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Spanish food glossary

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Offline nick

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« on: October 04, 2007, 20:43 PM »
Hi all,

I've been a bit quiet on the forum recently as I've been working on this Guide to food in Spain, with considerable help from Antonia and lending heavily on the fine writings of Tarragona Simon and Francis Barrett I’ve been putting together this Spanish food guide.

http://www.iberianature.com/spainblog/a-guide-to-spanish-food-a/

I know we normally post new site updates on the "Updates Board" but I thought people could make suggestions and weigh in here with their piece with all my errors, omissions and the like.

Early days and in truth, not quite a guide yet, but a bit more than a glossary. So far it has a Catalan bias which I intend to rectify over the next few months.

It's such a big topic that could you spend a life writing about it.

Nick
Nick
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Offline nick

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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2007, 23:52 PM »
Clive,
I've moved your blog advice to here
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,766.0.html
Nick
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2007, 13:00 PM »
Greetings Nick and All,
Have just come across – by chance (and rushed off to post it here, late as usual  :-[ ) - Nick’s great glossary/guide (in collaboration with Simon and Francis Barrett) to food in Spain – well worth a visit:
http://www.iberianature.com/spainblog/a-guide-to-spanish-food-a/ :clapping:

and from whence I couldn’t resist - given that it's that time of year and the season has got off to a promisingly wet start - copying and pasting the following excerpts:

Quote
Simon Rice
Catalans are fanatical about mushrooms, with hordes leaving the cities at weekends in autumn actually causing havoc to the locals. An enormous variety is collected, each one having its aficionados. There are numerous recipes for cooking mushrooms; the most common preparation is having them fried with the addition of garlic and parsley,  ...

Quote
Francis Barrett
... During the months of October and November, thousands of Barcelona daytrippers pour into the Catalán countryside in search of wild mushrooms. They create 10km traffic jams every Sunday and often return home empty-handed. Looking for wild mushrooms has become so popular in Catalunya that even nasty black tree fungus is in danger of extinction. What is the cause of this fungal furore? According to one self-confessed mushroom fiend, “It’s something to do with the flavour of the earth, something to do with the smell and above all because when you eat bolets it’s like having the taste of the forest on your tongue”. As for the picking, he claims that mushrooms bought in the market are no match for those “hunted” in the wild. “It’s a means of being in contact with nature in a useful way. When you live in the city it gives you a good motive for going out into the countryside. It unites you with your atavistic self”. The late great Catalán writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán said that the best reason to go mushroom picking is that it’s one of the few things left in the world that is free.

Read more on this subject at:
http://www.iberianature.com/spainblog/a-guide-to-food-in-spain-b/bolets/

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 Clive

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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2007, 13:19 PM »
So that's why I saw signs everywhere saying coto privada de setas...... It's to stop the townies from making the shrooms extinct.. Who has the hospital figures for an average Monday morning in Barcelona after a weekends worth of hunting...?

Clive
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2007, 13:46 PM »
Greetings All,
While you're at it, get the breakdown of said figures in terms of traumatology (fierce competition among scrambling 'shroom hunters) and food-poisoning (silly people eating whatever they can get their grubby mitts on).  :technodevil:
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 #5 on: October 05, 2007, 15:25 PM »
In a way it's the same as with seafood collecting in Galicia.

In Land of Grey, nobody is going to say anything to you if you go home with a bucket of cockles but in Galicia you need a permit to collect them in any quantity because it's an economic resource.

Actaully not sure this is true about any beach in Land of Grey.
Nick
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Offline Jill

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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2007, 21:35 PM »
Excellent glossary, Nick. At long last I have found out what gazpacho is when it isn't the thing I know and love and drink by the gallon. (I kept meaning to ask, but never got round to it.)

Jill

Offline nick

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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2007, 21:44 PM »
You mean Manchegan gazpacho? I was travelling across Albacete with some Madrileño friends a few years back. On a hot sweltering day we stopped for a menu del dia and most of us ordered a refreshing bowl of gazpacho only to be presented to all our amazement with a huge plate of rabbit and what not stew.

Most Spaniards I've asked have no idea of Gazpacho's Manchegan second meaning

I'm not even sure if it's really all of the sourthern Mancha - Maybe just Albacete (and parts of Teruel)
Nick
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Offline lucy

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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2007, 22:27 PM »
The worst thing about the wild mushroom fever is the way people pick every 'shroom they come across and toss them aside.  Luckily, the townies usually don't like to venture far from their parked cars and only wreak havoc in the forest nearby.  The locals, who know the best spots for picking, remote and secret,  set up by the side of the road and sell the 'shrooms to the townies so they don't have to go home with empty baskets.

Offline Jill

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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2007, 14:05 PM »
Two plots on one thread here!

Nick, I discovered the existence of the other (Manchegan) gazpacho when buying spices for paella. I buy them in a little box which is labelled Paellero and bears a picture of a paella. Alongside them on the shelf there is another packet, labelled Gazpachos and bearing a picture of what looks like baked beans and Mexican tortillas. Now I know it's rabbit stew!

Offline nick

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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2007, 14:08 PM »
Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
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A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
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Offline nick

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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2007, 13:17 PM »
I've just come across this site

http://www.historiacocina.com/

I'm stunned at the size and quality. Incredible.

Look for instance at the dictionary

http://www.historiacocina.com/especiales/diccionario/index.htm

Letter A has 500 pages!

And this section on vegetables

http://www.historiacocina.com/historia/index.htm
Nick
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A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2007, 20:38 PM »
Greetings Nick and SueMAc and All,
Thanx for that great link, Nick!
Before heading off to the ‘shroom recipes just thought I’d just post this olive article for SueMac, I think it was, who referred to one recently elsewhere: http://www.historiacocina.com/paises/articulos/aceitunascolumela.htm

And for the nostalgic LOG foodies among us, the following might be of interest:
http://www.historiacocina.com/historia/articulos/bovril.htm

Who knows, there might even be further urban myths insights leading to the origins of that Great British (passing ref. only) Breakfast Accompaniment: Bitter Orange Marmalade, subject of much recent debate among iberianatureforumers.

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 #13 on: October 09, 2007, 23:23 PM »
An interesting article I've come across on my travels - in English

Traditional knowledge of wild edible plants used in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal): a comparative study  http://www.ethnobiomed.com/content/3/1/27


I shall be foraging of this article for my food guide this in a week or so
Nick
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2007, 23:29 PM »
Greetings Nick,
Amazing find! Cheers!
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 Technopat

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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2008, 22:21 PM »
Greetings All,
Just realised that I’ve been neglecting this thread - and the whole board, for that matter. It won’t do (Sp. anyone?).
Have just read through Nick and Francis’ excellent bit ‘bout jamón serrano and ibérico and couldn’t resist making a couple of aclaraciones and aportaciones (En. anyone?):
 
First of all, jamón serrano normally refers to “white” pigs, and the most-appreciated types are from Trévelez and Teruel, whereas jamón ibérico refers to “black”, hairy pigs native to the Ib. Pen., of which the most appreciated are from Jabugo (Huelva), Guijuelo (Salamanca) and Dehesa de Extremadura.

The regional differences in food culture regarding preparation, recipes etc. is evident in many cases, and jamón is no exception, thus, the Jabugo, which is sweeter, juicier, pinker and fattier, is the perfect accompaniment to the dry white finos from Andalusia, while the drier, darker and streakier Guijuelo goes perfectly with the reds from Castilla.

At the top end of the market, with wholesale prices between €90 and €120 a kilo, the pig which eventually ends up as jamón ibérico de bellota reserva has spent most of its life roaming the dehesas snarfing acorns and whatever else it comes across. Going down substantially in quality and price, the pig that gives us the jamón ibérico de recebo has been allowed to wander around an enclosed area and has eaten a mix of grains and acorn mash until the last month of its life, when it only eats acorns. At the lowest end of the top quality cured hams is the jamón ibérico (de cebo) which means it has been kept in a pen and fed on grains until the last month of its l., which is when it gets to eat acorns.

Two of the best labels for ibérico are 5 Jotas and Sánchez Romero Carvajales. And of course we're not only talking of the hind legs here, but also the paleta, lomo and other cold cuts from the same animal.

True to form, I cannot leave this topic without taking issue with someone, in this case Francis, when he refers to the excellent quality of the numerous museos de jamón, etc. in Madrid. Most “experts” I’ve consulted disagree and cannot stress too strongly the need for getting hold of yer own reputable retailer/restaurant/bar.

And, as Nick mentioned, don’t be taken in by folks, like my brother-in-l., who try to convince you of the superiority of pata negra. It’s a fallacy based on an aggressive marketing campaign some years ago. My b.-in-l., although proudly Spanish, knows no more about quality jamón ibérico than I do about los toros. There are good and bad ones. Another widespread fallacy is that the more dotted with salt the ham is, the better. That is not so - it’s only an indication of the concentration of salt used in the curing process and has nothing to do with the quality of the raw material.

I-realise-it-may-seem-snobbish-but-I-have-your-best-interests-at-heart-so-please-don't-waste-a-good-jamón-by-drinking-beer-with-it 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:
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Offline steveT

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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2008, 01:07 AM »
Tp

This dotting of salt  ..... do you mean the white dots you get in Iberico as I thought these were fat ...  aren't they called betas ...am I wrong on this?

steveT

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2008, 19:06 PM »
Greetings steveT and All,

The dotting I refer to is little dots of salt dotted about the meat in greater or smaller concentration depending on how much salt has been absorbed/used in the curing process.

The vetas you refer to are streaks of fat within the meat and are apparently the sign of a good ibérico, or as they say, the more vetas , the better  :dancing: but I reckon it’s just a matter of taste.

Just to give you an inkling of the difficulties involved in evaluating jamón, my friendly neighbourhood wine expert has been in the restaurant business since he was knee high to a grasshopper (Sp. anyone?) - and always has a sensational ibérico - says that he just has to trust to his regular supplier (who's been supplying the family since etc.) to select the best pieces for him 'cos he's incapable of telling, from the outside, whether it'll be a goody or not. And on (rare) occasions, it turns out to be of inferior quality and has to be changed.

Regs.,
Technopat

Ps.
Anyone know the En. for ¡Y un jamón! ?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2008, 19:11 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:
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Offline steveT

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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2008, 22:19 PM »
Tp

What is Y un jamon?

For years I've asked is there ever a jamon tasting fiesta/concorso in Spain ..... I've always been told no......it must be true ....I've never heard of one have you?

steveT

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2008, 23:25 PM »
Greetings steveT,
The answer to the "¡Y un jamón!" crack will have to wait at least till Monday morning so that others get a chance to alardear de (En. anyone?) their Spanish.  :dancing:

It's never bothered me that much, so I've never looked into it, but I find it very hard to believe that there ain't concursos somewhere or another. Might only be for professionals, though, 'cos the price of the quality stuff too high for mere mortals to snarf. I'll investigate though.

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