AKA Abraham Bacoln

June 28, 2007, 10:13 am
Filed under: Spain

Aw, geez, where to start? I’m so tired, but this is the only time I’ll have today in which I can write, so I gotta do it now.

Let’s get all this food out of the way! Yesterday’s lunch was simple yet fantastic. The starter was a cream soup of zucchini and a touch of onion (and cucumber?). Of course real cream was used making it rich and delicious. The main meal was chicken parts prepared in some spices I didn’t even bother asking about, and some strips of fried potatoes that were not entirely unlike French fries yet different. Dessert: you guessed it, fresh fruit.

Today’s lunch: pasta salad which was just rotini tossed with fresh raw tomatoes and onions plus a little bit of canned tuna, olive oil, and vinegar. Super-great. The main meal was sauteed eggplant and eggs topped with grated hard cheese. Dessert: fresh fruit.

But last night! Last night I was in the center and couldn’t decide where I wanted to eat. I was originally going to try the tapas bar Orellana, but when I dropped by it appeared that every single item involved seafood in a major way, so I took a rain check. I ended up just around the corner at Salmorejo and that was the best idea I’ve had since I arrived. I sat at the bar and immediately apologized for my Spanish being so bad, which earned the response of “No, I understand you” which while not glowing praise was sufficient. The bartender and I started talking about food and wine and carried on a conversation basically the entire time I was there. One of my favorite things to do at lunch here is discuss ingredients, so I was a little more prepared for last night’s topics than I would have been two weeks ago. I ordered a glass of Rioja which was the best wine I’ve had since I arrived here. For a meal I got the tosta queso de cabra sobre cebollas caramelizados – goat cheese over caramalized onions served on toasted bread. OH MAN was it ever so good. The little raisins added sweetness and the Balsamic reduction on the side was perfect for just a touch of savory zing. The cheese was a local one named La Flor de Ronda – exactly like bucheron except Spanish, not French. I guess there are only so many ways you can make a log of plain goat cheese.

Anyway, while enjoying this sumptuous repast I asked questions about all the tapas (again, with seafood, why did I ever come to the Mediterranean again?) and their ingredients, and the wines, and found out that here in the Málaga area they do make a red wine from the Syrah grape, which is appropriate as it’s a rather hardy varietal and does well in the Rhône which isn’t too far off, heat- and climate-wise, from this area. I was given a free glass (after my two glasses of Rioja this didn’t seem like a bad idea at all) and it was pretty damn tasty. A bit soft, not so much of a food wine but an excellent sitting and sipping and tasting and pondering wine. Then we got into discussing the food ‘salmorejo’ (from which the restaurant got its name, natch). It’s rather like gazpacho but thicker, as it contains crushed bread. It’s basically smashed tomatoes, a bit of garlic, bread, olive oil, and vinegar and was (and still is) a field hand food made on the spot at lunchtime. At the restaurant you get a sample bowl with a sprinkling of three toppings: tiny chunklets of Iberico ham, slivers of hard-boiled egg, and bits of canned tuna. I’ve never had canned tuna taste so good in anything. The salmorejo was just absolutely amazing and practically floored me with all the different flavors involved.

So that was fantastic. Just fantastic. To sit at a bar and talk with a friendly Spaniard about food and wine – those are the best things in life! I came home with a full belly and beyond content. Did I mention I got out of there for 8.5 euro?

I’m also probably going back to Salmorejo tonight to watch some flamenco dancing. Therefore I should go do my homework and rest up a bit. I’ll write about other more trivial things tomorrow.

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Food… dancing……jealous….

Comment by Kyla

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