ORCE SUPPLIERS – ARTISAN PRODUCTS FROM SPAIN
Orce Serrano Hams suppliers provide us with some of the finest artisan produce available from the area. Specially chosen for their family run nature and quality of product we have enjoyed discovering our suppliers and continue to work closely with them. We fully believe in the products they produce, many of which are still hand made using methods passed down through the generations, in most cases from father to son. All of the products from these small family run businesses have previously been unavailable to the UK and other European countries so we are delighted to be able to offer some very unique and hard to find produce from the heart of Andalucia.
We feel it is important for you the customer to know where your purchases have come from so we hope you enjoy learning a little more about some of the Spanish businesses without whom your online delicatessen would not exist!
Carniceria de Julian
Julian and his wife Conche run the local butchers in Orce village, established since 1982 Julian produces some of the best quality cured meats in the area including the Orce Serrano ham and the Orce Serrano Reserva. Upon entering the butchers shop you are met with a large counter full of fresh meat from legs of lamb (the famous “Cordero Segureno”) to season pinchitos. There is also a comprehensive cold meats counter behind which hang dozens of home made salchichon, strings of chorizo sausages and impressive “tablas de lomo” or seasoned pork tenderloin tied to a length of wood.
In 2007 Julian and Conche agreed to produce the Orce Fire chorizo for us, an immediate hit with Orce Serrano Hams customers. Production to begin with was small but due to the hand made nature of the sausages they were happy to produce any amount we required. Always happy to help this family run business has seen both television film crews, authors and journalist pass through their shop and production facilities which is why it’s a good job they are not camera shy!
Based on the outskirts of nearby town Baza on the way to Caniles Jamones Granadinos are today a large operation. Founded in the early 60′s the business has grown into a large producer of some of the finest Serrano hams available in Andalucia. The “Anejo” jam (literally meaning “old”) is cured for 22 months and are substantial examples weighing in at between eight and nine kilos. Jamones Granadinos have a trade counter which is open to the general public but it is not until you enter the heart of the operation that you realise both the scale of the operation and quality control.
Serrano hams are hung from floor to ceiling, carefully being tended to by the resident “maestro secadero” a man who’s skill at judging weight and quality is quite uncanny. There are few who are permitted to enter the depths of the secadero so we naturally felt quite privileged on our initial visit. Impressive to say the least, although Granadinos is now a large concern there is a strong emphasis on tradition, with this comes Serrano hams of the very highest quality.
Secadero Ovalo is a father and son operation based in the town of Huescar a few miles north of Orce village. Back in 2006 we had a very comprehensive guided tour of the whole curing house and production facilities. Again, sticking to traditional methods secadero Ovalo still hang their Serrano hams high up on knotted rope – the same way it has been done for generations, quite a sight considering the amount of work involved just to achieve this. We had the chance to ask questions to the staff who were, at the time producing chorizo as well as seeing the entire salting process for their range of cured meats.
Ovalo supply us with some very fine salchichon which is regarded as one of the best local sausages, they also make a very fine chorizo as well as a special “lomo de Orza” which is lightly fried cubes of pork tenderloin preserved in extra virgin olive oil. Another Spanish family business that takes enormous pride in the production method and overall quality of its products.
Pablo Padilla is someone that we have enjoyed working closely with since way back in 2006. Chosen for his rustic style of terracotta cazuela and cookware design his products have been on our virtual shelves since day one. Pablo is in charge of what is essentially a three generation business blending modern technology with traditional production methods. The business is over 100 years old, originally based in the town of ‘Bailen’ Pablo’s Grandfather moved his terracotta factory to a nearby Industrial estate and took his original press with him which can still be seen working today.
Pablo’s cazuelas and other pieces of cookware and tableware are without doubt some of the finest and hard wearing around, in Andalucia, the factory’s signature design of terracotta can be seen in many a Spanish kitchen, in the hands of UK chefs (inc Tom Hunt and Sam and Sam Clark of Moro) and even on display as far afield as Australia, the US and Canada.
Run by Juan Manuel this little business is a real gem hidden in the center of Guadix town in between Orce and Granada. It was by pure chance we discovered Ceramica Gabarron through speaking to some people we knew in the area “very good ceramics” was one reaction and “high demand in Germany” was another so without any hesitation we headed for Guadix to find out more.
To the front of the shop come production area you walk past an array of enormous reclaimed wine vats and all manner of other ceramics all waiting for restoration. Upon entering the building Jaun Manual is behind his work bench head to toe in clay concentrating on his latest piece. The range of finished product is quite astonishing – all hand made, dried and glazed. This is the kind of place that unless you knew was there you would walk straight past so a joy to find. Juan Manuel now supplies some of his hand crafted ceramics to Orce Serrano Hams and can even make or paint designs to order.
Its all about fish in the pescaderia! Situated in Orce village this little fishmongers has been trading for years. Run by husband and wife team Antonio and Mercedes the shop is open for business every Tuesday and Friday where you can find one of the most impressive fish counters for miles around. Shopping in Pescaderia Molina is always an experience, in fact you cannot leave without a recipe!
Where quality matters Antonio is the man to speak to especially when it comes to bacalao (salt cod) and mojama (cured tuna loin). Above the fresh fish counter hang prime examples of cured salt cod ranging from 750g to very large 2kg fish. Unlike other salt cod these are personally chosen by Antonio himself from a curing house who then sells them in any size you may wish to purchase. Pescaderia Molina also supplies the delicious “Bonito del Norte”, full fish presented on bamboo racks or moist tenderloin to make the perfect seafood tapas.
When it came to Spanish textiles and having investigated various different manufacturers from the Alpujarras and other areas of Andalucia it was David Manzano that impressed the most, not through the quality of what his business produces but also the history behind it and the fact that he is part of a father and son team. A relatively young operation (est 1999) but with over 35 years experience behind it in the Andalucian textiles industry. The use of semi manual looms offers a flexibility in design of both traditional material and jarapas all of which are made using 100% recycled materials.
Winning an artisan innovation award David’s business is one of the most forward thinking around, in fact if you visit any cave home, house or cortijo in Andalucia donning curtains, cushions, bed spreads and other traditional fabrics the chances are they have been made by his family run business. David also welcomes custom ideas so when we asked him for ‘Jarapa Cushions’ he was more than willing to experiment with a few ideas many of which are available on Orce Serrano Hams & Ceramics now.
“Quesos EL Piconero” is situated in the region of La Mancha famous throughout the world for producing some of the finest cheeses in Spain. El Piconero, a relatively young company, was founded in 1998 by two friends who had a dream of producing exquisite cheese and that is precisely what they do. We are very fortunate to work closely with David who has helped us choose some of his best cheeses which we began to stock in spring 2012. The cheeses have proven very popular for many reasons, not least that the cheese comes from their own livestock which is milked daily to ensure only the purest, freshest ingredients go into each cheese produced.
Of course Quesos el Piconero produce a rich Spanish Manchego but they also do a special Manchego reserva, which is cured for longer than the usual Manchego and is so rich and delicious it is one of our best sellers. Other fantastic cheeses to choose from include sheep’s cheese in beer or olives and goat’s cheese in wine as well as other diverse combinations.
Interibericos are a family business where they have over 30 years of experience in production and processing of Iberian ham. Located in Villanueva de Cordoba, in the heart of Valle de Los Pedroches, hams from Interibericos are considered some of the finest in Spain and are subject to the perfect microclimate for the development and curing of Iberian pork products.
Their products are manufactured to traditional artisanal methods while maintaining the highest standards of quality and hygiene under the supervision of the “maestro jamonero”. Interibericos have some very special hams indeed including the enviable Jamon Iberico de Bellota Denominacion de Origen, Pedroches being one of only four regions in Spain awarded the “d.o” stamp. It is even said that all Iberian pigs today originate from the Pedroches area as in days gone by secaderos from other regions would buy in their Iberian hogs from the Pedroches valley. Tradition has been passed down through the generations and today, Interibericos are regarded as one of the finest producers of Iberico hams in the world today.
Aceites Guirado Noguera
Aceites Guirado Noguera is a family run business based in the beautiful Natural Park of the Sierra Cazorla in Jaen. The family, who are dedicated to producing the finest oil in the world, has been producing some of the finest extra virgin olive oil for over three generations and their oil is recognised throughout Spain and as far away as Tokyo and Dubai.
The oil comes from the picual variety of olive found in the Natural Park which are carefully selected for quality and then the family meticulously extract and bottle the exquisite oil using only mechanical processes. The whole process is strictly controlled and their oil has been awarded the “Denomination of Origin” quality seal of approval by the regulatory council, ‘Sierra de Cazorla’ which guarantees quality. Orce Serrano hams customers can choose from the beautifully presented Sierra de Cazorla Gourmet and the Sierra de Cazorla, both exquisite extra virgin olive oils.
Arcos Brothers Ltd, situated in Albacete, Spain have a passion for quality and precision and as such are world leaders in the production and design of high quality professional cutlery, table knives and kitchen utensils. Their heritage dates back as far as 1745 and in 1875 the family business began the expansion of their knife production to become the international leaders they are today.
We are pleased to offer Arcos quality professional kitchen and ham carving knives designed to enhance your ham carving experience and ensure success in the kitchen. All the Arcos knives and accessories we feature are a result of extensive research and expertise, made from forged stainless steel and with a 10 year guarantee, they bring stylish, elegant and practical design into your kitchen. We have chosen a selection of professional and practical knives from the Arcos range to suit all our customers’ needs.
In late 2010 we began working with the well known secadero Torrente in the small village of Maria (Almeria) after sampling one of their hams for ourselves. “Carnicas Torrente” is a family run business established in 1989 based high up in the beautiful sierra de Maria mountain range in Almeria. They are well known throughout Spain and visitors come from far and wide just for their exquisite hams and embutidos.
All of the hams and embutidos are produced by hand following traditional methods and recipes. Torrente hand pick orders especially for our customers and we take deliveries twice a week. We are pleased to offer their Serrano ham ‘curado’ which is a new ham for us this year and also the 20 month cured Serrano ham ‘gran reserva’ which has proved very popular with Orce Serrano Hams customers since we introduced it in 2010. Some of their embutidos we feature are the chorizo redondo, chorizo cantimplano and the salchichon a la pimienta all of which are exclusive to Orce Serrano hams customers as they are unavailable elsewhere outside of Spain so you can be sure you are receiving a unique piece of Spain when you choose any of these items.
Autumn 2011 saw us in search of Spanish ceramics so after some digging we paid a visit to a producer in the Jaen region of southern Spain to meet Juan and his team at ‘Padilla’. Juan is a fifth generation potter whose business is more than two hundred years old and one of the most well respected in Spain. Juan was happy to give us a guided tour of his factory to meet the staff, view the stock and witness a very efficient operation indeed.
The business itself has grown from a small ‘alfereria’ to a large concern over the past two centuries but it is quite noticeable that artesania and quality is still at the forefront of Juan’s operation with quality checking in place (performed by Juan’s brother) and an efficiency which sets a standard in the industry. Each piece of ceramic from small tapas bowls to more elaborate pieces are individually hand painted, a process requiring a high degree of speed and skill. Juan explained that his ceramics are widely regarded as some the finest produced out of Spain and with an operation to back this up we were more than happy to begin stocking his range which are available in an astounding variety of designs and colours.
Pilar Esteban-Ordorica was born in Vallodolid, Spain, and studied design, graphic arts and photography at the West Surrey College of Art and Design in Farham, Surrey (England).
In 1984, she settled in Marbella on the Costa del Sol and built a professional career amongst important clients in the hotel and tourism sector. She received the AMECO business award for work in design and photography dedicated to promotion of tourism in Marbella. She was the editorial designer of Lookout magazine for two years.
In 2001 she moved to the Costa Tropical of Granada, where she edited the first touristic magazine of this area, Tropical Coast, with up-to-date news, interviews and reports in Spanish and English. Since then, she has done corporate image work with companies, political parties, cultural institutions and other clients. Currently, Pilar Esteban is immersed in finishing a book of photos from La Herradura, Puerto Punta de la Mona and Marina del Este (Granada coast). She continues to design touristic promotions for Marbella.
Having been involved in designing houses, gardens and orchards, she also produces photo reportages about fruits, vegetables and tropical plants for specialized publications and businesses connected to the food business.
Welcome to the world of Spanish ham!
Following these step-by-step guidelines from master ham slicers, you will learn how to correctly slice and serve both Serrano and Ibérico hams. Along the way you will experience the pleasures of ham-textures, aromas and flavours-as the fine art of slicing is revealed.
The idea for this book, The Fine Art of Slicing Spanish Ham, was conceived in March of 2008, when I took a course in ham slicing given by José Ángel Muñoz. People from all over Spain-some of them culinary professionals, others from varied professions-attended the course.
For me, eating good ham was already like taste therapy. But the experience of seeing myself for the first time, knife in hand, in front of a whole Serrano ham, about to take the slicing exam, (as well as some other curiosities that happened along the way that weekend), brought me to the conclusion that an instruction book on slicing was needed in today’s market and in the daily lives of ham lovers like myself.
Acknowledging that a picture is worth a thousand words, I have conceived a book that is essentially visual. It is a user’s manual that describes slicing in a direct style, with the colloquial language used in the profession, just as if you were attending a class with the maestro, José Ángel.