Apr 29 2024

Keep the Feria de Abril Party Going at Home!

One of Spain's most iconic celebrations has an important gastronomic component: here's what you need to recreate it on your own

Every spring, southern Spain erupts into a party. Flamenco, dresses with trains for the women and elegant suits for the men, lanterns, casetas (similar to pavilions)... and delicious food turn the month of April into a constant celebration.

Creating your own Feria de April at home is not difficult, if you know how to do it. You just have to stock your fridge with the right products, both solid and liquid, and prolong the celebration as long as you want. Note the essentials.

A good jamón... Since we're in Andalusia, it could be an Ibérico from Jabugo PDO (Huelva) or Los Pedroches PDO (Córdoba) or a jamón from Jamón de Trevélez PGI or Jamón de Serón PGI. Another ham-tastic option is jamón Serrano! There are many brands that sell packages of hand-carved, ready-to-eat jamón. All you have to do is open the package, let it sit at room temperature to allow the fat to melt, and enjoy one of Spain’s greatest gastronomic delicacies. You can eat it with your hands and enjoy picos (breadsticks) or regañás alongside it.

Mojama, a unique treat. Among classic Andalusian finger foods, you must have mojama, which is filleted salt-cured tuna. Traditionally it's made from Bluefin tuna, which is fished off the coast of southern Spain using a method called almadraba. Its intense, salty flavor makes it irresistible. It tastes especially good alongside a handful of almonds, and even better if they're raw Marcona almonds.

feria  - 1

Gazpacho and salmorejo to stay cool. In Spain, the beginning of spring is the time of year when cold tomato-based soups make their appearance. These two recipes are closely related: both include tomatoes, bread, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar (best if it's Sherry vinegar), and a clove of garlic. They differ only in their consistency. While gazpacho is more liquid (and is perfect for drinking in a glass), salmorejo has a thicker consistency (and is eaten with a spoon and topped with chopped boiled egg or diced ham).

Drinks and dessert...

The Feria de Abril would not be what it is without the Andalusian wines that are usually enjoyed between dances. The stars of the show, in this case, are fortified wines from Jerez and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The most popular at the fair are Fino and Manzanilla. Both can be used in a popular cocktail, which is the most in-demand drink during fair season: rebujito. In this drink, these wines are mixed with soda, mint, and plenty of ice to create a refreshing drink that also serves as an introduction to Sherry wines.

And for dessert... There's nothing better than Inés Rosales tortas. This well-established sweet treat is still made in Seville, using age-old methods. These olive oil cakes have been a traditional snack throughout Spain for more than 100 years. Flavored with anise and sesame seeds, they can be combined with a wide variety of foods, such as cheese, fresh fruit, honey, nuts... A perfect ending to a complete fair menu to which you can only say, ¡Olé!