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Tag Archives: Food

Friday Feature Photo: Gentle Spanish Hands

Photographer: Albertina Torres Capture Date: October 4, 2012 Location: Caudete de las Fuentes (Valencia-Spain) About: For her Spanish Notebooks project, Albertina went into the houses in Utiel-Requena, where she’s invited to share those special moments when food is being prepared. On that specific day, María was cutting some peppers, and the image reminded Albertina of an old painting. Desktop Wallpaper: To download this image, simply right-click on the image and select “save link as” or “save target as”, then select the preferred location on your computer to save the photo. Purchase: Please contact us directly if you’re keen to purchase any of Catavino Friday Photo images. Note that the images are not to be reposted on any web site or blog without the express permission […]

Shopping In Spain: Five Gourmet Spanish Products for Travel

Whenever I fly back home, I send an email to friends and family asking if there is anything in particular they would like from Spain. 95% of the time, the answer is “Jamon!” Of course, what they probably don’t realize (or they do, but just don’t care) that you aren’t allowed to bring back meat or fruit to the US; not unless you want them thrown away right in front of your eyes! The second most requested is wine, but frankly, I am not thrilled at the thought of the bottle breaking in my suitcase, since I’ve seen how the baggage handlers “gently” toss your suitcase onto the plane. Not to say that it can’t be done, as many have […]

Eggs: Sweet and Savory Portuguese Recipes

Prior to my migration from America to Portugal in 2011, I had often heard of the love affair that the Portuguese have with their eggs, especially when used in their sugar laden sweets. I didn’t really understand that eggs were also loved as additions to savory dishes until I got here and was pleasantly surprised by both the sweet and savory side of the ovos de Portugal. As savory dishes go, I find the egg to be an afterthought, an addition, not the center of attention that they often are in American cuisine. When it comes to ervilhas com ovos escalfados, or peas with poached eggs, that is definitely not the case. If there were no eggs in this dish, […]

The History of the Egg In Portugal: Why Portugese Cuisine Can’t Live Without It

If you ask the Portuguese, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” I would place my bet on the egg. Ovos are found throughout Portuguese cuisine. They’re poached in soups and açordas; fried on top of steaks, alheiras and francesinhas; boiled with fish and mixed into many of their beloved bacalhau dishes; and beaten with sugar and cinnamon in numerous desserts and sweets. Even the Portuguese chicken soup- canja, traditionally includes the boiled yolks of the un-laid eggs still left inside the chicken after its killed! So why does the egg seem to symbolize as much “à portuguesa” as their national anthem in their culture? Where did this love for eggs originate?    This was the question I set out […]

Cecina de Leon: Mouthwatering Cured- Smoked Beef from Spain

When my husband’s family goes to Italy for Christmas, Jamon is never missing. Served reverently on a large platter, after having been cooled and aired out, it is passed and eaten immediately. Hence, in the spirit of fantastic flavor, we brought Cecina from Leon – a sublime experience. I was accustomed to ordering it in restaurants, which is typically good, but nothing to rave about; but this Cecina was something different. With a beautiful dark cherry hue, a tender mouth feel, sweet and slightly smoky, it was beyond memorable. Why was this so good?  Let’s cut back to a month earlier…… One of our wedding presents was a weekend in a Parador. These reconverted castles, monasteries or important buildings are […]

Interview with Barcelona Food Journalist and Author: Tara Stevens

Editor’s Note: Tara Stevens is a well known name in the Barcelona food world, both by expatriate readers of the popular English-language magazine Barcelona Metropolitan, as well as by locals who hound her incessantly for a review of their new joint. Knowing Tara personally, it’s funny to me when she comes up in conversation. Everyone claims to know her. Tara says that she’s used to people using her name, but what most readers in the city don’t realize is that the width and breadth of her knowledge, experience, and skill goes way beyond the pages of our beloved local publication. “Has she cooked for you yet?” a friend of Tara’s asked me at a recent restaurant opening, a sly smile on her face. “Wait until […]

#inCostaBrava I saw some marvelous things

A momentous 2013 has almost come to a close, and to be perfectly honest, it’s been a good year. I’ve travelled a considerable amount, moved countries and had a son. 2013 will mark one of the most memorable years of my life. However, it’s around this time that we sit with a list of what our future may hold, and if I may chime in with a suggestion, you should seriously consider visiting “The Costa Brava“. The Costa Brava, translated to “Wild” or “Rough Coast”, is located just along the Mediterranean in northeastern Spain. A stunning landscape extending from Blanes (approximately 60 km northeast of Barcelona) to the French border, it is renowned for its gorgeous scenery, avant guard cuisine, and […]

An incredible Porto dining experience at DOP by Rui Paula

If you are visiting Porto, make sure to plan an evening of dining pleasure at Rui Paula’s DOP restaurant for stunning food and wine and the modern face of Portuguese gastronomic culture. Rui Paula is a name that any visitor to the Douro should be familiar with. Self-taught Chef Rui Paula is the name behind DOC, the very successful gastronomic destination housed on a pier (unfortunately for the pun, not a dock) sitting on the Douro River itself on the main road between Régua and Pinhao. DOC is a must-visit destination offering fantastic views, food, service and wines. DOC established Rui Paula’s reputation not only for quality, but also as an inventive chef whose creations are beautiful without being outlandish, […]

A Portuguese Twist on Thanksgiving Leftovers

Portugal’s ultimate leftovers food has to be “Açorda” (pronounced ah-soar-duh). Growing up, if my mother had leftover “bacalhau,” the next day, there was “Acorda de Bacalhau.” If she had leftover shrimp, then it was “Açorda de Camarao.” If she had too much stale bread lying around, then it was plain old bread “Açorda.” What is Açorda? Think bread pudding, but savory not sweet, with a porridge-like consistency. It was originally a rural, peasant dish; the most famous comes from the southern region of Portugal, the Alentejo. The traditional “Açorda Alentejana” isn’t as thick as the one my mother makes. The Alentejo version has a great deal more broth and is traditionally finished with poached eggs and lots of fresh cilantro. […]

Top 20 Gastronomic Gems In Barcelona

The idea of creating a list of ‘the best’ of anything can often incite passionate debate bordering on fanaticism, so lets view this a list of ‘things not to be missed”—a list of my 20 food and drink treasures in Barcelona, and where to look for them! ¡Buen provecho! Patatas Bravas —Elsa y Fred A warm, welcoming ‘“gastro bar” run by friendly Argentine owners, Elsa y Fred (named after an Argentine film, not the owners) makes excellent Patatas Bravas; the ever-present tapa of crispy fried potatoes, aioli, and tangy red “brava” sauce with just the hint of spice. The food at Elsa y Fred is very well-made and well-presented, and their Bravas—as well as their coffee and their ‘menu of the day’—should […]