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  • Antonio Gazquez Ortiz: A Profile

Antonio Gazquez Ortiz: A Profile

Antonio Gázquez Ortíz is a man of extraordinary breadth: scholar, author, research scientist, renowned gastronome who represents the best of Extremadura. The region is the home of ranchers and breeders as well as the fabled black-hoofed Iberian pigs -- which have made this land their home for centuries. These animals are the source of the mythical Jamón Ibérico, and provided the impetus for our ten-year quest to bring this precious product to the tables of America.

Dr. Gázquez life work is the scholarly research into the life of the Iberian pig, Cerdo Ibérico. He is pre-eminent in his field, and holds the Chair of Histology (the study of animal tissues) at the University of Extremadura in Cáceres. He has approached these legendary animals in terms of pure scientific analysis, and has inspired many of his students to continue the search for greater understanding of this unique animal.

Antonio Gázquez is a man for all seasons. A genuine enthusiast, he enjoys equally being an author, a gourmet, a scientist and a historian. Most of all, he loves to teach. He has written many scholarly articles and books, some of which are the definitive texts in his field.

Three recent books are particularly engaging: Porcus, puerco, cerdo - a history of the pig in Spanish gastronomy; La cocina in tiempos del Arcipreste de Hita: -- an account of the medieval cuisine of Christians, Jews and Moors; and finally, Conversations with a Gastronome where he reflects on the cuisine of the late 20th century.

This extraordinary scholar and gentleman wrote a series of occasional reflections upon his greatest love, Jamón Ibérico, and he generously consented to contribute them to Jamon.com.