Jamon serrano means "ham from the mountains." This has to do more than anything else with the final step in the process of curing and drying the ham. The ham is dried for 6-18 months and the drying sheds (secaderos) are built at higher elevations. So Ronda, with its cool, dry mountain climate is ideal for this.
The initial step is to cover the hams with salt, then it is cleaned off and hung for 6 months before being sent to the secadero.
The result? The ham is delicious! Jamon serrano is made from a variety of white pig, compound fed. You can have jamon serrano as a cold cut, or often it will be in a main dish. Spaniards love to cook with wine and the jamon serrano is wonderful with that. If you go out for tapas you will find jamon serrano often in tapas. Usually it is served raw and finely sliced.
One of the common ways you will see it served is with manchego cheese, (from La Mancha).
As we were walking back to our parked car in late-afternoon, this horse-drawn carriage clip-clopped past us with its load of a happy tourist family. We had previously noticed that this form of transportation for tourists seemed to be a staple outside the Cathedral in Sevilla as well. My DK Eyewitness travel guide on Andalusia says that "there is no better way to soak up the ambiance of Andalusia's fine cities than from the seat of an old-fashioned, horse-drawn carriage. Official tariffs are usually posted by the places where the drivers wait in line with their carriages. The price is usually 40 Euros for a 40-minute ride for four people...and the carriages can seat up to four passengers."
We did not see any line-up of carriages in Ronda in late-December but maybe there is during the main tourist season. Luckily the town of Ronda itself is fairly flat - I just hope those horses don't have to make trips down to the valley below under any conditions!
As we found out during our drive around Portugal in 2004, 'azulejos' are a unique and famous method of making colourful ceramic tiles for decorative purposes - first introduced to the Iberian Peninsula over 1000 years ago by the Moorish invaders from Africa. Not only beautiful, they are also extremely durable and allow the creation of a wide variety of themes pleasing to the eye. In our case, we ran across this large and very nice aerial view of Ronda just after crossing Puente Neuvo into Old Ronda. This particular type of azulejo, using large painted glazed tiles was developed in Italy in the 1500s. The display shows Ronda's circular bullring at lower left and, only a short distance to the right, Puente Neuvo leading further into Ronda. We later walked along the cliff face on the right side, passing a series of expensive hotels and restaurants with seating on the edge of the cliff, until we reached a 'look-out' point where we had some wonderful views back toward the bridge and out into the valley.
Just a few feet further on from the azulejo map, we came across a shop (2nd photo) selling local artifacts including paintings, handcrafts and so on. The ladies had a good look inside but, in the end decided not to buy anything.
Gazpacho is a traditional Andalusian cold soup which is available in almost all local restaurants.
Nowadays it mainly consists of fresh raw tomatoes, oil, garlic and salt. The history of the soup is probably as old as the Andalusian hills, but in the early times it wasn't made of tomatoes but of other raw vegetables.
On a hot summer day the soup is really tasty and quenches your thirst.
Due to the increasing number of tourists the beer consumption in Spain has more than doubled since 1980. One of the well known beer brands of Spain is San Miguel which roots are actually located in the Phillippines. The original brewery was founded by a Spaniard in Manila. What started as a brewery is nowadays Southeast Asia's largest food and beverage company.
The San Miguel lager belongs to the most sold beers in the world and you will find its advertisments all over Spain.
It seems that every aristocrat in Ronda (and there appear to have been many) emblazoned his doorway with his coat of arms. This merely mimiced the Royal Presence which was proclaimed on building walls as well as gates (and doors). Most of them are wrought ceramic clay and they are everywhere you look. I am not informed about heraldry but found the devices to be intriguing. I did not keep a record about where I saw most of them.
pedro romero ,in 19th century,codified here the rules of modern bull fighting.
in early september (between 5th and 13th),during pedro romero's feria,the most famous toreadors must come here.
in the meanwhile.take place "goyescan" corridas with ancient carriages and dresses...
I didnt go into the bullring. It is the oldest bullring in Spain. In September they apparently have a bullfight where they dress in clothes from over 100 years ago.
The bullring is open each day from 10am to 7pm. Charge is 5 euros.
There is wheelchair access.
Apparently the film director/actor Orson Welles loved this place and wanted his ashes scattered here, however they are not and are at an estate of a bull figher called Antonio Ordonez who was a close friend of his.
One of the charming aspects of Ronda were all the informational historic signs that provided information, in several languages, for the tourist visiting that site. I discovered these signs at a number of the monuments and historic places that I visited in Ronda and found them very helpful to understand the context of what I was viewing and visiting.
It seems to be a Spanish custom to open your doors in order that passers-by can peep in and see just how you live. We found this beautiful Spanish lounge whilst walking through the Calle Tenorio. The view was enchanting. On the opposite side of the Calle is a Convent, where for a fee of 2 Euros, you can enter, and look around. We decided not to do so.
marques de salvatierra,return from south america colonies,did'nt come back alone,but "accompanied" by a lot of native slaves....so proud of that,as you can see it on the magnificent main door!