Behind the Scenes Andalucia Foodie Adventure
Annie B’s new-for-2017 Behind the Scenes Foodie Adventure provides you with the chance to be a participant in Andalucia’s local food culture, rather than just an observer. Her unrivalled access means private tours, food and Sherry pairings, constant tastings, and at least 3 cooking classes.
What To Expect With This Course
Not every one who falls in love with Spain ever actually moves here. Not everyone who moves here is officially adopted five years later for the recognition they bring to the local gastronomy. The relationships that Annie has forged with her fellow Vejeriegos has afforded her a rare glimpse into and appreciation for the diversity and history of local Andalucian cuisine. Annie noticed that although many flock to the Costa de la Luz and enjoy the world renowned Jamon Iberico, they rarely have an opportunity to dig deeper into the delights of tapas and street food to gourmet nose to tail eating that Andalucians have been enjoying for hundreds of years.
We all love Jamon Iberico but what about the rest of the black Iberian pig? Their unique acorn diet means that they are full of good fat. There are huge secrets to the porcine delights of the Iberian pigs. Vejer even has a day to celebrate: Lomo en Manteca Iberica – pork loin cooked in its own fat with paprika, garlic, oregano and paprika. The annual spring Almadraba Tuna harvest on this coastline leads to a multi million euro tuna preserving industry which dates back to the time of the Phoenicians. So much of food and wine production here depends on the unique quality of the air which dries the Jamon and tuna. The same air that cures the chorizo. The same air that circulates around the casks and keeps the Sherry cool and gives it that salty tang.
Depending on what time of year you visit, Annie’s behind the scenes access and knowledge will you the opportunity to experience such foodie highlights as:
- Join a local feast day in Vejer, celebrating Lomo de Manteca Ibérica (pork loin cooked in its own fat with paprika, garlic and oregano) – October
- Watching the Almadraba Tuna being brought to shore and observing the artisan process of preserving the fish. May – June
- Competition between local bars and restaurants to create the best tapas during the Almadraba Tuna season. May – June
- Picking lemons straight from the tree for use in cookery classes, or breakfasting on olive oil that has just been processed. October – April
- Enjoying cocktails with freshly juiced pomegranates. September – January
- Joining the local Retinto beef cattle tapas festival. September
- Private picnic at local vineyard
What to Expect in Every Course
Arrive at your hotel in Vejer in time to meet Annie at 8pm where she will lead you on a delicious tapas tour of town. Starting with the exquisite Jamon Iberica, you will then eat lots of her favourite dishes, particularly those featuring Iberian pork, in the wonderful tapas bars of Vejer, matched with local wine and Sherry.
Spanish Day: Meet after breakfast to shop in Vejer for provisions for your Spanish cooking class. You will visit Paco, the local butcher, to sample his amazing array of preserved pork. Get into the kitchen and see how he makes chorizo. Back to the kitchen where you will learn how to make some staple Spanish dishes such as prawns in garlic, tortilla, gazpacho, pork cheeks in oloroso and chocolate and almond cakes. Crack open the Sherry as you start tasting some of the delicious treats unique to this area.
After lunch (at around 16.30) it’s siesta time ahead of a free evening in town for you to relax, sip on something chilled as you watch the sunset and enjoy the chilled Spanish ambience of Plaza España.
Fish Day: Transport will be provided to take you on a short 10 minute journey to Barbate’s Mercado de Abastos – one of the few markets left on Costa de la Luz that hasn’t been developed. Annie will help you make your selection from whatever is glistening and freshly caught. This covers all of it so it will be difficult! It’s also a photographers paradise. A quick stop by a Tuna Preserve shop to stock up on mojama (preserved tuna) then onto a country inn for coffee & manteca colorado on toast before heading back to the kitchen laden with fish supplies and start preparing lunch.
Around 20.00, following a great siesta, you will head back to Casa Alegre to prepare a traditional paella with Pepi. Pepi made her first paella when she was 8 years old and hasn’t stopped since. Learn about the secrets of a good sofrito and how to hold a paella until you are closer to eating.
Free Day: Today is the day to either head to Cadiz or Morocco for lunch. Or perhaps to one of the fabulous beaches of the Costa de la Luz. Annie will help you make a plan that’s perfect for you.
Sherry Day: The Sherry Bus leaves around 10 am to head to the The Sherry Triangle where you will be visiting 2 different Sherry Bodegas in 2 of the 3 Sherry towns – Jerez, El Puerto de Santa Maria or Sanlucar de Barrameda. A delicious tapas lunch will be enjoyed in Sanlucar or Cadiz.
Returning to Vejer around 18.30, just as the shops re-open following siesta. This is a free evening to enjoy at leisure.
Flavours of Morocco: Today you will appreciate the culinary influence of the 600 year long Moorish occupation of Andalucia. You will create delicious dishes featuring spices brought from Tangiers, preserved lemons, local vegetables, luscious nuts, chicken and fruits. All accompanied by local breads, wines and Sherry. Lunch will hopefully be taken on the roof, overlooking the ocean and towards Morocco beyond.
Farewell Dinner: Your farewell feast will make sure that every delicious Andalusian dish will have been sampled. You will have enjoyed so many different cuts of Iberian pork and all the different fish of the area too.
Breakfast: It’s always sad to say goodbye but hopefully you will return. Enjoy breakfast in your hotel and have one last walk around beautiful Vejer. Or perhaps you wish to extend your stay. If you want to plan travels beyond Vejer, Annie is happy to help with your itinerary.
Looking for the full Annie B experience? Have a look at the range of cooking holidays we offer…
Fly-by-night visit to Vejer planned? No problem. We also offer day classes to introduce you to the best of Spanish food…
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Here’s what they have said
It’s breathtakingly beautiful. Your first glimpse of the town is as a blinding flash of white on a hilltop against the bluest of blue skies. Up close it’s just as easy on the eye, too – a labyrinth of narrow, cobbled streets winding its way between quiet squares, churches and handsome historical buildings, it’s a photographer’s dream.
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