Archaeological food: mojama

Here´s one of my favourite all-time tapas, mojama . I love it for its own sake, but even more I love it for the sense of history I get every time I take a bite.
I know it´s silly and snobbish, and that I should feel the same way with bread, or olive oil. But they´re things I´ve been seeing every day of my life, whereas mojama is a bit of an acquired taste, and I acquired it only a few years ago.

Being the salted and dried loin of tuna, it´s very strong. And salty. And dry. I´m sure you guessed that.
In Madrid it seems to be the specialty of a few cervecerías of the old school, where they pull the beer in small, perfect icy cañas with a creamy foam. One bite of the salty mojama is enough to make you order seven cañas, at the very least, so it´s good for business.
They serve it cut in very thin slices, fanned out on a plate, with a few just-toasted almonds, hot from the pan, and a drizzle of the best olive oil. See what I mean? Doesn´t that feel like an illustration of Mediterranean life BC? Don´t you see Dido having a salty snack among the ruins of Cartague?
Provided you can find the mojama, it´s a very easy and impressive aperitivo to serve to guests. Just make sure that you toast the almonds carefully, without adding oil, as theirs will come to the surface in the hot pan. And don´t add salt, on pain of serious dehydration.

6 comentarios:

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) dijo...

I have never had this tapa, but it sounds so intriguing! I'll look for it at our local tapas restaurant next time I'm there. Thanks!

xps dijo...

Que bonito homenaje a tu tío Jorge.

Raquel dijo...

Ups! I´ve never tasted it!

Anónimo dijo...

it sounds like the pork of the sea!
man would i love to try some of this tapa... i guess i better book a ticket to spain soon!

Anónimo dijo...

When I was a child, I used to take mojama without the almonds, but with fine chopped raw garlic and a generous drizzle of good and fruity olive oil!

I always put the garlic aside, but it left its scent in the oil and in the mojama and was really delicious.

Thank you for remininding me my childhood. You have put a smile in my face.

lobstersquad dijo...

guru: dont´wait. it´s good
ann: yes, the pork of the sea. you know how it is here, if it ain´t the real pork ,it has to be fake pork
anónimo: well, thank you, I´ll have to try the garlic trick.