February 28, 2011

Despaña: Tasty treats from Spain

Living in New York, we are incredibly spoiled by the rich availability of food in so many different markets; but it’s always nice to discover a new market.  Recently I came across Despaña, a gourmet boutique that specializes in products from Spain.

Despaña offers a great variety of cheese (tons of Manchego, my fav), chorizo, ham, olive oil, sauces/spreads and many other products. 

They also have a pretty good selection of books, cazuelas (earthenware), and paelleras (paella pans).

One of the specialty items at Despaña is the Iberico Bellota ham.  Not just the Iberico ham, but the Iberico Bellota which means that for the last 3-4 months the pigs are fed a  strict diet of bellotas (acorns) to plump them up.  During this period the pigs double their weight.  This ham is cured for 20 months. At Despaña they sell both the boneless for $139/lb and the bone in for $85/lb. So you might be wondering, is it worth it?  In my opinion, ABSOLUTELY! The aroma from this ham and the silky texture on the palate are fantabulous.  Tasting this ham was a treat I could not pass up!

However, if you don't want to splurge on the Iberico ham, Despaña has other options.  There is a dining area towards the back of the boutique.  Here you can order pintxos, tapas, bocadillos, soups, salads and desserts.

Of course since I'm a curious kind of girl I had to try a few items.  To start with I tasted the chorizo a la sidra and the pinxto of Serrano ham with manchego cheese.  The chorizo a la sidra was not what I was expecting, I was hoping for a spicier chorizo but this one had a very mild taste.  The Serrano ham was very smooth and velvety, not too salty; the manchego is always my favorite so this was a great pick for me.  I also tasted  El Quijote bocadillo; the sweet quince cream was a pleasant surprise and it made this a little more special than just a regular ham and cheese sandwich. 

Despaña is the kind of place you can go to pick up favorite items for a special meal or the kind of place you can stop in and savor a quick bite.  I hope you get to treat yourself to some Spanish delights.  Buen Provecho!

408 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013
Phone: 212.219.5050
Closest Subway Stop: Sprint St (6)