January 15, 2014 by Caroline Leland
Pintxos, no paella
Accomplishments of today:
- Achieved wifi access on campus (through my cunning wit and Katniss-level strength, no doubt)
- Deposited money in my new Spanish bank account (it’s really sad how the number shrinks when you give them US dollars)
- Found salsa in the grocery store! (in the tiny “Mexican” section across from the coffee and spices, if you’re interested)
Which leads me to what I actually want to write about: the food culture I’ve observed so far.
- Observation #1: No paella. This was a very sad observation. They simply don’t have it here in the north part of the country.
- Observation #2: So much egg. Everywhere you go you can find an dish they call tortilla that’s like a crustless pie made of eggs (does not include actual tortilla). The varieties include: patata (potato), a variety of meat options, and occasionally a vegetarian one made with red pepper and sometimes mushroom. I see myself consuming a lot of tortilla patata in the future, as it’s often the only veg option. I actually wouldn’t survive as a vegan.
- Observation #3: Pintxos: what tapas are called here in the north. At cheap places pintxos consist of three or four kinds of tortilla, and at fancier places it’s all kinds of crazy appetizer-sized things — from tomato and mozzarella on a skewer to eel and shrimp swimming together in a saucer to a long, thin sausage poking out of a french baguette. On certain nights bars have specials where one caña (beer on tap) plus one pintxo is two euros or something like that.