Paella: I'm pleased to report that not every Spaniard has gone bananas over Jamie Oliver's suggestion that chicken and chorizo be tossed into your next attempt at this Valencian dish. (I always thought chicken was legit, by the way). Even one of our celebrated local chefs has said it's preposterous to complain about adding chorizo, as all dishes are there to be experimented with. Too bloody true. Unless you're Galician, of course. All 'mucking around' with traditional dishes is very much frowned on here. These all being the things peasants used to (have to) enjoy. Especially offal and pigs' ears. Not to mention the recently-blessed-as-aphrodisiac percebes, or 'goose barnacles'. As I never tire of saying, these taste exactly how they look - like bits of rubber dipped in salt water. Totally beyond me but chacun a son goût. Anyway, here's The Guardian again on this storm in a paella dish.
I add chorizo to all my stews, by the way. And to my great spag bol. Though not to curries. Not that I object to anyone else giving it a go, of course.
Final words on this brouhaha . . . La verdad que se pueden hacer paellas de un millon de cosas, por ejemplo de conejo, anguila, rape, bacalao, gambas, langostinos, caracoles, perdiz, etc. Incluso podemos variar las verduras o legumbres a utilizar, y añadir alcachofas, habitas, etc.
Corruption: There are so many trials - large and small - taking place that they all seem to run into one humungus exposure of Spain's biggest negative. In reality, these are the 2 main trials:-
- The Gurtel Affair: Massive illegal financing of the PP party over many years. Background from the BBC here, on a brave woman's fight to expose it.
- Black Credit Cards: These were credit cards issued to numerous executives of the bankrupt large bank - Bankia - created from a number of bankrupt smaller entities. This involves an ex MD of the IMF, who's said he thought they were completely legal. So, presumably he declared the income and paid tax on it.
Government: It looks increasing likely that the PP party will be in power for at least the next 8 years, whether or not there's a 3rd election in December. And more after that. The self-destruction of the PSOE party has allowed the party to sail unharmed through the stormy waters of the above corruption cases. And many more. Napoleon was said to have liked his generals to be lucky. He'd have loved the otherwise unimpressive Sr Rajoy.
The PSOE: Reader Robert has provided a good explanation to what's happened and why in a comment to yesterday's blog.
Marrying a Gallega: Twenty-one reasons for risking this.
Some Nice Videos: At galicia10.com
A Particularly Nice Video: At Buzzfeed. Which I'd never been to until this morning. Be warned, it's addictive
Very Bad News: One of yesterday's local papers boasted that Pontevedra was now a fashionable place to visit, both for Spaniards and foreigners. Damn. I hope I had nothing to do with this.
Gypsies: Regular readers will know there are 2 permanent encampments of these at the bottom of my hill, not far from each other. I occasionally drive my visitors down to town via the road that runs through one of these and then through the small industrial estate which is the locus of all local drug-dealing. The zone is called O Vao, which is code for 'gypsies' in the local press reports of shop-lifting, etc. Anyway, there are now 10 fewer gypies on our streets than on Tuesday, after the settlements were raided by the Guardia Civil and a collection made of cash, drugs and small arms. Along with 10 arrests of the 'latest generation' of drug-dealers.
O Vao had a second headline in today's papers, viz. that the said small industrial park might now finally get the go-ahead for expansion, after a mere 14 years of bureaucratic delays. The final decision has been handed to the town council and, if they don't take a decision soon, companies such as MacDonalds and Decathlon have said they'll be taking their plans to Villagarcia. Ironically, this is the biggest centre of drug trafficking along the coast, involving much of Colombia's cocaine. It's said.
Even Worse News: This is the last bottle of the dozen I brought back after my last trip to the UK. No comments from mayo snobs, please. Especially Alfie Mittington.
More examples of Finnish/British nightmares:-