teresa's blog

Fruit stand at the Boquería Barcelona’s Boquería market is spectacular, but if the Boquería is the only market you see in this town, you’re missing out.
Yesterday's "One Pot" column in the New York Times featured cocido, Madrid's classic stew of garbanzos simmered in a rich, hammy broth. The recipe is from Tía Pol, the Spanish restaurant in Chelsea which will reportedly have cocido on the menu through March.
A Reading Room at the Ateneu Barcelonès A much-younger-than-me friend Katie is spending one of those college-semesters-abroad in Barcelona right now. When she asked about non-touristy things to do, I had to admit that I now go to bed approximately 8 hours before the bars start to rock. So I told her about the Ateneu Barcelonès,
Mario and Gwyneth on the Road in Spain If you read Bill Buford's Heat, you know that Mario Batali's first formative food epiphany came in Spain. Too bombed to recall the specifics, he later moved on, slightly more soberly, to Italy. Now PBS has him roving Spain in the company of Gwyneth Paltrow, filming their culinary road trip for TV. Mark Bittman is along too, presumably to eat for Gwyneth. Stalking along on Batali's blog, I started to worry that Mario, GP and Bitty's "discovery" of Vic's beloved sausage, the llonganissa, might make it impossible to keep production at artisanal levels. Llonganissa curing at Riera Ordeix, Vic, Spain A purist's salami, llonganissa is made from choice cuts of pork,
Turron Alicante Torrones from Italy have made their way into American specialty food stores, but I don't touch the stuff. (Well, not unless I'm at Tony's Colonial in Providence, Rhode Island.) I wait instead for friends in Spain who know about this problem to send the more almond-y turrones.
Canelons at Restaurant Gaig Canalons are one of those rich comfort foods people tend get competitive about. Barcelonins spend a good part of the day after Christmas (when canalons are a tradition) discussing just what exactly makes their mothers' nutmeg-scented ground pork and veal stuffed into pasta and browned under a layer of bechamel so "light." I know this sounds Italian, but the cooks of Barcelona swear it is theirs.


Classic caganer

Though Christmas trees are encroaching on local traditions, the old-fashioned symbol of the Christmas season in Spain is the nativity scene. And in Catalonia, the most important figurine therein, once you've got your basics—Mary, Joseph, shepherds, sheep—is the caganer. The English language card that came with a beautiful dark chocolate version I bought at the Faure pastry shop, famous for such things in Girona, calls him "the crapper."