Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 19.4.17

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain.

I'm very short of time this morning - bloody visitor - so here's a series of unrelated citations:-

And now for something completely different. My visitor-cum-guest has just given me this, as a suggested Guest Blog. I am considering it:-

Morning dear readers! This entry is supplied by Professor Pedantry's English visitor, Jack. 

Galicia in the Spring is a slightly different being to what I've been treated to. Evenings drop colder quickly (expected), there are less [Ed. fewer!] people milling about and no fireworks (I usually come during fiesta week). 

Yesterday I took a walk around the newer part of the town on my own. Professor Pedantry was helping some potential new Pontevedrans look at houses, good chap that he is, so I took the opportunity to get lost (he had suggested I did something similar earlier in the day!) and explore. My experiences of Pontevedra have been dominated by the old town, by Castelao and flea markets so it was enjoyable to see everyday Spain. 

One thing I noticed were [Ed. was!] the number of elderly ladies and gentlemen, all well dressed in lots of colour. Lots of people taking it easy; even businessmen as they crossed the road almost nonchalant with the impending doom of a lorry hurtling down the road. 

I passed a confectioners that were advertising chocolate with pimentón. I remembered what my host had remarked once before, that Gallegos will use it in everything. When I did smoked mackerel pate last year we struggled to find a Spanish recipe without it. 

Speaking of food, I was surprised by the amount of packaged and processed food in a supermarket yesterday. I was also surprised about the lack of choice in a fruit & veg shop also. So many varieties of apples, many shining brightly under fluorescent light. A few oranges dotted about and a barrel of strawberries. Nothing else. 

A [new] deli has opened up in the town. It's good to see Spain embracing the continuing demand for fine foods. I was immediately greeted by jamón being sliced freshly and then vacuum packed; many types of bellotta jamón and one or two in black sacks and the infamous black nail suggesting the best of the best, pata negra. These pigs are fed purely on acorns throughout their whole life and this is reflected in the nutty taste. It's the jamón of the Spanish royal family and the price indicates this. 

And finally, yesterday we had the most wonderful lunch at a restaurant in the hills. San Blas is a fine meat restaurant built over a well and has a ramshackle country farmhouse feel. The speciality is ox meat[buey] served with kosher salt and then griddled on a plate at the table. Served with peppers and chips and a simple green salad, it was a joy to eat. Fantastic conversation with my host's American friend and his family and washed down with outstanding Rioja. It required an extra long siesta. Ahhh what a schlep this life is! 

A couple of Jack's fotos:-

Buey on the grill:-

My favourite, zamburiñas:-

Today's cartoon, on the food theme:-

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