XVII Muestra del Embutido Artesano y de Calidad de Requena

17th Artisan and Quality Sausage Fair, Requena 2010.
Requena’s annual sausage fair proved ever popular despite the snow falling on Saturday! Crowds enjoyed this important tourist and serious gourmet fair in minus temperatures.
Beginning in the Sausage marquee the gastronauts had a choice from 5 of the 12 exhibitors affiliated to the Requena Sausage Makers Association ( www.embutidoderequena.com ) with the sampling tickets attached to the entry pass. This gave access to a bowl each time of sausages from the barbeque, preserved sausages, black puddings and sobrasada. This could all be washed down with a glass of Enterizo Tinto or Rosado from the Requena Co-op Coviñas.
A selection of sausages.
One of the exhibitors with a selection of sausages for sale.
In the commercial marquee close-by most popular amongst the exhibitors was again the local Amas de Casa Tyrius ( the housewives association ) who had prepared large bowls of Mortuerelo ( or Paté de Valencia, Ajoarriero ( cod and potato paste) and Morro ( pork scratchings ).
Amas de Casa preparing their dishes.
A portion of ajoarriero and mortuerelo.
Also available to taste were the savoury and sweet breads from the Associacion Panaderos Artesanos de Bollo who make the great big breads that are shared amongst workers and families alike. These either have fish and bacon and sausages embedded in them or are decorated with `hundreds and thousands´.
 Selection of breads and bollos in Requena.
Other exhibitors including the wine fair organisers (Ferevin ) had a stall in this marquee but their contribution was a series of tutored tastings in their HQ nearby in the old town. We attended a tasting of 4 wines from Bodegas Sierra Norte which attracted a good crowd of young tasters.
First we tasted Fuentseca Blanco 2008 a blend of 80% Macabeo and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Pale yellow with green flashes this was a clean and bright wine with white flowers, tropical fruits and hints of fennel on the nose. In the mouth the wine was full and fresh, nicely balanced with acidity and a long perfumed finish.
We stepped up to the Cerro Bercial Blanco Seleción 2008, a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier 20% and Garnacha Blanca 10% and barrel fermented. Yellow straw in colour , clean and bright this has tropical fruits citrus, pastries and toasted flavours. In the mouth it is full, round creamy and very complex with a persistent finish. A wine for food, e.g. smoked salmon.
Our third wine was the Cerro Bercial Rosado 2007. This is a blend of Merlot, Bobal and Tempranillo. It is a fresh rose colour, clear and bright with blue flashes at the rim, a characteristic of Bobal. On the nose were strawberries, raspberries and wood fruits. It is fresh in the mouth with rich red fruit salad flavours and a persistent long finish with good acidity.
Finally we tasted the Cerro Bercial Crianza 2005. This is a red of 57% Tempanillo and 43% Bobal blended after separate vinification. Garnet red, with purple edges and long legs this was a serious red. In the mouth it is elegant, structured , balanced and full of red fruits with a long finish and balsamic afternotes.
Some of the tasters in the Ferevin HQ.
To finish we went back to the main area where pigs and potatoes had been prepared in the open for lunch and enjoyed a bowl of Cerdo Asado and potatos in the Requena style.
Sides of pig being barbequed.
A giant paella pan of potatos in the Requena style.
Once again the sausage fair hit all the right notes and despite the cold, Valencians and visitors alike celebrated the rich culture of Valencia´s gastronomy. The fair continues tomorrow.

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