Who likes pork?! You all know we do. And if you do, too, then you’ll love this goodness. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you might want to skip this post. Now, let’s head to Jabugo, Spain!
Cinco Jotas is probably the most famous of all the jamón ibérico makers in Spain, and certainly one of the highest quality. We were fortunate enough to be invited by a friend to visit their facility in the village of Jabugo, and they do not disappoint.
Located in a mountainous and very rainy area of the province of Badajoz, Cinco Jotas (also known as 5J) has been doing its thing since 1879. The company raises Iberian pigs of the highest standard – well above the strict requirements for denomination of origin – and processes and cures all of this goodness in its Jabugo cellars.
5J also has a very nice tasting room, shop, and a great tour in a variety of languages that gives any visitor a true taste of the history of Iberian jam and the company itself.
While tours and tastings are not cheap by any means, they’re 100% worth it. We had a wonderful experience here with all the staff, and now know nearly 100% more about these products than we did when we stepped in the front door.
However, I don’t really feel qualified to pass this knowledge along to you, so I just suggest you visit Cinco Jotas yourself! Really though, I have no doubt I’d screw up a lot of facts and details if I even tried, so let’s just have a picture fest instead.
Check out some photos below, as well as a visit to the village of Linares for a post-gluttony gluttony fest.
Upon our arrival, first things were first as we had a nice lineup of sherry and ham to try before starting our tour.
Bloggers be bloggin’.
After some treats, we got to it with some learning and a tour of this vast and storied company.
One of the massive cellars where hams are cured.
There’s also an interactive museum that gives a story of the history of the company and its three founders, and teaches a lot about the whole process.
Post-tour, we sat down for a true tasting, complete with a schooling about how this part of the process all works and how important it is that this all be done with proper product and properly-trained professionals.
After the tasting, we headed out to the cold and rainy countryside to see some of the pigs themselves! It was so rainy on this particular day that we had to dodge a few obstacles to get there.
We finally made it, though, and got to see these piggy gems in all their luxurious surroundings. Each pig gets a huge swath of land and they’re all free-range, living the gluttonous dream of eating acorns and other things while getting nice and fat as a gift to us.
Thanks, delicious friends!
After that wonderful and very cold experience, we hopped in our hired van and headed through the mountains to the village of Linares de la Sierra.
While that’s all well and good, the reason we came to Linares was for this.
That’s Adela. Say ‘hi’. Hi! Welcome to Restaurante Arrieros. This very cozy restaurant is owned by her, manager of the house, and Luismi, the chef.
This is what true bosses look like.
Bosses of food. Bosses of love.
Arrieros is easily a Michelin-star quality restaurant, and Luismi doesn’t hesitate to school the world with his innovative, mostly local, and totally amazing cuisine.
I shouldn’t even be writing this post for fear of never being able to get in again due to crowds. It’s that good. !!!
Also, they gave us an old-school brasero under our table to keep us nice and warm.
We were all really jaw-dropped by how good it all was. It was a wonderful cross between an experience and a very nice dinner, which is exactly what I love.
So, yes! This was a serious day of preposterous eating and drinking, but all full of love and memories.
We highly recommend a visit to Cinco Jotas, and be sure to reserve a spot at Arrieros while you’re in the region as it’s a top-down treat of wondrous gloriousness. Both are an easy day trip from Seville, too.
A very special and very big thanks to all the fine folks at Cinco Jotas and Arrieros, and to our friends for taking us on this journey.
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Have you ever been to Cinco Jotas, Jabugo, Linares, or Arrieros? If so, what’d you think? If not, what say ye? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!