Córdoba is one of our favourite cities to visit and when we went in January this year we had a chance to catch up with friends, revisit some old haunts and visit some new places.
We drove up from Málaga, checked into our hotel and then headed out to meet up with our good friend Alberto, his wife and their two children for lunch.
We love exploring new cuisine and Alberto had booked the Casa Mazal located in the heart of the Jewish district of the city.
Casa Mazal is dedicated to the culinary tradition of Sefarad (Jewish – Spanish) and Al-Andalus (Arabic-Andalusian).
The food was fabulous but most of all it was fantastic to catch up with Alberto and his family.
Even although we had eaten royally in the afternoon, in the evening we returned to Restaurante Sociedad Palateros María Auxiliadora where we had had a fantastic lunch back in September 2017. You can read about that visit here.
On this visit we were accompanied by our dear friend Isa and once again we were warmly greeted by Manolo Bordallo, the owner.
Manolo is very conscious that more and more people suffer from gluten intolerance. He is continually adapting and developing a range of gluten free dishes for the restaurant. One thing key to this has been the yeast that he sources to use in their in-house bakery to make gluten free bread.
We were shown and got to smell yeasts used in the bread making along with the yeast or flor found in the in Fino casks in La Bodeguita. It was interesting to confirm those familiar aromas from finos are the same as those found in bread and to try their gluten free bread.
So onto the food and wine pairings.
An obligatory starter of Jamón Ibérico de bellota and then what a wine treat we had in store.
Manolo presented us with wines from the inhouse bodeguita along with food pairings selected personally by him and Isa: –
Fino Peseta – 13.4% ABV
Nose: Yeast, marmite. almonds, lemons and apples.
Palate: Apples, lemons and pink grapefruit.
Fino Platino – 15.7%
Nose: Sweeter than the Peseta, still get marmite and more baked apples and some almonds.
Palate: Red apples and lemon with a slight ginger.
Pairing: Alcachofas a la Montillana con salsa de fino, menta y azafrán (Montilla artichokes with fino, mint and saffron sauce)
Amontillado – 18.1%
Nose: Toffee, caramel, gloves and ginger
Palate: Ginger, toffee and orange peel.
Pairing: Japuta en adoba con ensalada de col (Monkfish in spicy marinade with coleslaw)
Palo Cortado – 16.9%
Nose: Toffee, demerara sugar, some cocoa and honey
Palate: Ripe citrus orange and toffee
Pairing: Arroz con bacalao y chorizo (Rice with cod and chorizo)
Oloroso – 16.5%
Nose: Toffee, oranges, honey, lemon, dark sugar and ginger
Palate: Dry, chocolate orange, elegant and balanced.
Pairing: Carrillada al oloroso (Pork cheeks Slow cooked in oloroso)
All the food and wine pairings worked wonderfully well but the carrillada al oloroso was our favourite of the 4.
Once again we cannot thank Isa enough for organising this evening.
To Manolo and his team, thank you once again.