Wednesday, July 28, 2010

La Comida: Jamón, Jamón con Patatas, Jamón con Huevos, y Màs Jamón

How many different ways can you eat jamon? Just ask the Spanish, the possibilities, apparently, are endless! I've never eaten so much pork in my life, let alone in a two week span of time! Obviously, the Spaniards are into ham. and sausage. and eggs. and cheese. and potatoes. and bread. and more jamòn. and NOT vegetables. How they don't drop dead at age 50 is beyond me, but I'm going to chuck it up to all the olive oil, red wine, walking, and LIVING life rather than working it. Quite frankly, jamòn was a recurring theme on most restaurant menus, became a the running joke of our entire trip, and will now forever hold a special place in my heart. Thank You, Spain!

In general, the food was good. Not great, not life changing, [for life changing food, go to Italy, as I plan to to do again in the next three years!] but good. The food lacked variety, for obvious reasons, and they Spanish just didn't seem as passionate about fresh, quality ingredients as some of their other European neighbors. With that said, I'll share some of my favorite dishes with you.

Paella de Arroz Negro
I didn't eat as much seafood as I thought I would, especially in Barcelona, mostly because the Spanish are really into octopus, and I'm really NOT. But the this paella was amazing. Shrimp with the heads still on and mussels really freak me out. But this dish was so good, I just detached the heads and got over my fear of mussels and kept it moving. I even ate around the octopus pieces. It was THAT good.

I can't put my finger on what makes it so great. Maybe it's the light saltiness, or the smokiness, or the fact that it oozes bright orange oil. I dunno, but this chorizo and tomato bocadillo with olive oil from a small bar in Madrid was the tastiest sandwich I had in all of Spain. It was so simple, yet really really good. I even bought some chorizo here and recreated this sandwich, which I of course followed with some vegetables. It wasn't as good as the original, but darn close.

Patatas Bravas

This was the house specialty at the Argumosa restaurant in Madrid. They don't look like much, but that sauce was effin delicious. And, when the potatoes where all gone, we sopped up the rest of the sauce with bread. Yeah, son. It's like that.

hands down, my favorite dish in Spain.
Served on bread with melted manchego at some restaurant in El Puerto de Santa Maria.  It was LIFE. CHANGING. It was SLAP YO' MAMA GOOD! I almost creamed my pants eating this dish. Seriously. I wanted to live in this sauce!  I tried to buy some to bring home, but sadly, what they had at the market required refrigeration.  But I think I may have  found it on a website in a jar. But if that doesn't work out, I'm sure I can work my Spain connections if I get desperate. Right primo?


I think this pictures pretty much says it all. Dinner at Parrilla in El Puerto de Santa Maria. It took me three days to finish them. 3 glorious days! And if you didn't know already, hear me know, the Spanish [and all other Spanish speaking people] KNOW how to work a pig. Keep that in mind when eating Latin food.

The Moroccans understood the importance of vegetables, God bless them for it! I was so hard up for some plant based food, I ate vegetables that I typically hate, like beets and pumpkin, and loved them!

The pumpkin and beets were sweet, and chilled, and scrumptious. why can't they taste like that here?!

Lamb Tangine
Where do I start on this one. First, there were more vegetables, generously seasoned and deliciously cooked. And the lamb, it was so tender, I could cut it with my fork. This was an expensive dinner for our first night in Marrakech, but totally worth it.

Honey Pastries

These sweet treats were delicious! I don't know what they are called, the green one was filled with pistachio, the other was some sort of deep fried dough and tasted of and cinnamon and with a hint of cloves, both were drenched in honey! There were so many different types pastries in the market, I wish I had tried more!  And I must mention the Moroccan honey. It had a distinct flowery flavor, it was a dark amber color, and tasted far better than any honey I've ever had here. I really wish I had made more of an effort to buy some, but that's what my next trip to Marrakech is for.

All in all, I enjoyed the food enough. And guess what, I've been craving jamòn for days, lol! I now present to you a slide show of the collective eatings of España and Morocco.

::side bar:: I'm well aware that salsa music is a Cuban original, not a Spanish one. But I love this song :)


  1. It took me a really long time to get used to Spanish food...I still have my moments when I want to gag but overall I can appreciate it's differences. :) Glad that you enjoyed your trip!
    PS Patatas bravas are always a hit. I like them with a spicy sauce.

  2. I haven't had much Spanish food, except for the occasional Paella (which I'm not a fan of). Jamon, I could do. But seafood....bleh! However, the chorizo dish looks soooooo good!! Chorizo is like forbidden on WW, so I'm just drooling looking at the screen ;o)

  3. @Anonymous (Obi?) there was definitely an adjustment period to the food, especially remembering to ask for the heuvos fried hard. that first day they brought me a runny fried egg, i tried to eat it but i just couldn't. There was no way the trip was going to be bad, but it just blew my mind. patatas bravaaaaas. yum!

    @Maddy, are you sure you couldn't sneak some chorizo?? Just a small amount...I won't tell WW if you won't. It's soooo good!

  4. You know I love this post!

    I didn't love the food in Spain when I traveled there. I (like you) missed vegetables and even the pizza was bad. You know I love me some pork and I can kill a potato, but I don't like eggs. I know, I'm weird. After seeing your post I have some ideas of foods I could order if I returned to Spain.

    I do remember that Spain had some of the best ice cream I've ever tasted... reminded me of gelato. But I'm with Maddy, I need to stick to my diet!

  5. @Keeley, I was definitely expecting more from the food. I know Spain has really good food, i just think we would've had to spend more money to taste it. Though that sobrasada was cheap, and literally the best thing i ever ate. you're not weird about the eggs thing, my little sister is the same way. I like eggs, but the spanish were really big on eggs with soft middles, so constantly had to ask for mine "frito dorro". They gelato was definitely good, I had a coconut ice cream cone which of course, i didn't take a picture of. when you're on vacation, diet's go out the window!



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