I admit, I get territorial sometimes about Spain. I know, you’re thinking, “That girl? She seems rather disparaging. Most of the time.” Yeah, yeah, I gotcha. It’s just that we all love to hate on what we love. Does that even make any sense? But when I’m in the U.S., I don’t mind spouting off about the things that really get my goat, and here, I’m the same. Nevertheless, I’m going to make an effort to defend something about Spain—the food.
If you like Spanish food, if you’ve had good Spanish food, you’re probably scratching your head thinking, “Hrrrrwhat?!” Me too, friend, me too. It’s just that I read numerous other conversation assistants’ blogs and sometimes they comment on the food. I admit, my curiosity is always piqued by that subject. (Stomach rumbles loudly.) It’s not that I am always hungry, but I like food – shopping for it, cooking it, smelling it, tasting it, savoring it. Everything about it is just what the doctor ordered. Luckily, we’re supposed to eat 3 times per day. (Plus snacks!)
So, when I hear someone say, “I haven’t been that impressed by Spanish food,” my heart sinks. Really? What food have you been eating? I’m going to venture a guess that you don’t have a Spanish suegra, now do you? Suegra means mother-in-law, but you can use it even if you’re not married, so I do. Just to keep things simple. My Spanish mother-in-law’s name is Pepita, short for Josefa. She is about 5 foot nothing and quintessentially Spanish. She worries constantly about Mario and me “catching cold” or wearing the sufficient amount of clothing to combat the elements. She cooks constantly, and can usually be found in the kitchen, the phone clenched between her ear and her shoulder, chopping carrots for her menestra.
And her cooking? Yeah, it’s phenomenal. Let me just put it out there for you. Start drooling now:
- Pollo guisado—a type of chicken that is so, so savory and delicious)
- Patatas a la importancia—literally, “important potatoes,” and I fail at trying to explain them
- Fried dippy eggs
- Tortilla—no explanation needed
- Cream of zucchini soup that is to die for
- Goat cheese stuffed red peppers
- Cheese bread. And yes, my mouth is literally watering now
- Smoked salmon and cream cheese crostinis
- Dulce de membrillo—a sort of jam made with quince, and with Manchego cheese, it is the best dessert/appetizer/meal ever
- Homemade mayonnaise
- All sorts of steaks, made to perfection
- Lomo adobado
- They make their chorizo (sausage kinda) and salchichón, which is the best I’ve ever had. No joke.
- Mushrooms in cream sauce
- Garbanzo bean stew that they eat on Fridays for Lent
- All sorts of cookies (called biscuits in British English)