Tarifa Ruta del Ibérico
This tapas fest’s the pork of the town!
December 5-9, 2018
Tarifa is Europe’s kitesurfing capital but in winter it hogs the gastronomic limelight with its culinary homage to the king of porkers: the black Iberian pig.
The Ruta del Iberico sees chefs all over town competing to create the most inventive tapas starring cerdo Ibérico, Andalucia’s succulent acorn-fed pork. And visitors get to try out their avant garde concoctions ay special prices.
It costs only around €3.50 (2018 prices t.b.c.) for a tapas and a glass of local sherry/wine/beer or soft drink. You’ll never have a better excuse to pig out!
Now in its 6th year, dishes are ever more inventive. And with around 20 restaurants competing your tastebuds will never be bored.
There’s a local saying that ‘the only part of a pig you can’t eat is its oink’ and during the festival you’ll be able to try it all.
Jamón Iberico and gourmet cuts like secreto, presa and pluma will be on the menu, along with hearty rustic favourites like chicharrones (pork scratchings), morcilla (black pudding), spicy chorizo sausages and careta de cerdo, made with the pig’s head like brawn.
Nothing is wasted but when it’s innovatively presented in bite-sized morsels you’ll be surprised how delicious it tastes.
A Foodie Bar Crawl
The Route takes you through the narrow winding streets of the old Moorish town and along Tarifa’s wild Atlantic beach strip.
It’s a great way to enjoy the chilled winter flipside to this charming Moorish seaside pueblo in Cadiz Province when the summer surf set (but not the sun)has moved on.
For added fun you can vote for your favourite tapa and enter a prize draw. Pick up your map and entry form from Tarifa’s Tourist Information Office in Pase de la Alameda … Or follow your your nose towards the aroma of roast crackling!
Tapas is served daily during restaurant hours, generally 12.00-16.00 and 20.00-23.00.
Iberian Pork with a touch of Sage
A bronze bust of a bespectacled gent outside Tarifa’s tourist office often stops curious visitors in their tracks. This dapper hombre is El Sabio de Tarifa - the Sage of Tarifa - and he presides in spirit over the Ruta del Ibérico, inaugurated in his honour.
“As Seneca was to Cordoba, so José Luis Muñoz Alonso was to Tarifa”, this humble breeder of Iberian pigs has been described.
Honoured as a Famous Son of Tarifa, he loved Tarifa and his pigs in equal measure and promoted both wherever he went, claiming that his jamon Ibérico was “better than Viagra”.
Once he was nearly arrested by King Juan Carlos of Spain’s bodyguards when he offered the monarch a slice of ham on the blade of his very sharp knife! The King tasted it and instantly forgave him, the Queen (a vegetarian) too!
You can still visit his famous little restaurant in Tarifa old town today. Rechristened El Sabio de Tarifa, his lovely grand-daughter Elena keeps the legend alive with love … and a hint of sage!