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Food in Spain

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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2007, 22:54 PM »
Greetings All,
Also forgot to mention that Serrat's Mas Perinet is ecológico y no se emplean tratamientos quí­micos.
Whether or not you can get hold of it outside Catalunya is a different matter!
Regards,
Technopat
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 16:10 PM by Technopat »
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2007, 22:58 PM »
Greetings All (again),
Just remembered the name of the excellent oak-matured white priorat I mentioned above somewhere: Morlanda.
Regs.
Technopat
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Simon

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« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2007, 13:08 PM »
Thanks Technopat for your kind words and especially the advice regarding white Priorat wines, I’ll look out for these, though I find that Priorat is usually way out of my price bracket! As an alternative tipple I’d recommend the neighbouring Montsant D.O. or the hitherto undiscovered delights of Terra Alta. Note that these are not the same as Priorat, which is quite unique – over to an expert here!

I was really saddened to hear about the continuing vitriol surrounding the autonomy issue, i.e. boycotting Catalan products. The longer I live here and the more research I do the more worried, not to say frightened, I become about Spanish politics. The La Caixa savings bank, which the last time I looked was the 10th largest financial institution in the World, can manage well enough without Madrileño custom I guess. But the numerous small businesses are another matter, If they’re starting to promote themselves around the English speaking world I’d better start circulating my CV!

Back to lighter matter. Quaff (dare I say that it’s a woody word!): my Oxford Spanish dictionary gives zamparse as a translation, which in turn is translated back to English as, ‘to wolf down’, ‘to pig out’, etc. (so we’re still on wildlife, Nick!) and, Hey Presto! Next entry on the page is, zampatortas, colloquial for greedy pig or greedy guts. That’s a brilliant word!

Regards, Simon

PS I’ll get back on the CAMRA issue as I think I remember reading about a nascent Iberian version. Perhaps my memory is woolly for obvious reasons!

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2007, 20:22 PM »
Greetings All,
Don't get me wrong - I didn't mean to infer that Priorat was cheap and that I drink it all the time! Mind you, I'm not saying that I wouldn't if I could! That said, Morlanda is owned by the Freixenet group and will surely go downhill over the coming years, so try to get hold of some of that white while you can! Thanx for the Montsant and the Terra Alta - I'll check 'em out!

At the risk of incurring the wrath of Nick (and not only for the heavy wine-talk being carried out), and only out of a purely altruistic interest in improving the linguistic level of this forum, can't help but refer to the quaffing that's going on. What with Dave's Collins and Simon's Oxford both leading everyone up the garden path (if we all take a line through the badly captioned nature/wildlife photos we've all come across, you'll know what I mean!), I would just like to point out that 'quaff' would only refer to large amounts of liquid being consumed (s'pose Dave's cocido Maragata might just qualify) whereas 'wolf down', 'pig out', 'snarf' and 'scoff' would refer to stuff like Dave's tapas. By the w., I get 'human dustbin' for zampatortas!

Regs.
Technopat
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 16:12 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

Simon

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« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2007, 12:12 PM »
Hello all, back to Catalan mushroom pickers. Technopat is right; most are of the little old lady variety. But Watch out! Look what happened to Snow White!

Seriously, most mycomanes (sorry!) are responsible nature lovers. And it’s actually really great to be in the forest when it’s full of people crashing about and having fun – especially if you’re lucky enough to have the place to yourself on weekdays. But the level of concern is reflected in recent campaigns in the press and on TV educating people about how to seek and collect ‘srooms without damaging the ecology illustrates just how serious an issue it’s becoming. The issue for me is having the resources to manage wild spaces so that they are there to be enjoyed by all without ruining what we’ve all come for.

I think one of the saddest aspects is the spread of ‘Propiedad Particular’ signs forbidding access to land, specifically citing mycology as the bugbear, and threatening all sorts of sanctions for offenders. Part of the problem is the high price of the ‘catch’ so maybe there are professional poachers out there – any knowledge of this?

Some places in Catalonia are coming to resemble the British Home Counties, especially with the recent wave of aggravated burglaries of wealthy houses. It’s beginning to feel like a Big Brother society – double plus not good!

I think we’re heading towards a general issue here so I’ll post it separately.

Happy ‘hunting’

Simon

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2007, 15:29 PM »
Greetings All,
Simon's point of the general issue of "the freedom to roam" definitely warrants its own board, touching as it does various aspects under other boards on this forum, including, but not limited to, environment, conservation, hunting, bird spotting, photo safariing (?), 'shroom picking/spotting - just love that 'shroom term of Simon's! -, and last but not least, the abolition of 4x4s.

Many years ago, in another country (passing reference), I was lucky enough to experience what they call alleman's rätt (or words to that effect) - every person's right - to walk wherever they wanted whilst respecting personal property (I think there might have been a 50 m limit regarding someone's house but memory fails me). Civilisation! Don't know if it is still so - one can but hope!

Does anyone have the necessary lobbying skills to broach Nick on this?

Regs.
Technopat
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 16:13 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 nick

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« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2007, 15:35 PM »
You want a board just on freedom to roam?

Couldn't we make it more extensive - hiking?
Nick
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2007, 15:51 PM »
Greetings Nick,

As long as it specifically excludes 4x4s, SUVs and quads. (Mind you, it's getting to the point where even mountain bikes are joining my list of nature wreckers! But that's for the new board.)

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

Simon

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« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2007, 07:18 AM »
Hi Technopat et al.

Good idea about the right to roam. The UK ramblers associtation is the obvious model. They are certaily well organised so I wonder whether they have advice prepared for groups wanting to lobby? I'll researc a bit and post it on a more relevant board.

Meanwhile, back to the classroom. You’re right about quaff, of course. I was getting exited about the fact that in the dictionary the translation didn’t come our both ways round – a sign of bad editing – which, if it wasn’t so common would be like finding s stamp with the Queen’s head on backwards! My main point, however, was finding the brilliant word, zampatortas. Finding something more interesting further down the page or along the library shelf is a lifelong habit that has cost me dear I can tell you – but it isn’t half fun!

But, as you point out, the translation doesn’t seem to work either, although perhaps for different reasons. In principle the compiler should have found the usage, probably in some obscure XIX C novel, for it to get an entry. And s/he should have at least tried to find some people actually using it in this sense (they’ve used and ominous colloq. as a catch-all I notice!). I’d try it our on my gang next Saturday lunchtime while they’re all xup-xup-ing while their guisats are bloobloobloop-ing away on the stove! But I’ll be off to the mountains for a week conversing with nature and get on with the spring-cleaning, so over to you for field study there!

But in any event it still doesn’t work out as ‘quaff’ describes the physical act, not necessarily the motivation, you can quaff out of greed or as a way of savouring your bevvie, makes it almost an antonym of greediness, as in this case you would guzzle or knock back your tipple.

I suspect they don’t do much quaffing in Oxford, where vice is more concerned with naturism and choirboys! But the truth is that you just can’t trust dictionaries or, heaven forbid, on-line translation programs. And that’s not a bad thing as it keeps people like me in business!

Bottom’s up!

Simon

Simon

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« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2007, 18:28 PM »
More on right to roam. The UK Ramblers Society list similar organizations in Spain, any one know any of these?

http://www.ramblers.org.uk/info/contacts/euro.html#E

More soon - Simon

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #30 on: August 06, 2007, 17:18 PM »
Jeez, folks! I can't believe this great - one of iberianatureforum's best efforts - thread hasn't been touched for such a long time - I actually got the following:     
The following error or errors occurred while posting this message:
Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
Unless you're sure you want to reply, please consider starting a new topic.
when coming here to post a little morceau: WHICH I HAVE SINCE LOST 'COS I COPIED AND PASTED THE PREVIOUS FUNNY WARNING OVER THE TEXT I HAD WRITTEN!  :banghead:

But - playing by ear - it went more or less as follows:

Greetings fellow pimiento de Padrón lovers,
I think I may have cracked the enigma re. hottness of pimientos de Padrón! As part of my humble contribution to furthering the cause of human knowledge, understanding and science, today carried out a selfless (i.e. with no thought of personal risk) experiment concerning the edibility of pimientos de Padrón well past their personal best before date (actually, came back home from village and found that there, at the bottom of the veg. tray in the fridge, was a bandeja of said pimientos, most of which were in fact rotten - left there from the week we went to the LOG and with a bb date 20th July 2007). With humanity’s best interests at heart, I separated the rotten ones (75% of total) and lightly fried the rest as per normal procedure. The results have been spectacular! The hottest, roof-of-the-mouth blowing experience I’ve had in years!

I therefore implore all you p. de Padrón lovers out there to try to replicate the experiment in order to see if they actually do get hotter as they “mature” or whether this particular batch just “happened” to be humdingers anyway. Science needs selfless volunteers, and you are the one!  :clapping:

Kind and mind-blowing 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 spanishfreelander

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« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2007, 20:09 PM »
Ohhhhhhhhh..errrrrr
Think i will stick to my "Korma Curry"...
Had a really bad experience with very hot spicy food years ago,and my eyes water at the thought of going along that route again..........
I also have a younger brother who "destroyed" his taste buds by using very hot pepper sauce on everything he ate...
Dave

Offline SueMac

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« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2007, 08:44 AM »
Murcian Andalucian people love their food and of course are serious about supplying it.
Just to say that Steve and I were honoured to be at a Spanish wedding on Saturday night. Wow what a great night - apart from the heat.... After six hours I had to give up and go home. But our dinner was Stupendous and - with enough people around whose partners are the real thing  -  ;D can someone explain to me the little matter of the Gambas a la plancha arriving with a spectacular ceremony.
 I was the informal photographer of the night - had I known what was coming I would have been faster on the camera button. But I think my mouth must have just fallen open.... so many lovely little traditions. Will be writing it up for the blog but still recovering ....
SueMac
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2007, 12:14 PM »
Greetings SueMac, Dave and All,
You're quite right to stick to yer Korma - one of gastronomy's masterpieces, if you're lucky to get a good one. It's just where some like to get their kicks out of co whatever tickles their fancy, there are others  :dancing: who need to go through the spiritualness reached by eating pimientos de Padrón - gastronomy's version of Russian roulette. Helps me stay a better, and more humble, person. :technodevil:

Re. special ceremony in Murcia for gambas a la plancha - no idea. Will check with friend (diver) from Murcia.
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 Technopat

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« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2007, 00:32 AM »
Greetings All,
Just to celebrate Nick's travels to Asturias, and so he can combine dinosaur museum visits with more edifying pursuits, have modified my scheduling and am posting the following morceau before the more complete Asturian food article. Much of a muchness either way.

Cabrales greenish blue cheese

Cabrales is, since 1981, the Denominación de Origen (PDO) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_designation_of_origin) for Asturias’ best-known export product (as everyone knows, natural sidra doesn’t travel). For those of you interested enough to brave what I would imagine is a pretty pongy 2-hour guided tour, the newly set up Fundación para la Promoción y Difusión del Queso de Cabrales has an exhibition centre on the outskirts of Arenas where visitors can “enjoy” seeing the whole penicillum-producing process, learning the names of the utensils used and ending up in – just visiting - the maturation cave (90º humidity) where the cheeses are kept for two to four months at a  temperature of 8-12ºC.

Urban myth has it that in the past, the “best” Cabrales had maggots crawling around inside, and that modern concepts of hygiene imposed by Brussels on cheese-makers has taken the authenticity out of it, but I have it on good authority from a lovely old Asturian lady whose grandmother made the stuff long before any of us were born, that no-self respecting Asturian of her generation and social circle (pure down-to-earth Asturian village inhabitant) would ever have eaten such porquería, although it may, on occasion, have been sold to snobbish townsfolk passing through and who would, in all likelihood, never return.

Don’t actually know the process involved in making the similar-looking blue-veined cheese, subject of a sonnet by Chesterton, and for which I used to save up a whole year’s pocket money and buy at Fortnum and Mason (passing ref. only) every Christmas for my old man, but am pretty sure that it was a superior quality (but am willing to accept that memory is playing tricks with me). Clearly remember eating and enjoying it as something truly exquisite (possibly due to the effort and reward), whereas I have yet to try a Cabrales (which I have been doing on a yearly basis for a long time, in the same spirit with which I always eat the rest of the fare of the land) that produces the same reaction in me. By the way, due to this, dare I say, farce of ‘protected designation of origin’, Chesterton’s cheese can no longer be made under that name in the village it originates from, as the county it is in is no longer one of the regions with PDO status.

Blue-veined cheeses such as Cabrales, Roquefort, Danish Blue and Stilton differ in being milder or stronger, creamier or drier, with other subtle nuances such as being smoky or salty, etc. but most of them are more or less rindless, with the exception of Stilton, which has a distinctive hard crust. Cabrales, is halfway between the two extremes, having a thin crust. It has a minimum fat content of 45% compared to the typical values of 35.5% for Stilton (411 kcal/100 gms), 32.9% for Roquefort (375 kcal/100 gms), 29.6% for Danish Blue (347 kcal/100 gms) and 28% for Gorgonzola (357 kcal/100 gms). But I have been unable to find the kcal values for Cabrales.

The annual Cabrales cheese contest is held on the last Sunday in August in Arenas.

Oh, by the way, be careful not to swallow the chip that they’re putting in Cabrales now to enhance its traceability (I suspect that other cheese producers’ associations were approached first and rejected the idea out of hand!). See full article at the European Commission’s dedicated web site http://www.trace.eu.org/ from which the following is an excerpt: “Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) uses a wireless system that helps enterprises track products, parts, expensive items and temperature-and time-sensitive goods. Transponders, or RFID tags, are attached to objects. The tag will identify itself when it detects a signal from a reader that emits a radio frequency transmission.

Each RFID tag carries information on it such as a serial number, model number, colour, place of assembly or other types of data. When these tags pass through a field generated by a compatible reader, they transmit this information back to the reader, thereby identifying the object.”

The implications are Monty Pythonesque.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2007, 00:35 AM 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:
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2007, 08:10 AM »
As we're approaching Cantabria, I thought I'd tell this story - just don't spread it around!

Not long after arriving here I bought a Queso Picón from the market. This blue cheese is, dare I say it, the same as Cabrales but hasn't been as widely marketed as the Asturian version and is only made in two villages, Bejes and Tresviso. The Cántabros scoff at Cabrales and vice versa. Anyway, I was about to put it in the fridge when our neighbour, Filomena (wonderful woman, now gone), insisted I use their cool, smoking room - great place with the village hams hanging over an open fireplace in the middle and a mesh over the small window. It wasn't smoking time so we put it in a bowl covered by a clean, damp tea-towel. So, one evening with guests I discovered that I'd forgotten to prepare a dessert then cheerily remembered the queso Picón at Filomena's house. There was a slight pause between courses while I went to fetch the cheese which as usual involved a tumbler-full of purple wine. On removing the tea-towel we saw the cheese was moving. "No pasa nada" said Filomena who proceeded to pick out the maggots (slightly longer delay between courses) one by one.
I can only surmise that the eggs must have been laid while the cheese was on the market stall. Needless to say, I didn't eat any and couldn't tell Mike until the next day.
Since then the locals have discovered inventions such as clingfilm and vacuum-packing but probably best to buy it straight from the cave.
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Offline SueMac

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« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2007, 11:03 AM »
How had I missed the stuff on quaffing?
I beg your pardon - they do a hell of a lot of quaffing in Oxford. in fact Green College (the one next to the old John Radcliffe and as seen on "Morse") used to have the best cellar in the Uni. Nota: it was the medics college mind you - you know what I mean?
SueMac
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2007, 13:48 PM »
Greetings SueMac,
Urban myth here has it that all sorts of organic material, but especially stray cats, 'used' to be put in the wine to help it on its way - did the medics at Oxford also dispose of their cold meat (leftovers from dissected frogs, rabbits, and humans, etc.) in a similar way. i.e. did they do their own home-made stuff, do you know?  :dancing:
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 Technopat

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« Reply #38 on: August 08, 2007, 13:56 PM »
Greetings Lisa and All,
Re. smoking room with mesh over window - I suppose the rest of the walls and ceiling were full of cracks and holes and from what I've seen of mesh-covered windows, large holes there also!
I'm sure one of our more knowledgeable iberianatureforumers will be able to fill us in on the details of how long it takes for maggots to 'hatch' (depending on breed, strain or species or whatever maggots are) ...
Anyone know the En. equiv for "Lo que no mata, engorda"?  :dancing:
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 lisa

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« Reply #39 on: August 08, 2007, 16:16 PM »
Trouble is I can't remember how long the cheese was in there, maybe a couple of weeks.

Isn't it something like "What doesn't kill you won't harm you" ??
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