood Sausage
Both of these can be cured, dried and ready for eating or fresh to cook boiled in stews, Fabada Asturiana, cider or other ways of cooking such as barbecued. Morcilla is also used to make pate.
Lacon is normally cooked in stews like the Fabada Asturiana or boild and served on a bed of new potatoes. You can also slice it and cook it fried or barbecued.
Chorizo Sabadiego from Noreña
Sabadiego lies in between Chorizo and Morcilla, a chorizo made with blood and onion. It is traditional from an area of Noreña in Asturias. It is used fried or barbecued as well as in pate or meat pies. The sabadiego is featured in the video in the Restaurant Tierra Astur in Colloto.
Longaniza from Avilés/ Marinated Pork Sausage
It is very traditional from the area of Aviles and you can prepare it fried or boiled normally served with fried or boiled potatoes. A trick from Aviles is to boil the Longaniza in the same water as you boiled chick peas in.
Chosco de Tineo:
Chosco is a very traditional cold meat from the area of Tineo. It is done with pork loin and tongue, seasoned with salt, garlic and pimentón (spanish paprika). It is cured and then boiled to be ready to slice and eat. Normally it is served with boiled potatoes seasoned with a little bit of pimentón.
Some traditional dishes featured in the Video:
Fabada Asturiana/ Asturian Bean Stew
This is the most traditional dish from Asturias and is hugely famous all over Spain and South and Central America. In the video we featured the Fabada made by two Michelin Star Chef Nacho Manzano in his restaurant La Salgar in Gijon.
If you want further information about the Fabada Asturiana you can visit our video The Fabada Asturiana.
Pote de Berzas/ Cabbage Stew
Very traditional winter stew made mainly with cabbage, potatoes, Asturian Chorizo, Asturian Morcilla, Pork Shoulder and pimentón (a kind of Spanish paprika). In the video we featured the Pote de Berzas in the Restaurant of the Hotel Palacio de Meras in Tineo.
Spicy seasoned chorizo meat fried in a pan. It is normally served with potatoes and fried eggs. The picadillo featured in the video is from Del Rosal Butchers in Grado, winners of the best Picadillo of Astur-Celtic Pig of 2013
Chorizo a la Sidra/Chorizo boiled in cider
Bollo Prenado/ Chorizo Bread Roll
This is a wonderful type of local sausage roll. A rich doughy bread baked with a chorizo inside that oozes juices throughout the roll.
We are very thankful to our sponsors, Embutidos Vallina , one of the oldest and most popular cold meat producers in Asturias, and De Rosal Butchers in Grado, very especialized in Astur Celtic Pigs. Also special thank you to all who help us in this trip and show us around the different types of Asturian Cold Meats, such as the ACGC (The Association of Producers of Astur-Celta Pig), The Association of Chosco of Tineo, The Brotherhood of Sabadiego and Miguel Angel Fuente Calleja.
Many thanks to two star Michelin Nacho Manzano who showed us how to make Fabada in his restaurant La Salgar in Gijon. Finally to Miguel Sierra, multi award winning pastry chef who not only cooked us Bollos Preñados (Chorizo sausage Rolls) for us but also made a special chocolate dessert creation based in the surroundings (chocolate mousse with apple and chestnut served with chocolate maize drops). The green tea on the top emulating moss as you can see in this lovely picture.