You are what you eat & drink

Posts tagged “Spain

Sunday Art Fare

Garlic and Wine

Garlic and Wine

This is a special piece of art, because I know the artist within the realms of the blogosphere.

From a post Concrete Jam and iPads on The Rioja Diaries

The surprising thing is that this and other pieces of art on the post are made on her iPad.

Pop on over and see more of her work.


A Sack of… Sherry

Sweet Old Oloroso

Sweet Old Oloroso

Sack (wine)

Sack is an antiquated wine term referring to white fortified wine imported from mainland Spain or the Canary Islands. There was sack of different origins such as:

  • Canary sack from the Canary Islands,
  • Malaga sack from Málaga,
  • Palm sack from Palma de Mallorca, and
  • Sherris sack from Jerez de la Frontera

The term Sherris sack later gave way to Sherry as the English term for fortified wine from Jerez. Since Sherry is practically the only of these wines still widely exported and consumed, “sack” (by itself, without qualifier) is commonly but not quite correctly quoted as an old synonym for Sherry.

Most sack was probably sweet, and matured in wooden barrels for a limited time. In modern terms, typical sack may have resembled cheaper versions of medium Oloroso Sherry.

Today, sack is sometimes seen included in the name of some sherries, perhaps most commonly on dry sherries as “dry sack”. – Wikipedia




What’s a Pintxo?

Well, according to Wikipedia, it’s a small snack usually served in a bar. They are particularly popular in Spain and the Basque Country. You can follow the link to find out more, quite fascinating.

I had never heard of  ‘pintxo bars’ before I read this…

The best experimental pintxo bars in San Sebastián

San Sebastián’s famous pintxo bars serve fantastic food for a few euros – and now there’s a new generation of more experimental places to try, says the author of Real Tapas

Experimental pintxo at A Fuego Negro in San Sebastián

Last week, acclaimed Basque chefs Juan Mari Arzak and his daughter Elena, owners the famous Arzak restaurant in San Sebastián, opened Ametsa, their long awaited London outpost. Several notches down the price scale, in Donostia-San Sebastián itself, you can sample bite-size versions, cocina en miniatura or pintxos, the refined Basque version of tapas. Here is a selection of the top avant garde and experimental pintxo bars, plus a couple of classics thrown in.

Borda Berri

Iñaki Gulín has kept a loyal following ever since he blazed a trail at La Cuchara de San Telmo. This opened 12 years ago at the back of the old coastal quarter as an innovative, nueva cocina place with a young spirit. Then, five years ago, he and fellow chef Marc Clua left La Cuchara to open Borda Berri a few streets away in this foodie labyrinth, keeping the rock’n’roll style yet turning out impeccable pintxos with a twist. The homely bar, its yellow walls hung with old photos, is professional yet laid-back, not an easy balance. The pintxos are chalked up on a board and cooked to order: an unctuous risotto of mushrooms and idiazabal (a Basque cheese), garlic soup with pig’s ear, braised veal cheeks in wine or a bacalao (salt cod) taco. This is top, earthy Basque fare and not to be missed.

Bar Zeruko

Award-winning Zeruko is one of the old town’s most inventive pintxo haunts. The style is young, hip and playful, with mint-green walls, trestle tables and a bar laden with temptations. Aspic makes a comeback, enclosing diced vegetables and a soft-boiled egg, quickly heated beforehand, or wild mushrooms with foie gras mousse. Meticulously presented, though contrasts of textures and flavours sometimes go too far down the showy molecular route. Try the marmitako, a traditional Basque tuna and potato soup.

Read more bar reviews with photos

Read more bar reviews with photos

Calimocho, and just what is that?

Is yours a red wine and cola?

If you’ve never been tempted to try a calimocho might a new fortified wine designed as a mixer encourage you?

Spodee fortified wine is designed to be a mixer.

If you’ve never been tempted to try a calimocho might a new fortified wine designed as a mixer encourage you?

In Argentina it’s known as “Jesus juice”, in South Africa it’s called katemba, in Croatia bambus and in Chile it’s known as jote (black vulture). But most fans of red wine mixed with cola – typically young people who want to make a rough red wine more palatable – know it by its Spanish name calimocho, because Spain is where this cheap and cheerful “wine cocktail” is believed to have originated.

Soon it could be known by a different name again, and to a much wider audience via the launch of a new 36% proof (18% ABV) fortified red wine that’s been made to be mixed like a spirit. The advertising brain behind it, Steven Grasse, who masterminded the launch of Hendrick’s Gin and Sailor Jerry Rum, believes that Spodee, which contains high proof moonshine, will bring a bit of excitement to the “staid” wine category and that it mixes well with pretty much everything. “From simple highballs like Spodee and Coke and Spodee and orange juice, or even Spodee and tonic,” he says.

Not that he’d exactly planned things this way. The inspiration for Spodee is Depression-era hooch, which was made from cheap country wine flavoured with whatever was close to hand – garden herbs, fruits, berries – and pepped up with moonshine. It was typically made in dustbins or bathtubs and served at parties (thankfully the modern version comes in a retro style milk bottle sealed with a cork). “Spodee is something I discovered while doing historical research for a new spirit I was pursuing,” says Grasse. “I became intrigued because I thought I knew everything there was to know about Depression Era beverages. So I mixed up a batch and holy shit! So I did what I tend to do naturally, I started mixing with it like I do with spirits. What a magnificent surprise. I’ve created a wine that mixes like a spirit.”

Read more


Personally the idea is repulsive. It reminds me of my ex, I like dry wines, she sweet; if there was no sweet, she’d add sugar to my dry wine. Even now the thought makes me shudder.

I haven’t tried this idea, and I might add that I have no wish to, but it really makes one wonder exactly where the taste buds of the younger generation are located.

I’ve had my say, I’ll leave it to you to discover the truth.

Pork and Black Pudding Roast

There is nothing like Spanish morcilla or black pudding, full of spices and nuts combined with apples and lovely succulent belly pork for a spicy, fruity take on the traditional roast.

You will need:
1 large square piece of belly pork
4 apples
3 pieces fresh morcilla
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Now for the how to do, check out RECIPE FROM SPAIN:

And you should have something like this…

Paella can be vegan?

As a result of looking for something completely different in relation to vegan aspects of life, I found this:

Vegan Paella on

I love Paella

Real Paella on

The news that you can simply replace the sea-food with cashews to make a vegan paella intrigued me. I must admit that the top version doesn’t look very appealing, it appears to be very lentilly and I hate lentils with a passion. Yuck! You can find that recipe on Green Planet.

However, there are many versions of the basic paella. Paella varies from region to region in Spain, the coastal areas include mostly seafood in theirs, such as mussels, clams and shrimp. Other traditional versions feature Spanish dry chorizo and even snails. The original recipe was with duck, rabbit or  chicken.

So have a check around the web, google it, there are plenty of ideas and recipes for those who want original, sea-food or vegan paellas.