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Dalama Adventures Tale of two corporate types ditching their jobs and traveling the world for 14 months... check out all photos, blogs & interesting tid bits at http://www.dalama.net

Sangria, Tongues y Testis de Toro

SPAIN | Sunday, 19 August 2007 | Views [1091]

Dining in Spain is truly a gastronomic experience, and one of the biggest reasons we love Spain so much. A trip through the local market reveals a spread of meat, so varied... Here they relish all bits of the animal, pictured above here, are the delicacies of cow tongue and testis. Unfortunately we don't have a nice grill set up in our apartment, just one small burner on the stove is working so we'll have to give the fresh meat bits a miss. But the litres of sangria we'll suck down all day and all night, along with the cold, local cervesa. The market has an amazing variety of pescado (fish), cheese (especially manchego and other wonderful varieties of goat cheese) and veggies. It's been so long since we've been in a country where we can eat raw veggies and fruit, so we're keen to indulge. Our favorite, however, is the fresh manchego cheese and cured serrano ham, a specialty of Spain. Shops have big pig legs hanging en masse from the ceilings, some sell for up to 400 Euros... The Spaniards really like their ham, and they slice it up fresh in cafes and restaurants - a common sight is a big pig leg extended out a shop window on a carving stand, where they finely slice off think, delicate slivers. We are quick to buy up a big block of manchego and fresh bread to enjoy with the fine slices of serrano ham and the many bottles of tasty, inexpensive, vino tinto.
The red wine here flows abundantly, some produced as close as 30 minutes away from Barcelona, others up from the Northern Rioja region. Good drinkable bottles that don't leave a nasty hangover, cost only a few Euros - like "2 Buck Chuck" but far better quality and taste. So we've stocked up on a varietal pack to sample before going out to restaurants at night. Deanna found a quaint little cheese and wine shop while out exploring today, and brought back some excellent selections of specialty cheese after having the luxury of doing a "cheese tasting" right there in the shop. The other delight that Spain is know for is the paella. You can order it with mariscos (seafood), meat or squid-ink blackened rice. Any mixture you select, its sure to be a dish you won't forget. And to cap off the fine food, there are gelato shops every few meters, a taste of Italy in Spain that Deanna and I don't miss a beat with.
Lest I forget the tapas... Tapas bars are a feature of the social fabric here in Spain. Entering a tapas bar is like going into any regular bar, however, besides the flowing draught, wine and sangria, there are artfully prepared tapas, which consist of a small slice of baguette with various toppings like serrano ham, manchego cheese, sardines and peppers, croquettes, and a variety of platos: albondigas (small meatballs), mejillones a la marina (sauteed muscles), tortilla de la espanola (spanish omelette), patatas bravas, and calamares... All things we could eat for months here if our budget would allow it. For right now, we'll enjoy good food, wine and friends!

Tags: Food & eating


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