Spain

Aracena, the cradle of ham


The day after having been in the Doñana park, we made an excursion to Aracena. Being in the province of Huelva, how can you not get close to the nerve center of the breeding of acorn-fed Iberian ham? The city, at the top of the mountain range that carries its name, is a bit far from Mazagón, in whose Parador we spent the night. After crossing the strawberry fields of Palos de la Frontera and Moguer, take a road that passes through Rio Tinto, already almost in the middle of the mountains, which takes you directly to Aracena. I did not like the city too much. It is developed around a hill whose top is a 13th century castle. In its tourist brochures, the City Council mainly promotes some caves that some neighbors also told us about.They are called "Grotto of Wonders" and the Museum of Ham. We passed the caves, because the photos that appeared in the brochure were not attractive to us and we were not prepared to do speleology, but not the ham. We had gone to that. To buy ham. However, the museum was a bit of a fiasco. Although well assembled, it is small, with not much information and what is worse, at the end of the visit was missing a small tasting of the ham from the area, which after all all the visitors had gone there for that. To eat acorn ham.
What was really good was lunch. We went to the José Vicente restaurant, also recommended by my friend Antonio And as always when I listen to him, it was a great success. It is located on Avenida de Andalucía at the entrance of the city when you come from Seville, in front of a municipal park. We ate a scrambled eggs with mushrooms and ham and then a piece of Iberian shoulder and an Iberian loin that were to die for. When we finished eating we went down to the local produce store that the restaurant has next door and bought a cage to store crickets, which Rubén has used this summer but to store grasshoppers and a cherry liqueur made in Higuera de the Sierra, which I have not tried yet.
Of course, before returning to Mazagón, we bought some assortments of acorn-fed Iberian products at the first store we found, which didn't open until almost six in the afternoon.


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