Seville-Tappas & Wine Tour

February21
We only had one evening in Seville and so we very carefully considered our options. My husband did the research and thought our best bet was to be with someone who had extensive experience with the best local restaurants in the area. Michaela from “Devour Tours” not only had this experience, she successfully answered each and every one of our questions. On top of this, she was fun, warm, hospitable and is from a city which is a 2 1/2 drive away from our home in North America! She was the perfect host and tour leader.
We met in  a public square a short walk from our hotel. Michaela briefed us that we would be visiting examples of three tapas styles in this order: Traditional, Modern and Fusion Tapas.
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Stop one was at the bodega Maestro Marcelino on Calle Hernando Colón. 9.
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A bodega is a small food shop
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that may also sell sherry, vermouth or wine.
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Here we enjoyed a selection of a selection of superbly cured meats: Mojama, chorizo, chicharrones and caña de lomo
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that had been aged on site.
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In addition to Montadito de lomo (a grilled pork loin sandwich). Our libation of choice was a sweet red vermouth on tap.
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 For modern tapas we visited Las Theresas 0n Calle Santa Teresa.

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I thought that it was ironic that we sampled “modern” tapapas here because the restaurant in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood was the second oldest in Seville, originating in 1870.

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Michaela noted that we were now in the Jewish section of old Seville and the importance of acorn-fed Iberian ham (Jamón ibérico de bellota).

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We enjoyed the amazing ham with a creamy aged sheep cheese accompanied by a glass of dry manzanilla sherry and then another glass of amontillado.

I asked what I thought was an obvious question: “Why was ham featured so prominently in a Jewish neighbourhood?” She explained that after to Spanish Inquisition, Jews proved that they had converted to Christianity by publicly eating the meat forbidden by Jewish culinary rules. We were fascinated.

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As we walked to our next location, Michaela suggested we make note of the square of three crosses, pictured here. She indicated that the neighbourhood once had a high crime rate and that this square was particularly noisy. Interestingly, once the community erected the crosses, the crime and noise subsided. It was anecdotes like this that made Michaela the perfect host.

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Our final stop for fusion tapas was at Vinería San Telmo on Paseo de Catalina de Ribera for a selection of hot-off-the-grill tapas made with the freshest market ingredients.

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When this arrived at the table, I was content as we had eaten so much already but no….this was the amuse bouche before the eclectic tapas started to arrive.

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First up were these enormous prawns.

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Next was grilled pork belly on pumpkin puree

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and last but not least: Oxtail spring rolls. All three small plates were absolutely exceptional.

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The amazing food was accompanied by a tasting of three modern style local wines: D.O. Sierras de Malaga-Botani, V.T. de Cadiz-Barbazul and D.O. Rioja-Sonsierra Crianza.

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We didn’t want our time to end but Michaela had to get home to her boyfriend and our other new friend (a cricket playing Australian heading to Britain) had to tend to his sick wife who tried to start the tour with us but had to head home.

Upon reflection, we thought that this evening was the best of our sojourn, For sure the tastiest, if nothing else.

Kath’s quote: “Sharing food has always had a central place in civilized societies; it’s no accident that so many of our cultural, religious and patriotic rituals are involved with eating”. -Ruth Reichl

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Love never fails.

 

 

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