Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Look at this! You can buy my book, TAPAS--A BITE OF SPAIN -at DESPANA in New York. You also can find lots of ingredients for preparing tapas and the wines to accompany them at Despana. I visited the shop with my friend Donna Gelb, a New York-based food writer, in search of a taste of Spain in New York.

Pedro slices iberico ham at Despana.

We sampled some fine jamon iberico de bellota-- that's the very best iberico ham--and shared several tapas that are made fresh in the shop. Tender bites of octopus with a Galician-style dressing of pimenton (paprika) and extra virgin olive oil; three kinds of croquettes--ham, cod and Idiazabal cheese; thick slabs of potato tortilla, one with just onion, the other with chunks of chorizo sausage, and tostas with melted cheese. What a great lunch for a day in the city.

Despana, located in Soho, has wine tastings and pairings every other Thursday, serving a selection of wines from Spain along with tapas.

Browsing products from Spain.
The shop offers a good selection of cheeses from Spain; canned gourmet foods; olive oil; serrano and iberico hams; spices such as saffron and pimenton; beans and garbanzos; piquillo peppers; earthenware cazuelas and metal paella pans. Most products are imported from Spain, but Despana manufacturers its own house-brand of chorizo.

DESPANA--Vinos y Mas
410 Broome Street
New York, NY

Here I am in the U.S., typing on a key board that doesn't have accent marks and a tilda ~ to go over the "n" in Espana. Now I understand why Despana spells its name that way!  Nevertheless, I am enjoying my visit and my tastes of Spain in America. Next stop, Atlanta.


  1. Congratulations on your celebrity tour of the U.S.A. Janet. You deserve it! Did you know that in the old days in the province of Almería they used to serve chunks of fresh fruit as tapas? I don't know if anyone still does.

  2. Mike: Not a celebrity tour, just a visit to friends and grandkids. Fruit as tapas? But does it go with vino? Maybe--

  3. Congrats. Do you have a San Francisco stop?

  4. Barton: Thanks. No west coast on this trip.

  5. It is wonderful to see that someone appreciates and is furthering the cuisine of Spain. Thank you and I will have to go into NY to make a stop at despana. My mother's family is from Andalucia, my father from the Canary Islands and his father from Valencia. I was fortunate to be raised with the food of all the great provinces. Que Viva Espana -Carmen

  6. Carmen: Fortunate, indeed, to enjoy flavors from all over Spain.