Tuesday, 25 June 2013

More Spanish food

Ok, this is a random blog entry I know, we have just left Spain and I have just found this piece I had started writing some time ago so thought I might as well put it on before we are much further away from Spain!


It is the combination of ham, cheese, olives and other ‘picky bits’ which make up the famous tapas served throughout Spain. In the Basque region they are called pinxtos and are displayed colourfully along the bars. Olives are grown all over the west coast of Spain and as well as in tapas they are used a lot in cooking, a favourite of ours is a pasta sauce made from olives and tomato.


The ham is a particular speciality, whole back legs of pig, are dried with salt then cured for anywhere between 8-36 months. The black Iberian pig is the most cherished giving the best quality ham. These are then hung in racks in the shops, sometimes still oozing fat and the taste is concentrated and delicious.


There is a huge variety of cheeses in Spain, the sheep’s cheese being one of our favourites along with a lovely strong blue and an olive oil covered variety. Many people, us among them, are surprised that Spain has one of the largest varieties of cheese in the world.


Of course all this food needs to be washed down, with a variety of wines, particularly Rioja and Ribera and the local speciality sidra (cider) there is plenty of choice. The cider is a theatrical event when eating out where it is poured from above head height by the waiter to allow it to aerate, the faint hearted can buy special bottle stoppers to do the same job at home without the height.

Octopus in it's own ink, cuttlefish, peppinos (spiky cucumber), juicy strawberries, crusty bread, dried sausages  - I'll stop now I'm making myself hungry.




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