Jamon bars are popping up all over the UK, the most recent addition being the jamon bar at Camino in Kings Cross. Tio Pepe and jamon have a long history. Since fino has been drunk in Spain it’s been paired with jamon, it’s a match made in heaven, the perfect marriage of savoury flavours.
‘Why is that?’ I hear you ask. Well it’s because the pig and fino have a key element in common. No, it’s not that they’re both Spanish, though they are both delicacies of that nation. It’s ‘umami’, the savoury flavour that your tongue picks up, they pair well because of this shared element. Jamon Iberico is made from iberian pigs whose diet largely consists of acorns, giving it a savoury and nutty flavour, while Tio Pepe get’s it’s savoury flavour from the unique solera aging system. So when you combine Jamon and Tio Pepe their savoury flavours compliment each other.
We love this combination and we’re very excited that Camino have opened up their own jamon bar. They told us they opened it so that people ‘can experience the theatre and skill of the authentic Spanish tradition, while enjoying some of the finest charcuterie’ and we think that’s just great. Sipping Tio Pepe while watching someone carve a leg of jamon and then eating it is the quintessential Spanish experience – and at £3.5 for a small glass and a Pintxos who can resist?