Results tagged “duck”

In search of the perfect pig

spain
|
Smcastellsign0001.jpgAs we got higher into the Pyrenees, the road signs got gradually less French.  Call it Occitan, call it Catalan - whichever way you look at it we were moving into new territory.  As if to illustrate the point, we also quickly found ourselves in the middle of the biggest hailstorm I've ever seen.  This, of course, was the perfect moment to discover that our sunroof didn't seal properly.

Smpatanegra0001.jpgWe'd come to Spain to settle an argument.  Ever since visiting Hungary, something had been nagging away at us (and I don't just mean Barnaby).  Which is the true king of pigs?  In the Spanish corner, the pata negra pig, black of foot, fed on acorns and cossetted like a prize sumo wrestler (do sumo wrestlers eat acorns? Probably).  In the Hungarian corner, the mangalica, curly of hair, and a whacking 70% body fat.  Both tasty, no doubt - but in the world of cured pork products there can be only one winner.  Only time, and extensive sampling, would tell ...

Top 10 tastes of Spain

spain
|
Various people had told us the food wasn't good in Spain.  Even the Spanish food writer and historian Clara Maria Amezua, who we'd first met at a conference in Greece in May, lamented the decline of Spain's gastronomy.  She attributes this to Fernando and Isabella's (los Reyes Catolicos) expulsion of the Moors and Jews at the end of the 15th century.  With them went many sophisiticated and richly flavoured north African and Sephardic dishes.  But, as we found, traces of their culinary traditions are still to be found. 

And what's more, the ingredients in Spain are glorious.  Top quality fresh vegetables and seafood, in particular, are widely available. Here are ten our favourite taste memories of our journey through Spain, from Catalunya to Andalucia, via the Basque Country, Galicia and Castille.  Often the most delicious things we found were the simplest; those showcasing just one wonderful ingredient...

Duck across the border

spain
|
Smmerceduck0001.JPGWhen I think of southwest France I think of duck.  Unctuous legs of confit de canard, perhaps nestled in some cassoulet.  Yum.  Having only spent one night in southern France on our way down to Spain, and sampled just one very third rate cassoulet, we thought we'd missed our chance to gorge ourselves on confit de canard.  How wrong we were...
1

Archives

Culinary Anthropologist