As we’re gearing up for Valentine’s Day, we’re taking a look at four of the Andalusian foods and drinks we adore – and hope you’ll love too…
At this time of year, we love a glass of Andalusian red wine.
Dry January is over, it’s warming, and goes well with hearty winter dishes.
Could it also be good for the heart?
The jury is out.
Red wine, drunk in moderation, has been thought of as heart healthy for many years and research has pointed to the antioxidants in red wine as being potentially helpful in preventing coronary heart disease and heart attacks.
But so far, the potential health links are not fully understood.
There may be benefits as the antioxidants in the wine could increase the so-called ‘good’ cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein).
That could help prevent the build-up of bad cholesterol in the arteries.
One antioxidant which has been getting attention recently is resveratrol. This is a polyphenol which comes from the skin of the grapes used to make the wine and because the skins are fermented longer in red than white wine, red wine contains more resveratrol.
It may help protect the lining of the blood vessels in the heart and it could also reduce the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) and prevent blood clots.
There is some research which has linked resveratrol to a lower risk of inflammation and clothing which can lead to heart disease, but more research is needed to confirm that link.
Resveratrol is also found in blueberries, cranberries, peanuts, and red and purple grape juices.
How could we not love it? It’s the essential taste of Spain made from high-quality Ibérico pig meat, paprika, and spices.
Little wonder it has become a staple of Andalusian cookery.
The best chorizo is made from acorn-fed pigs and called bellota.
SUGGESTION: Try our Ibérico chorizo sausage made from acorn-fed pigs which is matured for up to five months, or our artisan Ibérico chorizo slices. Perfect to add to your cooking, for tapas dishes, or for sandwiches.
A typical taste of the region, targaninas are wild herbs which grow all over Andalusia and are a key ingredients in many local dishes.
They are sold in jars with garlic, ham, extra virgin olive oil, and salt. They are often marinated in sherry vinegar and added to salads with hard boiled eggs, stews, and omelettes.
SUGGESTION: Discover this Andalusian ingredient with our 230g jar.
A perfect after-dinner treat, a sweet sherry can substitute for a dessert or accompany one.
We love the Pedro Ximénez sherries created by Fernando de Castilla which are aged in barrels for decades to get a sweet and velvety taste.
Serve them with nuts and cheeses.
SUGGESTION: Try the Pedro Ximénez Antiquesherry which is made using grapes dried in the sun for 12 days. Lovely with chocolate or ice cream.