Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blackcurrants are back!

Blackcurrant cultivation is on the rise according the NY Times. Though mostly unknown in the States, blackcurrants are very popular here in Europe. Basically anything that would be grape-flavored in the U.S. is blackcurrant-flavored here: jam, juice, Skittles, Starburst, etc. They have a funkiness that some may find strange (a "stinking and somewhat loathing savour,” according to a 1925 book, “The Small Fruits of New York”), but we're very fond of the flavor. It's good to see that farmers and chefs are beginning to embrace it.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Scenes from the Bus to Malaga

Scenes from our bus trip as we traveled from Granada to Malaga on May 4.





Goodbye to Granada

After an extraordinarily lovely afternoon at the Alhambra (May 3), we stopped for a cafe con leche. The Granadians were out in droves wearing their traditional clothes for Dia de la Cruz.










Seeing everyone in traditional dress truly made the day more festive. I was enchanted by these girls in their finery riding a merry-go-round. Note the little one in her mother's arms is also wearing frills.

video

We returned to our hotel for siesta, and then back out for a tapas-filled evening. We started at Bar Poë, a tapas bar unique in that you get to pick which free tapa you would like with each drink, and the menu is tantalizing. The owner behind the bar is a Brit, so that was helpful for those of us with poor language skills. In our time at Poë we ate seven delicious tapas including pork stew over rice , chick pea salad and chicken stew with polenta. We also tried our first tinto de verano, red wine with lemon soda. Great! The tinto was €1.80 and a caña (small glass) de cerveza only €1.20. Our total at Poë was a gobsmacking €11.40! Incredible. I can easily pay that much for a takeaway lunch of a sandwich with salad/soup and soda in Dublin.

After Poë we walked back to Plaza del Carmen where dancers were still twirling and stomping upon the stage. We stopped at another cervaceria and ordered a selection of meat and cheese tapas.


Supposedly the smoking ban for bars says that smoking is not permitted if children are allowed; it seems most bars in Granada have chosen ciggies over kids. Bill and I theorize that the clouds of nicotine add a bit of zing to the legs of jamon iberico suspended from the ceiling.


Monday morning we returned to Malaga, but not without a moment of sadness for our friends in Dublin who were under rainy skies. You can't see the radar in the pic, but trust me, it was rainy. We also regretted not ordering special pillows from the pillow menu.

Turns out I know a couple people who have lived in Granada, but I didn't remember because I filed the information into the great black box in my brain that was "Oh cool, Spain." Now that I've been there, I am thrilled that anyone I know got to experience this beautiful city day after day.