Brindisa Ham School

Mimi ON Aug 09, 2011 AT 12:12 pm

Brindisa Ham School

Brindisa Ham School

by John Gregory Smith

Brindisa have just added another string to their bow, with the launch of the Brindisa Ham School. The Ham School was a very informal evening at the Brindisa Spanish Food Store in Borough Market. Their master ham carver, Mario, took a small class through the different types of Spanish hams, including Serrano and the wonderful Iberico. He carefully explained how the different types of pigs, feed, living conditions and curing techniques affected the taste and quality of the hams.

The class was held round a table that was laden with olives, almonds, Manzanilla Sherry, and plenty of the scrumptious ham. It was so interesting to learn about such a wonderful ingredient from people with such passion and knowledge for it. For me, by far the best, was the Iberico Brindisa Bellota, made from an acorn fed, Iberico pig, which had been cured for 3-4 years. It had a sweet, intense porky flavour and a fine layer of tasty fat, which melted in the mouth.  Infact, so fine was the cut, that the fat actually started to melt when placed on the back of my hand, which, I was told was a sign of a great Spanish ham.

The class also took us through the carving techniques needed to carve the perfect, even wafer-thin strips from a whole cured leg. There was also a wine specialist on hand from Laithwaites wine at Vinopolis who had a delicious range of Spanish wines that matched the various flavours of the hams.  If you ever come across a bottle of Perla Del Mar 2009 from Alicante I can’t recommend it enough.

The class was a wonderfully informative and relaxed evening, enjoying some of Spain’s finest food and wine. You also got a massive goodie bag filled with ham to enjoy at home, or scoff on the tube if you couldn’t wait.

There are classes running in August and September.

www.brindisa.com

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