We feature in the blog of the chef David de Jorge in this article:
Oh what a truly spectacular cecina.
The people at Casalba make some cured meats and charcuterie which is out of this world!
They say it all started in the foothills of the Sierra de la Demanda mountains, where the grandfathers in the family would gather their meat and make the same cured hams that their grandfathers had made before them.
So, they decided to stick to the essence of this traditional rural activity, the true origins of the products they make, using the countryside flavours inherent in the natural ingredients, their inherited tradition and a craftsman’s care, and leaving the cuts of meat to reduce in weight but to grow in flavour and colour, all without any sense of haste, in the natural drying chambers of the village.
This innovation, predating the wheel, results in some excellent products: from a salami (salchichón) made with Iberian pork fed on the best acorns, using the best lean cuts of this Acorn-fed animal and just a touch of pepper, to a prime Iberian loin made from the special “presa” or “ball” cuts from within the shoulder, which are incredibly tender. Not to forget the sweet, fat and delicious cured “serrano” ham, different scrumptious spicy chorizos (sarta and pure Acorn-fed cular) and excellent pancetta and black pudding.
But if we had to choose one thing from the range to put in a sandwich, it would have to be the cured beef ham, known as “cecina” – without doubt one of the best we have ever tasted. It is made with the larger cuts (from around the hindquarters) or mature beef, which has a big flavour which is soft and sweet but very intense, and spectacular marbling.
Hooray for (¡Viva!) everything charcuterie and the thighs of Sofia Loren!