Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Spanish Cheese & Home Made Sourdough Bread
The interiors of Carrefour I'm sure look very different from country to country and in Spain, you'll see the ubiquitous whole legs of Jamon Iberico and Jamon Serrano hanging by the dozens, vacuum packed whole piglets and rabbits and rows and rows of different types of Spanish cheese. I'm pretty sure the interiors of Carrefour in China look quite different from this.
The cheese we usually buy looks something like this. This one is a Manchego style cheese that comes from the heart of La Mancha. It's a cow's milk cheese that has been aged for over 10 months.
Right now they're giving away a bottle of red wine (which I'll use for cooking) with every half round of cheese you buy from a selection of local cheese and I've been taking ample opportunity of this. This kind of cheese goes for around 11 euros/1 kg and tastes exemplary with a slice of home made sourdough bread.
When living in Asia, it's sometimes difficult to appreciate the pure simplicity of a loaf of good bread and slice of cheese even though the quality of both are improving yearly in places like Tokyo. The cheese still wouldn't be local and would have to be air freighted from places like France and Italy and will be expensive as a result, to say the least.
One thing I do appreciate about living in Spain which is a main supplier of food to many other countries in Europe is the sheer volume of food that's available locally. I have to say that my starter which is fed on whole wheat flour almost exclusively makes a very nice 'country bread' to go with the unsophisticated rustic cheese they have here.