Eating in Spain is,relaxed. Timings are flexible and definitely later than Mr E and I are used to. We have slowly moved our evening dining to the later timeslot of 9pm.
For most spaniards,Breakfast is a slightly toasted baguette half. It can be covered with anything from tomato paste and olive oil or some beautiful fresh off the bone jamon. Washed down with a coffee (Aussies beware,no geeks,half shots,semi skimmed anything!) it’s delicious and just enough to get you going in the morning.
Recently a special breakfast was presented to me from the old boys at my local cafe. Local lamb,homemade chips and aioli. The aioli was just olive oil and garlic smashed into paste as opposed to the more milder,mayonnaise type of aioli we are used to.
Lunch. For most spaniards,Lunch is the biggest meal of the day,even if you are working the loquat orchards. Paella,tortilla de patatas, three courses and washed down with a glass of beer or wine. In Valencia we have a favourite bar that does very traditional fare for everyday office workers including all of the above options. For those in more remote and rustic campos,there is the sardine tin,whacked over a fire with fresh baguette and again beer.
Dinner runs late,in comparison to the UK and Australia. 9 is early. Depending on location,it could be whole fish,more paella,soups and stews. Desserts for the most part are traditional fair of creme caramels and ice cream.
Saying that a country whose food seems entirely predictable produced Ferran Adria, former head chef of El Bulli and many believe, a master of molecular cooking. He considers himself a ‘food deconstructionist’ as opposed to being attached to the molecular food movement. Molecular food is basically changing a texture of a food,dreaming of unique ways of presenting food. It’s not a way of eating I am envious of. However, for me the innovation and showmanship is magical. Considering the diet of most spaniards during the civil war and into the 80’s, was so entirely basic and lacklustre.I think I appreciate the method of Ferran just that little bit more.
Tapas,the dish of the drink,deserves a whole post (or several) of its own.
Tonight I’ll attempt a tortilla de patatas,mine never seem to be as good (or majestic) as the ones we eat out.
Love and loquats.