An Ode to La Comida Española

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December 5, 2012 by ebostick1212

As per requested by my perpetually hungry brother, I have decided to write about the la comida aquí.  

Where to start?  Spanish food is internationally renowned and thought to some of the best in the world…so is this true?  Absolutely.  Why is Spanish food so darn delicious?  My personal opinion is that Spanish food is perfect in its simplicity.  There is no reason for it to frou frou, with many an embellishment.  The flavors speak for themselves.

In Spain, they have access to quality ingredients that won´t break the bank.  The beauty in Spanish cooking, is that it emphasizes the importance of fresh ingredients, and simple methods.  Some of my favorite foods are the easiest to make.  Grandmothers and mothers here are experts at making one pot wonders.  Throw a jar of lentils, a hunk of chorizo, some onions, and pimentón into a big pot, and let it simmer while you go and enjoy a glass of wine with your friend…and ta da!  Dinner is finished.

The national dish of Spain?  The humble tortilla de patata.  A omelette of sorts, made by frying potato slices, and combining with eggs.  The magic in this dish comes with “the flip”, so to speak.  Once the tortilla has completely cooked on one side, a skilled Spaniard can flip the still jiggly mass onto a plate, and transfer it back into the pan, upside down, in order to cook the other side.  I prefer my tortillas cooked, but a touch runny in the center…it is probably one of the most delicious things on Earth.Image

Tortilla de Patata

Foods I have come to love here in Spain:

Jamón y chacinas en general:  While many think of the bull as the emblematic animal of Spain, I beg to differ.  Spaniards go crazy for their locally cured ham, chorizo, and lomo.  I wasn´t really one for pork products before I came here, but now I´ve found a taste for them…one embutido especially–Morcilla, pork blood sausage…Mmm

Image

Glorious Ham!

Puchero de Garbanzos-Really a peasant´s stew or soup, I have come to find that this stuff is really just a bowl full of love. It warms you up on a cold day (yes, it does get cold here!) and keeps your tummy full with the help of the stodgy garbanzos.Image

Puchero

Azafrán–One will find, that many rice dishes in this country are quite peculiar looking, as the rice is often bright yellow.  This is thanks to saffron (or a special colorant, if you are cooking on a budget), and it gives a distinct flavor to the rice.  After a lifetime of plain potatos and white rice in the United States, my eyes have been opened to many flavor options out there.

Image

Saffron

And now, I am off for a tapita at the local bar, as this talk of food is making me hungry!

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