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Orujo: origen, tipos y tradición - DISEVIL

Orujo: origin, types and tradition

Is brandy the same as pomace?

The "orujo" is a type of brandy, specifically, the one that comes from the distillation of the fermented skins of the grape. In short, a brandy is nothing more than a drink that comes from the distillation of a fermented fruit. The alcoholic degree of the brandy can vary between 29% and 60% and it does not contain carbohydrates, fats, proteins or sugars. But it does contain vitamin K. Vitamin K helps the body build healthy bones and tissues through protein. It also produces proteins that help blood clot.

types of pomace

Spirits from pomace are known by various names depending on their area of ​​origin. For example, in France they are called Marc and in Italy as Grappa. In Spain, the best-known marcs are those from Galicia and are the base ingredient of the famous queimadas. Also in Galicia, the Galician herbal brandy is famous, which is made with plants such as mint, chamomile, lemon verbena, oregano, rosemary, coriander, etc.

There are also pomace liqueurs that are usually sweeter and with less alcohol than herbal spirits and pomace creams. In creams, the pomace is mixed and reduced with water, juice or milk cream to obtain the liquor. The texture is what differentiates the pomace cream from the pomace liqueur.

The types of pomace brandy are distinguished by their age or aromas. There are the following types:

  • Aged pomace: it is left to rest in oak barrels for a whole year.
  • White pomace: it is bottled after being distilled and is crystalline or white in color, hence the name.
  • Flavored marc: are those to which herbs are added. It usually has a yellow color.
  • Mixed or aromatic pomace: they are those to which milk derivatives are added to the brandy mixture.

The history of the pomace of Galicia

Thanks to the great influence of the Camino de Santiago, alchemists from all over the world came to Galicia and stayed in the numerous monasteries. Galician convents and religious orders where they perfected the distillation process until reaching very high levels of quality.

In its beginnings, brandy was not as recognized a product as it is now. In fact, it was made with the skin of the grape that the production of wine left as a surplus. This surplus that gave rise to brandy was considered a drink intended for sailors and farmers. A relationship that gradually became part of the collective imagination, eventually creating a custom based on having a glass of brandy in the morning to, as it was said (and is still said) "kill the bug." It was a drink with a high alcohol content, which, according to the peasants themselves, “refreshed when it was hot” and warmed “when it was cold”. This integration of a drink with such a high alcohol content also has its downside, of course, since part of the Galician population had to deal with problems derived from the excessive consumption of brandy.

Over the years the technique was perfected and different types of distillates were created that were based on pomace brandy. Such quantities of spirits were produced that in the 17th century there are references that show great foreign interest in Galician distillates, reaching countries like the Netherlands.

It was not until 1993 that the specific name Orujo de Galicia was created, which gave Galician pomace the same category as French marc, Italian grappas, Portuguese bagaçeiras and Greek tsipouros.

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