Most people have had something salty and sweet together. How about kettle corn popcorn, chocolate covered potato chips, or bacon ice cream? Maybe you don’t like that idea of combination but me, I love it. I also happen to love classic Spanish dishes. Remember my post about rabo de toro? It’s a classic Spanish entree of bull’s tail cooked for hours until tender. When I visited the city of Tomelloso in Castilla La Mancha I went to the restaurant called Orbe KitchenBar where they make croquetas made from white chocolate and yes….bull’s tail.
When you think of Spanish wine what regions come to mind? Probably Ribera del Duero, La Rioja, maybe wines from the region of Galicia? Well, if you haven’t tried wines from the region of Castilla La Mancha you should. I think the wines from this region easily compete and maybe even surpass some of its contenders from the north. Now, I’m even specifically asking for wine from Castilla La Mancha (CLM for short) when I’m at my local bars here in Burgos. Last weekend I went to a city in CLM in the province of Ciudad Real called Tomelloso. Tomelloso is said to be in the heart of the sea of vineyards and it also happens to be the capital of wine in La Mancha.
I’m certain that most people have some sort of bucket-list. A list of things you want to do before you die. Well, I have a Spain bucket-list. Things and places I want to see while I’m here before my last day on earth. I also have a food bucket-list but that’ll be a whole different post. So I thought I’d share my list of places and things I want to see in this beautiful country and get some feedback from you guys to see if you think I should add anything and if you’ve been to any of these places before.
When you think of Castilla La Mancha you probably immediately think of the white windmills that dominate the landscape. You think of Don Quixote and his partner Sancho Panza trying to fight off these structures thinking they are giants and when you stand up close to one of them, that’s exactly what you’ll take them for. Their huge bases painted white with their black blades stand out in the dry and dusty land of Castilla La Mancha and when you drive by a group of them you can’t help but stop and take your camera out.
Spain has got a lot of interesting and challenging foods and morcilla is definitely on the top of the list. Made from blood, rice, and spices in a casing of intestines, it’ll challenge your taste buds but if you’re like me and will try anything, this one is a good one I promise. Especially if you’re in Burgos. Morcilla hails from this province and many places still do the process by hand so the variety here is very special.
Every year in the city of Zaragoza, thousands of people fill the streets in order to celebrate the patron saint Virgen del Pilar (Virgin Mary of the Pillar). Men, women, and children, the old and the young come out to watch the parades, hear a service in the cathedral, and drink the night (or day actually) away with gallons of red wine. This is my first time in Zaragoza and my first time attending this week-long crazy festival. I’m happy to say that I survived my first Spanish festival and I got to see a new and beautiful city. Here’s a little history and fun pictures about my time in Zaragoza during this festival
This is the city. The city that made me fall in love with the country of Spain. Let me paint a little picture for you. March of 2010 I arrived in Toledo with my high school Spanish class on a breezy spring day. We took our bus to the top of the hill and on that hill there is a long stone ledge that tourists take pictures from because you can see the whole city. Well, I decided to sit on it while admiring the amazing view of this old and historic city that was once the capital of Spain. I inhaled the fragrance of the blooming flowers and the river below while basking in the sun. More relaxed than I can ever remember and loving the view. Then all of a sudden a young man strolled behind me strumming the Spanish guitar. I was in love. I thought this is it, this is where my life needs to be, Spain.
The El Escorial, located in San Lorenzo de El Escorial outside of Madrid, is a huge multi-functional building that is known as the most important architectural monument of the Spanish Renaissance. Construction began in the year 1563 and it went on for 21 years. El Escorial was commissioned by King Philip II and he wanted it to serve as a monastery, a burial for this father (Carlos V…who I am kind of obsessed with), and a palace. Two different architects were involved in the building of this palace and more than five different painters from all different backgrounds were asked to paint frescoes and other works of art.
First of all who doesn’t love french fries. In the USA they are basically part of our diet, their own food group, even crazier there are restaurants solely dedicated to these slender spuds.
In Europe however, they do french fries better. And in Spain they do them exceptionally well. They come thick, perfectly fried and golden brown, and fluffy on the inside. You can find said potato accompanying a cut of meat like steak, bulls tail, or chuletas. But the best way to eat them? As a tapa or ración as huevos rotos.