Results tagged “sausages”

In search of the perfect pig

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 ...

Meatballs, kebabs and more vowels

Smbaklavaci-kofteci.jpgWell, after my initial excitement about Hungarian and its way with vowels, I've been even more excited to be surrounded by people speaking Turkish.  As with Hungarian, it's unrelated to any of the European languages I have experience with, so most of the words are unrecognisable (although there's some noticeable French influence which makes a few things a bit easier), and the basic structure is very different too (verbs go at the end, for example). 

Importantly, this means it manages to rival Hungarian in the unguessability of its word for "wine": I think şarap is just as hard to spot as bor for an English-speaker; although "beer" comes as the disappointingly obvious bira rather than Hungarian's near-unbeatable sör.

Even more excitingly, there's vowel harmony here too.  But it's even better


Culinary Anthropologist