12 Jan “Olmeda trip 2014″
Olmeda Trip: First Day
From Olmeda Orígenes, we wanted to share our origins with two of our best importers and friends from Norway and Greece, inviting them to go on a wonderful journey with us to discover our soul, … our countryside, because we are from the countryside, de pueblo! …pueblo!!
During this trip we will travel around Spain visiting the Olmeda Orígenes’ Artisans in their villages, where their traditions were born, getting to know how our products are made and discovering the story and life behind every product.
Yesterday we started our trip in one of our gastronomy cradles, land of great chefs and amazing Pinxtos… Bilbao. We enjoyed a nice welcome lunch with traditional and fresh food from the land… Iberian ham, anchovies, cuttlefish, codfish… always #Bestspanishfood.
Olmeda Trip: Day 2
Yesterday we were in Arbizu, a Navarrese village of just 1,000 inhabitants, around 40 km from Pamplona, where the brothers Juan Miguel and Alfredo our producers of Fresh Chorizo and chistorra, that following the know-howof their father who started with a small butcher shop in his garage over 50 years ago, have a small sausages plant.
They devote their lives to the product and tell us that there are days that work more than 14 hours to make the best chistorra of the world. When we asked for the recipe they told us that “it is nothing special” …. only with pork, paprika from La Vera, natural spices all mixed with passion and love to make an unique product.
In Arbizu, our friends Morten and Kosmas met our producers, discovered how our chorizos and chistorras are made, the story of our craftsmen, tasted the products made there, fresh chorizo for cooking, chistorra, chorizo del pueblo…. and their innovations like the great Salchichón del Pueblo Olmeda Orígenes (which we will show you soon) and exchanged their impressions with the artisan. Then we had the opportunity to continue talking with them while we were enjoying a great lunch with typical products and dishes of the place.
Then we went to Pamplona, the capital city of Navarra, the city of “Encierros de San Fermín”, to have a dinner with our producers of canned vegetables, Mrs Francisco, we tasted Piquillo Peppers, asparagus from Navarra, Fried beans…. While our importers listened a master class about how it is made our canned food and the especial story of our Zamarra (delicious of Piquillo Peppers), a unique product just made by Francisco’s family from many years ago.
Tomorrow we will continue our journey toward Baztan valley, the contryside of Irazcum, where Oskar will be waiting us.
Olmeda Trip: Day 3 Idiazabal Cheese Olmeda Orígenes
Yesterday we continued our journey through the valley of Baztan, Navarra, close to the border with France. In this valley there are more than 15 small villages, we stopped in Arizcun (in Basque Arizkun), a village of just 500 inhabitants, where Oskar, our young artisan of Idiazabal Cheese was waiting us.
Yesterday was the milking day; so they did not have to produce and they were free to kindly explain how the Idiazabal Cheese is made from the milking to the consumption.
Idiazabal cheese is made with raw milk from Latxa sheep a typical bred from Vasque country and Navarra. The milk is collected from different farmers of the Baztan Valley, even today many of them still milk manually.
Oskar showed us the elaboration process of the Idiazabal cheese, following the traditional method and according with all requirements of the Ibizabal Cheese D.O. Then we tasted the three types of idiazabal Cheese, natural, smoked and aged, the last one has a curing period of 1 year approximately.
After this visit, we left Baztan Valley in direction to Madrid. In Burgos, we decided to stop in Villamayor del Río to visit our friends from Casalba. They welcomed us kindly as if we were pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago, which crosses this town.
After this stop, we took the road to Madrid, tomorrow Goyo will be waiting us in Madridejos, with our Artisan Manchego Cheese.
Olmeda Trip: Day 4… Artisan Manchego Cheese and Anchovies
Yesterday we started the day in Toledo Madridejos a town around 120 km from Madrid, where Goyo and his wife Angelines were waiting us. These artisans make in their small dairy our Manchego Cheese Olmeda Orígenes with Artisan D. O. because it is made with raw milk according to D.O. regulations.
The milk is collected from typical Machega sheep, which they take care in their dairy. They told us the key to get a great Manchego cheese is to get a good milk, for this reason the sheep´s feeding is very important for this every day at 7 a.m. Goyo’s father, that is over 70 years old, continues taking the sheep to graze in the Manchego field, ridding his donkey remembering the tradicional Manchego shepherd that Cervantes immortalized as Sancho Panza in his book Don Quijote de la Mancha.
We continue our visit to the dairy with Angelines who explained us how Manchego Cheese is made step by step, from milking to packing, to finish they gave away to our importers with a tasting of different types of Manchego cheese made by these artisan, semi-cured, cured and aged and two special cheese cured with olive oil and with rosemary.
After this visit without leaving La Mancha, we went to Socuellamos a village in the province of Ciudad Real, here we visited our partners Eleazar and Kiko, the producers of our Anchodinas, white anchovies and our new product the Mojama Olmeda Orígenes.
We visited their plant discovering how these fresh preserved fish are made, during the visit our importers asked, how is it possible that in the middle of Ciudad Real, so far from the sea, Can you make wonderful products?. Eleazar replied telling us his origins in the family fish shop, that still maintain in the market of the town, where they made canned fish to keep the fresh fish for more time from many years ago.
To conclude the visit we enjoyed a nice lunch with them where our importers had the chance to try different products made by Eleazar and Kiko to Olmeda Orígenes, as anchovies, Mojama, white anchovies…. all of them marinated with fine wines from La Mancha.
We continued our journey to Extremadura, there we met with our friends from Bodegas Torres Ruiz and with them we had a great dinner in Cañamero, a village in the province of Cáceres. Today, we have a long day, firstly we will discover how our Torta Extremeña is made, and then we will go to Deleitosa where the good man of Tiburcio will be waiting us with his amazing Ibores cheese.
Olmeda Trip: Day 5… Torta Extremeña Cheese, Ibores Cheese, Quince Jelly Olmeda Orígenes.
Yesterday our first stop was in the winey of our friends from Bodegas Ruiz Torres, we visited their new winey very quickly, it is placed in a natural and beautiful landscape.
Then, we continued our journey to Campanario, a town in the province of Badajoz, place in the Serena Area. There, we met with Marcelino, an expert and passionate cheese makers who make our Torta Extremeña Cheese Olmeda Orígenes.
During the visit, Marcelino tells us how Torta Extremeña Cheese is made, this amazing cream cheese is elaborated with raw milk from merina sheep, cured for at least 60 days, in rooms with wooden shelves using traditional methods. When we finished the tour for Macelino´s dairy, he invited us to cheese tasting, with Torta Extremeña Olmeda Orígenes and its different formats, with truffles, aged and other exquisite creamy goat cheese.
After the pleasant stay with Marcelino, we went to Deleitosa, where our partner Tiburcio was awaiting our arrival to show us how he makes one of the most famous goat cheese of our country “The Ibores Cheese”.
Tiburcio showed us that technological advances in the production process are compatible with the traditional character of the products. In his small dairy only work he and his wife and they continue to make the cheese Ibores like a lifetime, but now thanks to new machined they have doubled their production and increase health conditions and get a cheese with better quality and the same tradition.
To conclude the visit Tiburicio gave away us a small taste of Ibores cheese and a masterclass about the cheeses, their aged, their molds…. while he was speaking, he revealed a big passion and extensive knowledge about the product, looking more a biochemist than a cheese maker.
A mid-afternoon, we arrived to La Vera area; we headed to Guijos de Santa Barbara, a small town of 400 inhabitants. In this village, Alonso was waiting for us. He is a young boy who continues the family tradition of preparing sweets and jams. Every year Alonso’s family elaborate the great Quince Jelly Olmeda Orígenes, with only fresh quinces harvested in the area of La Vera. When we asked him for the recipe, he refused to respond, but he answered: “this is my family secret, I cannot tell you but you know, this is so simply, just 35% of sugar and 65% of quince”.
Today, we continue our stay in La Vera area,firstly we will discover a very special the Quesuco Verato Cheese and then the most famous product of la Vera Smoked Paprika.
Olmeda Trip: Day 6… Quesuco Verato, Smoked Paprika from La Vera and fig bread Olmeda Orígenes.
Yesterday was our last day,( we finished our journey through Spain), in which we put end to our route for Spain, we h
ave crossed our geography, more than 2000 km, visiting our partners-producers in their origin, in their village, making known the products Olmeda Orígenes.
This week has been very rewarding experience for us and for our importers, who have discovered the philosophy of Olmeda Orígenes, the efforts of the Flores brothers, the illusion of Oscar, the passion of Marcelino, the happiness of Tiburcio…. between all of them make Olmeda Orígenes, giving that value that makes our products unique, because Olmeda Orígenes is their traditions, their customs, their origins…. because Olmeda Orígenes are from the countryside, the authentic countryside!
We started the day in Losar de la Vera, a small town of almost 3000 habitants, visiting the cheese factory of Joana, a cheese master who elaborates one of the most special cheeses of Olmeda Orígenes, the Quesuco Verato Cheese made with pasteurized milk from Verata Goat that cured for at least 20 days reaches amazing we have been lucky, they are elaborating Quesuco Verato, for what we could enjoy the process of live production, to conclude the route by the dairy we tasted the Quesuco Verato Cheese….Super!!!
After this visit, we went to met Javier, the producer of paprika Olmeda Orígenes, who tells us about the elaboration process of paprika, how it is made, the history how it came to Spain, and its expansion through Yuste Monastery, that is placed in this area of La Vera. Then we visited the plant with the nice company of Javier.
Without leaving Losar de la Vera, we concluded the morning visiting our producer of Fig Bread, we could only visit their plant, because we fig season is finished and they are not producing until next fig season, but it is interesting to know how fig bread is made.
We finished the visit to little meters from the fig bread plant, in the Garganta de Cuartos, where we enjoyed a traditional lunch with typical products from Extremadura, where the star product was the smoked paprika Olmeda Orígenes.