School is now in session at the first and only jamóneria in the country
Everyone who’s been to Spain will tell you that your Spanish vacation won’t be complete without savoring two of the greatest things produced in its lands: jamón (ham) and wine.
Now, you don’t have to travel all the way to Spain to enjoy authentic jamón—thanks to Txanton.
Txanton is the first and only jamóneria and cellar in the country; and according to general manager Besay Gonzalez, Txanton is here to spread the delicious details about Spain’s best jamón.
Txanton is divided into three sections: La Tienda (The Store), which houses the main dining area, and where guests can purchase bottles of wine, olive oil, and jamón; La Gran Añada (The Great Vintage), a dining space good for up to ten people, which also houses their collection of high-end wines/vintages; and La Sala de Cata (The Tasting Room), a secluded dining area with a more contemporary ambiance.
“Our goal is to educate more people about authentic jamón, how to enjoy it in the best possible way, and of course help you find the best bottle of wine to pair with your jamon,” Gonzalez explained.
When dining at Txanton, the dish is the stage and the star is nothing else but the jamón. Chef Justo Rodrigo Lopez from Madrid made sure that they only serve authentic Spanish comfort food, keeping items simple so guests can focus on enjoying the jamón.
“This is our comfort food, this is what we eat in Spain on a regular basis,” Chef Justo shared with Expat, referring to the mouthwatering spread on the table. “It is very simple, easy to prepare, but the ingredients are high quality.”
For first time diners, Gonzalez and Chef Justo suggests the Bellota Tasting Platter, which has four different kinds of delectable Iberico Bellota jamón imported from Spain. The tasting platter features jamón from the only regions in Spain allowed to produce Iberico ham: Guijelo (which has a soft, savory balance), Extramadura (slightly more intense flavor with a short finish), Pedroches (very aromatic,
nutty with a semi-long finish), and Huelva (very intense flavor, strongly aromatic with a long finish). Each type of jamon is paired with wine. Though the flavors differ, all the jamón in the platter are smooth and tender. It’s almost impossible to describe.
This exquisite jamón comes from acorn-fed pigs. The meat is then cured for three to four years until it reaches perfection, then a maestro cortador (master carver) expertly carves the jamón into paper-thin pieces, ready for tasting.
Guests can also enjoy a refreshingly interactive olive oil tasting platter, which has fresh garlic, plump red tomatoes, toasted bruschetta, and four types of salt. Chef Justo said this is something they would normally have in Spain, simple ingredients with complex flavor profiles.
Here’s how to go through this olive oil tasting platter: pour some olive oil on your plate and dip the bruschetta into it, then rub the fresh garlic on the oiled bread, then rub-slash-squish the juicy tomatoes on the bruschetta, sprinkle with the salt of your choice, and pop in your mouth.
Believe me when I say that this will open your eyes to what you’ve been missing all your life. Pro-tip: Make sure to try the Gray Salt from Camargue, France. It has a very subtle meaty flavor that lifts the entire bite to a new level.
“A visit to Txanton is not just about wine or food, it is an experience, an education,” Gonzalez said.
This is definitely the most delicious education you will ever have, and thankfully, school’s in session. Are you ready to earn your jamón and wine degree?
Txanton is located at 2nd Floor Alegria Alta, 2294 Chino Roces Ave. Extension, Makati. They are open from Monday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kitchen is closed on Sundays. For inquiries and reservations, call (02) 812-2040 loc. 112. For more information, visit www.txanton.com.ph.
By CHING DEE