Thursday, May 11, 2017

No-nonsense food

This is just a little update to my post the other day about the low level of BS in Spain. Here are a couple examples of no-nonsense food. In North America, in a lot of places, when you order seafood you get a little bit of seafood surrounded by acres of other stuff. I'm recalling one dish recently where they served a tiny little piece of wizened and over-cooked sea bass absolutely swimming in a lake of pumpkin seed sauce with some tomato concassée dribbled over top. But here, you order seafood, you get seafood. This is a dish of grilled shellfish:

and that, apart from a lemon, is all you get. Mussels, three kinds of prawns (big pink ones in front, little pink ones in back and big red ones in the middle), two things like miniature lobsters and some things I have never eaten before but what I see from Google are razor clams. Really tasty all of them and really, really messy to eat!

More no-nonsense food. They are very big on ham in Spain. Very big. Iberian ham (jamón ibérico) is a specialty and you can read all about the special black pigs and the method used to cure the ham, which takes from a year to four years, at the link. They keep enough on hand to meet immediate needs at the little tapas bar on the corner I like to frequent:

Oh yes, they are pretty serious about ham.


Marc Puckett said...

Eugene is lucky to have one or two seafood restaurants that will do meals just as you have depicted in your photograph-- the ocean is only a couple of hours away, after all-- although there are attempts made at the haute cuisine style too, rather pointlessly in my estimation. I understand that eventually you need to rearrange the beef and the eggs and the chicken and the salad but fresh seafood?

Just spent fifteen minutes looking at videos about jamon ibérico &c &c: the next test will be resisting buying some at the store (although that won't be too difficult, honestly, because it is sold-- as I recall-- in two or ounce packets for twenty dollars or some such ridiculous price).

Bryan Townsend said...

Oh yes, this is not cheap ham. On the other hand, I've never tasted anything like it. I was reading the Wikipedia article and realized that while I have had the regular jamon iberico, I have not had the jamon de bellota, where the pigs are fed only olives and acorns for the last period. A tapas plate at the local tapas bar is €9, which I guess is pretty good. Have to try it!

Will Wilkin said...

You've written a little about the Reconquista, so its only fitting you now enjoy one of its most fortunate results: Spanish Ham.