Saturday, December 28, 2013

Abortion law; Duck dogs; Mencia wine; & Funny sauces.

There've been protests in France and elsewhere against the Spanish government's plans to take the law on abortion back to what it was before the 1980s. Some (female) members of the PP governing party have even had the temerity to express doubts about it in public. But the Minister responsible for the Bill has characterised it as "The most progressive that the government has brought in". And as "One of the most advanced in the EU". One wonders what world he lives in. Presumably that of Opus Dei, the right-wing Catholic group.

Walking into the city centre yesterday, my younger daughter and I happened upon a young man with a border collie puppy. Naturally, my daughter couldn't resist befriending it and chatting to the young man. "No, he said, he didn't know of any others in Seville. And he'd got his from Estremadura. From a duck. Or that's what I thought he said. Until I realised 'pa'tor' was his Andalucian pronunciation of 'pastor'.

I've been plugging (and glugging) Galicia's unheralded Mencia red wine for years. The world - or at least some Andalucians - finally seems to have caught up with me, as you can read here. And if you want a decent bottle of this fruity wine, try Guimaro, which the Wine Society sells at 10-11 quid. Not bad, considering its Spanish price of c. 9 euros. Incidentally, Mencia was once thought to be related to the Cabernet Franc grape but DNA testing has disproved this and deemed it identical to Portugual's Jaen. Whatever, The Wine Society has pronounced it 'fashionable'. Which is a fair reward for all my efforts. More on the wine here.

Seville has a reputation for offering the best tapas dishes in Spain and, so far, our experience has endorsed this. For one thing, it's wonderful to be eating in a place which doesn't, like Galicia, regard sauces as an insult to the meat. Unless they're made with bloody paprika.

Talking of sauces . . . Do you know what Iberian Chop Sauce might be? Neither did I before I checked with the Spanish version of the menu and found it was Carrillera. Which the dictionary gives as 'the jaw'. So, no wiser really. Fortunately, the internet throws up 'Slowly braised beef cheek'. So now you know.

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