A Real Taste of Madrid
I’m not shy to Spanish food. Their omelette is palatable; a mixture between a quiche and potato cakes. Given the choice between chorizo and any other topping, I’d pick chorizo every time; no pizza, pasta or chicken breast is complete without its smoky hint. Maybe it’ll bring out the flavour of Weetabix too. Who knows…
But it wasn’t until my spontaneous trip to Madrid that I realised Tesco’s version of Spanish culture is nothing compared to the real thing.
The five-day voyage was solely to celebrate a great uncle’s 65th birthday of whom is married to a lovely Spanish lady. Their home features an outdoor swimming pool overlooked by nothing but sunshine and a garden bursting with plants.
Add to the picture an array of food, and you get pure bliss. Real Spanish food that is. Homemade by the wife.
Trying to tell my selfish stomach that the huge table of appetisers wasn’t just for me was difficult. Over 25 degrees, it was the first time my legs had been exposed this year (or maybe even longer), but I didn’t care about my pastiness, because ecstasy was in this very garden. All I needed was a hand-fetched cocktail with a generous amount of tonic. Appreciatively, my wish was always granted just when drinking my last dregs.
In typical British fashion, I patiently waited in what presumably was a line of people. A guest even commented, “What are you waiting for? The food will be gone”. She was nearly right. Compliments to the chef.
Neatly displayed was finger food, main courses and everything in-between. The bread had a rustic-style and put my usual morning toast to shame. Its sweetness was precise and moist enough to eat on its own.
Everyone was delighted when out came the omelette and even more so when it hit our lips. I’m not sure if it was the soft potato which slid down smoothly that was so delectable or the use of Spain’s olive oil. Either or, I was ashamed in my previous life of supporting British supermarket versions.
Spain’s spices, texture, aftertaste and even colour can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world – particularly when it’s made fresh that day. Never mind a birthday party, it was a party in my mouth with every bite.
Across each scattered table were mumbles complimenting the variety of rich flavours which were all perfectly harmonised with each other. Omelette followed by slightly-salted crisps and tuna pie. No course was needed to enjoy it.
The remaining duration of the holiday was filled with tasty food and gin and tonics to break up the afternoon sun and breakfast in the garden.
Since my return three weeks ago, I keep promising myself to reproduce the Spanish taste, but there’s honestly no way someone who has prior experience of setting a fire alarm off when making a plain omelette can replicate such tangs. I may have to revisit Madrid for another bite.
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