After years of studying Italian and one unforgettable summer travelling from Tornio down to Sicily, I always thought that my love for Latin Europe and romance languages lay solely and hopelessly devoted to the Bel Paese. I’d say that the greatest part of this devotion is rooted in la cucina italiana, and until recently I believed that Italy was the unrivalled champion of Mediterranean cuisine.
Despite one of my best friends being a Spaniard, I know very little about the country and its food. When Iris invited us to Madrid for a girl’s weekend, I jumped at the chance to be reunited my oldest girlfriends and to experience authentic Spanish cuisine.
Aside from a few mediocre tapas bars in central London, including a horrendous attempt at seafood paella, I’d never really tasted the real cocina española. And after a wonderfully delicious weekend in the Spanish capital, I’m quite sure that the cocina could give the cucina a run for its money.
What struck me is how the dishes can be so uncomplicated yet packed with flavour and fragrance. Like Italian and even African food, Spain to me is another advocate for the power of soul food. After just a few rounds of raciones (tapas) we were all extremely satisfied and slightly euphoric – the latter might be down to the free-flowing jugs of sangria and Cerveza beer that accompanied each round.
Selecting these photos was no easy feat…my mouth is watering, stomach grumbling and all I have in the fridge is jar of pickles and half a pint of milk. Desperate times call for a trip to the market, pronto!
What’s playing today?
California by Joni Mitchell