Descubriendo artesanos: Jose, ceramista de la Sierra de Huelva

Discovering artisans: Jose, ceramist from the Sierra de Huelva

Real Fábrica was born here, in Andalusia. A place where traditions have a special weight, permeating everything. Leaving that patina of authenticity and know-how. I grew up here and this project was born here, on the ground floor of my family's house in a fishing town with a beautiful beach, Punta Umbria.


Seville here next door, my hometown, with its Manila shawls and its Holy Week. Craftsmanship in its purest form. Below I leave you my recommendations for really good tapas in the capital of Andalusia.

Huelva is another story. We began this trip through the mountains, in Aracena, where we visited Jose Antonio in his ceramics workshop.


We had already heard very good things about him, that he has waiting lists of months for him to produce for us, and indeed this has been the case because from the moment we had the first conversation until we received the first pieces it was a complete work of detail and modification of prototypes that we really enjoyed.

Jose Antonio has a very small workshop in town, and he is always happy to show it to visitors. He works the lathe like no one else, but what amazes me is how he paints the plates. We don't expect your things to arrive at the store at all. ceramica-campofrio-aracena-sierra-huelva-real-fabrica


After such a cool visit where we learned a lot with José, we have to go to Jabugo.


For those of us from the south, ham is a way of life, and if there is one thing we understand, it is to appreciate a good one. We have this topic in our blood, we have learned about it since we were little. During the seasons I lived abroad I looked for good sliced ​​meats, but I never thought they were of sufficient quality and in the end I always ended up putting them in my suitcase when I passed by the house. On this trip we wanted to visit farms, large and small dryers, highly branded hams and unbranded hams, we saw how free-range pigs lived, and we even tried acorns...


And this was the same photo, but 6 years before! very strong


In Jabugo the pigs are raised in complete freedom in the pasture, where they run and rest as they please (don't miss the videos we uploaded today to our Instagram Stories ) eating acorns in the montanera (the fattening season) and grass. After slaughter, the legs are bled and salted for a certain time. After removing them from the salting room, they are taken to the drying room, where the temperature and humidity are controlled, and they are hung from the ceiling to cure for as long as necessary depending on the weight. You can't imagine how those drying rooms smell... pure glory for those of us who would eat ham at all hours!

Pigs fed on free-range acorns and cut by hand, which is how it tastes best. I hope you appreciate it as much as I do, not anything else but good ham, in the south, we understand for a while :)

My favorites from the Sierra de Huelva:


1) Visit to the 5J drying room. It is currently owned by Osborne, and the visit is very well prepared, with a tasting of ham with Fino.



2) Juan Hormigo Restaurant (a must). Be sure to try the sirloin with chestnut cream. The restaurant also has a drying room right there that looks incredible and I think you can also visit it.

In Aracena:

1) Finca Valbono, to sleep. Waking up in the countryside and having breakfast under that immense vine is a great luxury. They also have houses for families.


2) Jose Vicente Restaurant. Mushrooms and mushrooms. The season is in autumn, after the first rains.

3) Grotto of wonders: there are guided tours almost every hour. Around the caves is the tourist center of the town, and it is beautiful.

Aracena Castle: we went up at sunset, and they had a classical music concert upstairs. When you go down, you can visit an old pottery with very special ceramics made in Aracena.

grotto of wonders sierra de huelva aracena real factoryPlaza Grotto of Wonders Banco Aracena Real Fabrica


If you can, don't miss the route along the Riotinto train, which is not far away and is a landscape that looks like Mars. In Aracena they also have a tourist train that I didn't have time to see but that they told me was cool.

By the way, if you continue to Huelva capital, I also leave you some recommendations. I lived there for many years and it is not a pretty city, but the food is luxurious and the life is very peaceful there.

Azabache Restaurant, in the center. Choco eggs, any fish or seafood... everything is a tenner.

The Huelva food market also deserves special mention. I have never met anyone like it. Not only for the fish but also for the incredible vegetables from the province's gardens. It's a big market but very local, and that makes it really special.

If you go to the market in the morning, then have some tapas in Azabache and then you go to the beach in the afternoon, you are going to have a great day. If you go with children, the caravel dock is great, in La Rabida, Palos de la border. Where Columbus left for America. They tell you it's super fun.

What did you think of our visit? I have the best job in the world, right? tell me here or on instagram places in Spain where you can discover more artisans!!

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