I enjoy traveling because it is an opportunity for me to see how people in other areas live. I also believe you can find out a lot of about countries through their cuisine. Since I haven’t been to Spain, I haven’t had a true tapas experience. Fortunately, Jamón Ibérico de Bellota Catering has a Tapas Pop Up scheduled for Fri. Oct. 6.
Pedro Liébana is the owner of Jamón Ibérico de Bellota Catering and I met Pedro last March at the Latin Food Festival in Santa Monica. He manned a booth and was carving a leg of a Jamón Ibérico and was giving out samples of this delicious Spanish ham. I found him to be outgoing and friendly.
Jamón Ibérico is a prime delicacy available for meat lovers internationally and is made from black-hoofed pigs (pata negra) that graze in ample space, feeding on acorns. The pig’s leg is cured for up to 4 years. That evening, Pedro will hand-carve an entire leg of Jamón Ibérico for the attendees.
I was surprised to learn that the key to the taste of Jamón Ibérico is how the meat is carved. The centuries old tradition is to carve each part of the leg in its own unique way. Only by respecting this tradition can you taste the four distinct flavors that each part of the jamón will offer: maza (marbled), babilla/contramaza (drier),jarrete/codillo (slightly sweet) and punta (the saltier slower part).
In addition to Jamón Ibérico, the menu will feature Chorizo Pamplona, Salchichón de VIC and 5 Spanish cheeses from soft to hard and mild to bold. The classic tapa bar offerings will also be available: Tortilla Española, Pinchos de Chorizo al Vino, Ensaladilla Rusa, Boquerones en Vinagre and Aceitunas (olive medley).
Believe it or not the event also includes a live flamenco dancer!
Tickets and detailed information is available on Eventbrite. Attendees can either select the ticket without wine ($50, corkage fee included in the price) or select the Tapas Dinner + Wine ticket ($85). The latter includes a 750ml bottle of Carlos Serres 2013 Tempranillo Old Vines red wine, a top wine from the renowned Rioja wine appellation in northern Spain.
I purchased a ticket for myself and for my wife. I hope to see you there!
Tapas Pop Up featuring Jamón Ibérico premium Spanish ham
Fri. Oct. 6 from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.