Deli welcomes taste of Spain

Ottavio Italian Bakery and Delicatessen hams it up with Jamon Serrano Saturday

Serrano Imports brings a taste of Spain to Ottavio Saturday.

Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen brings Spain to Oak Bay this weekend with a visit from Serrano Imports CEO Michael Tkaczuk

Saturday, he’ll slice the Jamon Trevelez, Iberico and Iberico de Bellota.

“It’s fun to have all three because you can get a sense of the differences in all the hams. It’s like a flight of wine, you get to understand what you’re tasting,” he said.

Guests will also sample embutidos, seafood Conservas,  Cantabria anchovies and learn how they are produced and why they are held in such regard in Spain.

“We launched this line of Conservas about a year and a half ago and didn’t know how they would go over in the coastal cities, but Andrew (Moyer at Ottavio) has done well with them the last 10 months or so,” Tkaczuk said. “One of the big features about these products is they’re only fished in season, so whether it be a cockle or clam or scallop, they’re only fished in season and they’re really at their prime at that time.”

The anchovies come from north of Spain. “You see these retail for about $2 a fillet so they’re quite special,” Tkaczuk said. “These are less of the fishy and salty and more of the fresh clean flavour. You’re not getting the herring bones, they’re hand cleaned … we surprise a lot of people with them.”

The plan for the event at Ottavio, on Oak Bay Avenue, is to showcase the entire Serrano Imports selection.

“We have representation from every part of Spain in our portfolio,” Tkaczuk said, adding it will capture the essence of Spain for guests no matter where they’ve been. Tkaczuk says a highlight will be octopus served on an authentic Galician wood plate simply with a little sea salt, Arbequina olive oil and smoked Pimentón from Losar de La Vera (Cáceres).

“We’re going to see how that goes,” he said. “When I go to Spain, people go and order a huge plate of octopus and a glass of wine, and eat it with a toothpick, and that’s that. It should be fun.”

Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen brings Spain to Oak Bay on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“They have a great store and it’s a great opportunity to connect with the customers,” Tkaczuk said. “The only way people are going to continue to try those products, is to understand why they’re so unique and so special. … I always have great fun with Andrew, his clientele is always in the mood to try something unique.”

Visit serranoimports.com to learn more about the products or ottaviovictoria.com for more details on the event.