Tag Archives: Fish

Will Manolo knock?

11 Jan

While in Spain, I had the great pleasure of being a tenant in the house of Manolo.  An aging porteños (citizen of El Puerto de Santa Maria and Buenos Aires), Manolo still lives with his mother which is a common characteristic in Spain for men.  As we (North Americans) see this as an infringement on our freedom, for Manolo, it is not only normal but an advantage as he is able to learn all of his Franco era hardened mother’s culinary recipes and secrets.  And for me, well this was a great stroke of luck, one well worth putting up with her many strong Andalusian accented spouts about god knows what directed at me, another tenant, or of course Manolo.

So, how was this lucky for me?  Well after coming home for lunch in the afternoons, many times I received a waited expecting knock on the door from Manolo to come help him cook lunch, the biggest meal of the day in Spain.  Stopping my own lunch prep, I gladly always followed him across the courtyard into his house.  For me and many other Americans, lunch tends to be a quick meal, either eating on the run or in front of the computer at work ;p  But not in the House of Manolo, or in Spain for that matter.  No, lunch was a carefully prepared, aesthetically detailed, Sherry drinking, culinary experience.

Pouring Sherry from jugs, communicating in broken Spanish and hand gestures, with the windows open to the courtyard in a beautiful Spanish afternoon, Manolo would teach me some of his passed down trade and give me the authentic taste of Andalusia.  Caracoles (snails) in a tomato sauce, conch, grilled octopus, sauted Durado, sword fish, salmon, boquerones (anchovies), squid, Choco, crawfish, oxtail!!!!  Fresh figs with goat cheese, oranges, thinly sliced Iberian ham (pata negra) with fresh olive oil and bread, fried eggplant with salmorejo and gazpacho!  What a tummy terrific time!

And did I mention this all came from the farmers market down the street…