Pork, Beef, Brains, Liver, Turkey, and Chicken are
all meats we have seen on menus and readily available in the
supermarkets. We don't know what health and safety would make of raw meat
being on the shelf above the fish in this
window with the sun beating on
it ??? If you can't read Spanish you can always point it out on a picture board.
may not like the stuff but I know a man who loves it, so I prepare and cook it
for him like a good first mate should. The feeling of this is to hard to
describe without serious expletives, I'll leave it to the reader to guess what I
was muttering all the while I had this in my mitts. However if it was still
moving - - - - that and what with the size of their razor-sharp beaks, if
I ever catch one I will just cut my line, end of story. I got the lady who
served me to understand what I felt and pointed to Bear, she threw her head
back and really laughed hard.
Serrano (mountain ham) is cured for at least a year and is
served with Olives and Cheese. It is similar to Italian Prosciutti.
(Jamon Iberico is much more expensive and entirely different, this ham has been a
delicacy since the Roman Empire).
The whole village get together for
the cull of mainly "Landrace" white breed of pig, the fresh hams are cleaned,
trimmed, stacked and salted to remove excess moisture, left for two weeks,
washed and hung to dry for six months. Finally the hams are hung in a secaderos
or drying shed (built on higher elevations, therefore "mountain ham") which is a
cool, dry environment and left for six to eighteen months depending on the
climate. A ham man goes and sticks a long needle into each ham and sniffs,
rather like a cheese or wine taster to declare when they are ready. Highly
amusing if you think about "sell by dates"
Tiny peppers called Pimientos de Pardon are considered a delicacy,
fried in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Many tourists get the taste
and take loads of the peppers home with them.
The Galatians' will eat anything from
the sea. Scallops ( the shells are worn by pilgrims on The Way of St James ) are
most abundant. Mussels which are huge in this area are seen hanging in scores under
every pontoon and rock pool. Oysters,
Razor Shell Clams, Heart Clams are just a few
of the shellfish we have seen. ( All shells are ground to be used as fertiliser
). Goose Neck Barnacles which look like stubby brown worms are very popular.
Prawns and Shrimps are also easy and cheap to get hold of.
COMMENT. The first time I was
ever given an olive was in Cyprus in nineteen eighty, I was told "it is as sweet
as a grape". I put this big green olive in my mouth and the explosion of greasy
salt has left me scarred for life. Knowing I will "have to be big" as I get
nearer the Caribbean and further from meat and three veg, I tried a tiny bit
with the same result. Bear doesn't mind, its the one thing he keeps to himself
and knows not to offer me. On that same trip to Cyprus I did get the taste
for Parma Ham served with fine cut Mozzarella and huge chunks of Water Melon. Most days I have that for
brunch. Bear has chunks of bread with Pate (another one of my pet
How can you think about kissing a man
who just eaten this. My serving of his crab, and my edition of Paella (amazingly tasty
variety of fish and shellfish -yum yum). You will now know that Bear's
input will be in italics from now on. Paella is
on every menu you see, This famous and commonly served dish has just
about anything chucked in that is vaguely edible.
The Spanish can certainly make
excellent cakes. The most famous is:
Cake ( Tartar de Santiago ) is a rich heavy cake of ground
almonds decorated with icing sugar with a plain cross or The Cross of St
James. It is not known where the recipe originated but it was brought to
Santiago by one of the pilgrims.
Skipper trotting along with his
afternoon cake, beautifully wrapped with stubby cocktail sticks to
support the paper. The present, unwrapped, cost three euros sixty, not a cheap
treat, so only now and again.
This wander through the foods of
Galicia is by no means it, I haven't mentioned the Sauces they are so
famous for, I have just gone through what we have seen
and experienced as a cruising couple, Big Bear has been on his own in
trying. I thought I was really brave trying a smidging of his Mackerel, for
heavens sake !!!!!!!!