Many years ago, on one of my first visits to Córdoba, Peter @SVQconcierge and I happened upon this tiny cul-de-sac alley (that just happened to have a little bar at the end – perfect for Beer O’clock!), which we seemed to only ever find again by chance on subsequent visits. Like this time. Only since we last stumbled upon it the name has been changed (a quick google tells me it was in fact changed in December 2014). What was previously Calleja de Arcos is now Calleja de Salmorejo Cordobés, or Tomato Soup Alley, and comes with a recipe for Córdoba’s famous cold soup. I actually prefer this to the more well-known gazpacho. Originally made with a mortar & pestle, these days using a blender or food processor is more common. Here is the translation…
- 1 kg tomatoes
- 200 grams bread
- 100 grams extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 10 grams salt
Wash and then mash the tomatoes. Strain to remove the skin and seeds, then mash the pulp again, adding the bread, oil, garlic and salt, and keep blending until smooth. Top with chopped hard boiled egg and bits of jamón Ibérico.
Salmorejo is a part of what I call the Córdobes Holy Trinity of tapas, which also includes flamenquín and berenjenas fritos. We ended up ordering all of these when we were at Taberna El Gallo the other day and – wow! – I have to say that all three were probably the best I’ve had anywhere. The salmorejo was delicious and had a lovely texture, not “over processed”, as if a mortar & pestle had been used. Also a nice touch – the hard boiled whole quail egg. The flamenquín was unlike any I’d had before, simply with pork loin and serrano ham rolled up, breaded and deep fried. Most places add cheese or other fillings, but the waiter at El Gallo told me this was the original version. Last but not least… amazing aubergine/eggplant frites! Crispy fried, tender (not mushy) inside, and – most importantly – no gacky sweet molasses (called miel de caña “cane honey” here) squirted all over them. I love this bar.