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Francis Barrett's Deconstruction of Catalan and Spanish Food

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Offline nick

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« on: March 20, 2007, 23:06 PM »
    Finallly, finally got round to formatting and posting Frances Barrett's extremely entertaining writings on food. A couple extracts below:
    Francis Barrett's Deconstruction of Catalan and Spanish Food

    A Guide for Newcomers. 
http://www.iberianature.com/material/spanishfood.html]

  • Sitting in a scenic country spot with a glass of wine and watching Spanish family members preparing a paella over an open fire in a shallow pit is rather like attending a choreographed performance of gender roles; I suppose the same could be said about Americans or Australians or British or even Irish people at a barbecue.

Butter { mantequilla } is considered a strange thing to put on bread, but can also be bought with or without salt. Manteca means lard, which can be used for cooking but does not make a good spread. Margarine is sold in supermarkets, but I cannot imagine what sort of moron buys it. Mermelada means both marmalade and jam, and is commonly eaten at breakfast with croisans [croissants] (usually made with manteca rather than mantequilla , so not as nice as the French variety). If you want to see Spaniards go into total shock, give them some Marmite or Vegamite.

Cardes / cardos / thistles are not widely consumed in Catalunya, but are very popular in Navarra, where several of my friends come from. The stems have to be peeled and boiled for a very long time in salty water, but the result is very pleasant either on its own or in combination with peppered celery and / or broccoli. They have a high reputation as a heal-all, being supposed even to cure the plague. Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing contains the line: 'Get you some of this distilled Carduus Benedictus and lay it to your heart; it is the only thing for a qualm.... I mean plain Holy Thistle.' This presumably refers to external application, but many older Spaniards regard thistle soup as medicinal in the same way as soup made from / ortigas / nettles and / dock leaves. Galicians also recommend Rubarbio / rhubarb for medicinal purposes but I've never heard anyone here enthuse about their granny's rhubarb recipes, and Catalans seem to regard all these plants as only fit for donkeys[/li][/list]
« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 23:10 PM by nick »
Nick
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2007, 01:57 AM »
Greetings,
Great stuff - keep it coming!
Regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline nick

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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2007, 10:02 AM »
Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
http://www.iberianature.com/
A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
The Amazon/Forum Bookshop - lend us a hand
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/shop/index.htm
And also now The Natural History of Britain
http://iberianature.com/brita

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2007, 00:42 AM »
Greetings Nick and Francis, and All,
Wow! That's really great stuff! I didn't get what you meant by the link, Nick - thought it referred to the stuff you had posted here. Your second reference made me check it out!

For those of you out there who haven't yet done so (Dave?, Simon?, etc.), do so!

http://www.iberianature.com/material/spanishfood.html

Don't be put off by the innocent-looking title (Guide for Newcomers) - I certainly wouldn't consider myself a newcomer and I came across some really interesting stuff. Only had time to read the garlic gig - delicious!

Have proposed to myself to read one article a day, so over the next few days will not be spending so much time on the forum - sighs of relief all around - which'll give you all time to catch up!

Happy reading!
Technopat

« Last Edit: August 08, 2007, 20:38 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Dave

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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2007, 17:56 PM »
Dear All
Well I think Francis Barrett's deconstruction says it all, however a couple of points I must take issue with, He states that wine is normally only drunk with meals and rarely otherwise, I would disagree with that totally, certainly here in Leon, wine is widely drunk in bars, probably more commonly than cerveza.
also although the Tapas article is very good, no mention is made of the Leonese tradition of free Tapas, most other parts of the country charge you.
On the pan front, no mention of Hogaza, or pan de hogar, usualy large round hard loaves balked in a Horno de Lena (wood fired oven, sorry no accent on my n key).
Judging by the articles the information quite Catalonia based so perhaps we shall have to add some local flavour.
Regards
Dave
« Last Edit: March 24, 2007, 18:07 PM by Dave »

Offline nick

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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2007, 20:18 PM »
Wwll it's a decontsrtuction of Catalan food - not Spanish (I should change that title)

There are things I disagree with too but entertaining nonetheless
Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
http://www.iberianature.com/
A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
The Amazon/Forum Bookshop - lend us a hand
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/shop/index.htm
And also now The Natural History of Britain
http://iberianature.com/brita