Okay, who knew there was an amazing corner packed full of delicious restaurants in Bankside?! Well not me, until I made my way on a rainy Wednesday to Camino Bankside.
Zomato invited me down to their legendary food blogger #zomatomeetup to try out Camino’s amazing selection of jamón and learn how to carve it, a mini masterclass if you will. Yep, when I got the invite I was pretty excited/nervous to meet all these new people – Spoiler alert everyone was so fun & friendly!
Wait just one minute, have you heard of zomato? It’s a handy lil’ app which is jam packed full of restaurant reviews, where you can search by meal, food type or circle your area – I love showing off the part where you draw a circle on a map of where you’d be happy to travel for food & little tags pop up representing the restaurants in the area!
Getting back to Camino & what we came for, we had a talk to begin, on all things jamón taking us through the different sorts, what differentiates them & the ins and outs of carving one.
Split into two groups , Our group sat down and chattered away as the first half got to slice through some ham. Don’t feel too sorry for us though, as we nibbled on manchego, yep that sensational Spanish ewes cheese, served with quince jelly. A combination I hadn’t really thought of, but they matched perfectly, I’m thinking japonica may well make a pretty good pairing with cheese now. Watch this space!
Pardon peppers joined the party. Salty, crisp, green deliciousness. We soon found it rather amusing to play pepper roulette to see who would get a hot one! New dinner game? I think so!
I only got one hot one & I almost preferred it to the mild, it wasn’t too hot and gave that extra kick which sliced through the saltiness well.
Some crunchy bread to balance out the textures & soak up the oil came aboard the tables and were smothered it in all the aforementioned deliciousness.
Now squid is pretty darn snazzy, so when you deep fry it drizzle lemon on it, served it up with some kick-ass aioli (read snazzy mayo) and name it chipirones a la andaluza, I’m sold. Doesn’t spanish make everything sound wondeful?
Crisp, well cooked, but not chewy – deliciousssss!
Those would be a great lot of starters but with more belly room to fill we headed to the carving table to have a go…
That’s a leg of Jamón Iberico Cebo, aged for 24 months, often commercially reared and fed on cereals rather than acorns as the snazziest of jamón are. But it still tastes pretty amazing and when done by a pro slices like butter!
Sam was pretty nifty with the knife, even if she was slightly more fascinated by the trotters.
Once I got to work, I obviously meant business – I mean look at the pure concentration!
Even if I had no clue what I was doing and am certainly not going to quit the day job to become a jamón slicer. I’d be fired quicker than ash in a wood burner – & if you didn’t know ash burns purttyy quickly.
That was my face when they answered that it would take a pro just 30 minutes to slice their way through the whole of that joint. WOW!
The real show stopper came when the pros took over and showed us the different sorts of ham available and tried them from the different parts of the leg joint. Four flavours from one ham?! That’s pretty nifty and if you aren’t too snazzy at slicing super thin pieces chop it up and throw it in a croquetta, that sounds all sorts of yum right?!
A few extra nibbles quickly came to keep us busy whilst they carved away.
The tortilla de patata, was something I thought would be rather plain, but boy was I wrong! well seasoned & sprinkled with chives, perfectly gooey in the centre and very, very moreish!
Pan con tomate, I’ve heard of, but never had the pleasure of tasting. Tomato, oil, salt and garlic smashed together and smothered on a piece of ciabta-like bread. A little salty perhaps, but so soooo tasty!
The first jamón we tried was Jamón Teruel. This was the first jamón of spain to achieve DO status, essentially meaning they meet specific characteristics & maintain a superior quality. This is aged for 20 months & if you can believe it is the lowest quality that Camino sell, as these won’t have been acorn fed and are distinguished by their white label.
Jamón Iberico Bellota Etiqueta Roja is aged for 32 months & red labelled. It’s mix breed ham to make for a bigger size & is fed on a mix of acorns and cereals. That’s why its got that slightly darker colour, richer flavour and melts in your mouth that touch more.
But wait, the best is yet to come.
Sold to us as the “Rolls Royce” of Jamon, labelled with the prestigious black label & I don’t believe for one second it was undersold.
*Drum roll please*
Jamón Iberico Bellota Etiqueta Negra, aged for 36 months from the legendary farm & suppliers of top grade Iberico, Cinco Jotas. Another DO status acclaimed ham, & you can certainly taste why. Chef Nacho del Campo showed us how you can tell the amazing quality of jamón, as the marbling will literally melt in your hand & your mouth for that matter leaving you with a much stronger taste than the mix breed and non-acorn fed versions.
If you fancy having a go at slicing up Jamón and tasting the deliciousness for yourself Camino are offering Master classes from the 23rd September, but be warned spaces are very limited!
What are your fave tapas dishes? This has made me realise I need a little more tapas in my life!
*This was a blogger event, although the food & drinks were gifted all opinions are as always my own!