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Mercado San Miguel

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One thing that you have to love about Madrid are the wonderful markets. The Mercado San Miguel or San Miguel Market draws residents and visitors alike, with purveyors selling beautifully displayed produce from fish, fresh pastas to pastries, fruits and of course jamon iberico (Iberian ham) In the evening the crowd shifts and the focus is more on tapas and wine or beer, but either time it is busting with activity.

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This iron-and-glass Mercado is just a great space, it opened in May 1916, a monument to modernism reminiscent of Les Halles in Paris. Eventually all but abandoned, the building fell into disrepair. Restoration began after private investors bought the building in 2003.

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The market is a wonderful place to visit. Its is bursting with color both from the city and the produce it sells. Perfect to have a snack and a glass of wine or beer. Choose from cheese, oysters, ham, olives and so much much more.

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IBERIAN HAM: Is a cured ham each is labeled according to the pigs’ diet, with an acorn diet being most desirable. The finest is called jamón ibérico de bellota (acorn). This ham is from free-range pigs that roam oak forests (called dehesas) along the border between Spain and Portugal, and eat only acorns during this last period. It is also known as jamón ibérico de Montanera. The exercise and diet have a significant impact on the flavor of the meat; the ham is cured for 36 months. The next grade is called jamón ibérico de recebo. This ham is from pigs that are pastured and fed a combination of acorns and grain. The third type is called jamón ibérico de cebo, or simply, jamón ibérico. This ham is from pigs that are fed only grain. The ham is cured for 24 months. Quality Iberian ham is not easy to find in the states–it is worth a try while you are here.

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Mercado de San Miguel
Location: Plaza de San Miguel, Salamanca
Telephone: +34 91 542 4936
Hours: Mon.-Wed. & Sun. 10am-midnight; Thurs.-Sat. 10am-2am

STEPHEN MICHAEL GROSS






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