Olé - Viva la Madre Patria

2:04 PM

Our passion and love for Spain, La Madre Patria, started the moment we arrived at the international airport Madrid-Barajas. There was something in the ambiance and the attitude of the people rushing in and out of the gates.

We knew that we were headed for a wonderful adventure - an adventure that turned out to be filled with jamón ibérico de pata negra or jamón ibérico de bellota, sangría, cerveza and churros con chocolate!

While in Spain, especially in Madrid, a visit to the chain cafes El Museo del Jamón is necessary. You will find one of these cafes in almost every corner. We stopped in the ones located at La Gran Vía and the one in Plaza Mayor. There we devour in a matter of minutes a platter of the delicious cured ham - jamón ibérico de pata negra or bellota - similar to Italyʼs prosciutto in appearance, thin sliced but with a stronger flavor. They get the flavor thanks to the pigs diet: grass, mushrooms, herbs like rosemary and even thyme, giving a more robust flavor to the ham.

Jamón Ibérico

The jamón ibérico should not to be confused with the popular jamón serrano that we get in the states since it is rarely exported. It can be found at any Spaniard household. It is served alone or with bread and even with cheese (Manchego goes well with this ham). Be aware, it is addictive and expensive!

At El Museo del Jamón, The Gran Vía location, we order our first sangria of the trip - a combination of cheap red wine, orange and lime juice, slices of orange and lime and a citrus liquor (Cointreau can work). However, the sangria is prepared differently in every city of Spain. In some, they even add lime soda. But no worries, they are all delicious!

While in Spain, you also need to try the croquetas (usually made of ham or chicken, bechamel sauce and golden fried), another Spaniard cuisine staple.

El Museo del Jamón

A visit to la Madre Patria is never complete without having churros with chocolate. Spaniard churros are similar to the ones in Mexico but not that sweet. And they are meant to be dipped in a thick, sweet & rich chocolate sauce.

The most popular and old places to have the churros is Chocolatería San Ginés in Madrid but you can also have them in Valencia at Horchatería de Santa Catalina and around the country.

Chocolatería San Ginés - Madrid

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