Madrid is renowned for its bustling restaurants, but behind of every mouth-watering bite the city offer us, there is a hard-working food-producer.
Madrid is renowned for its chefs, restaurants and bustling markets, but as people feast upon delicious meals and carefully cultivated produce, they should spare a thought for the hard-working food-producers in the countryside. These skilled farmers have made a life out of producing quality food and are the true backbone of the city’s thriving metropolitan food scene.
In a river basin that weaves through the mountains of Torremocha de Jarama, beekeeper Luis Escudero from honey brand La Abeja Meli is busy ensuring his colony of pint-sized workers are both happy and well-fed. Stemming from a family of honey producers with experience that stretches back three decades, Escudero opened his own colony of beehives in 2001 in one of Madrid’s most unspoilt patches of countryside filled of rosemary, thyme and lavender. The pristine conditions provided by this high altitude oasis mean that the organic honey produced here is as pure as the surrounding mountain, bringing delight to breakfast tables in barrios around the city.
Miraflores Cheesery—that takes its nome from the near village located in La Sierra, is as committed to making quality cheese as it is to nurturing an allegiance to the local region. José Luis Santé leads a team of skilled cheese-makers who carefully forge wheels of queso from sheep’s and goat’s milk sourced from a farm in the Sierra de Guadarrama. Working closely with local farmers, distributors, and businesses, the Miraflores Cheesery strives to cultivate a more sustainable local approach to food production. Their range of specialty cheeses have a strong connection to the land in both nature and name.
A little closer to the city, on a small plain at the foot of the Madrid’s stony Sierra mountain range, a family-run finca cultivates some of the region’s finest cuts of meat. The verdant fields of the Sierra de Guadarrama provide the perfect feeding ground for Raúl de Lema Turégano’s prized cattle. His family has been toiling this land for four generations—Raúl continues in the footsteps of his great-grandfather Hilario, and created the official brand in 1999. With his homestead perched just a few paces from the grazing animals, the proud farmer and butcher is perfectly poised to nurture his herd of cattle around the clock producing some of the most prized pick of customers perusing gastro-markets in the city centre.
So, as you sit down for a meal in one of the Madrid’s inner-city eateries; marvel at a mouth-watering morsel in a colourful market, or enjoy some cured cheese with your wine as you soak up the festive air of a taberna—pause for a moment and pay your respects to the tireless army living beyond the city limits, quietly toiling the land to make every mouth-watering bite and delicious sip possible.