Juan Mari Arzak and the childlike boldness. “(…) In the same river of the Nervión Estuary, which seemed to be another city within the same city, retaining its traditions, the friendliness of its people and cuisine of pintxos (tapas), txakoli, Idiazabal cheese and its famous chefs. In the Ongi Etorri gastronomic event, in the Unamuno Plaza in Bilbao, the chef donostiako Juan Mari Arzak gave a seminar that day: "Only if you innovate you're alive. And the best way to do so is to think like a child. All objectives are achieved in utopia." The applause was unanimous. (Krisis with a K /Second Part: ‘Falling in love with life’.
The ‘Pintxos’ Pinchos routes in Spain. (Krisis with a K /Second Part: ‘Falling in love with life’). Ferrán Adrià, El Bulli and fried shrimps in Cádiz. (Krisis with a K /Second Part: ‘Falling in love with life’). The ‘Pa amb tomaca i pernil’ in Barcelona and the ‘Pa amb oli’ in Mallorca and pintxos in Logroño.
Shakespeare, Cervantes and Sancho in Alcalá de Henares having pudding for dinner. “(…)That night while dreaming my friend was making up the adventures of the knight who only fed on books. Words began to appear on his skin because he gluttonously swallowed the pages of those books. But he had never ever gotten rid of his slim and sickly-looking figure that loved copious readings which made him feel a sensible and upright man. He was always with a conformist, chubby servant who scorned manuscripts. He did not even want to see any incunabula on the table. George was drafting a dialogue on that page of the novel between two sensible and contradictory points brought up by the main characters, faces of his own personality he was using in order to recreate them. With theatrical self-confidence our friend arranged the ink on the paper and then he adapted the talk to entertain his wife. –This table, master, was invented by Man only to put food on it. Neither encyclopedias nor cavalry novels. On the table… just food, Don Miguel! –Dummy! You believe my books are blood sausages! I do really love the ones from Burgos but this is a book! –stated the knight holding La Galatea in his hand. –You told the abbot that literature feeds our soul. Our souls do not resemble our bellies or our purchasing power at all. –Master, I warn you I only want letters in the soup! –He took a spoon and a plate. –Asshole! You believe in utopias. I know nothing about the pessimistic prose. Sancho, let’s get rich: I’m fed up with poverty, chatterboxes and envies. –If I’m hungry I can eat the covers of this big book! –Rogue! Read loudly; develop your hearing and play with Destiny… Forget those garbanzo beans for a sec … Fuentesaúco, ollas podridas (rotten pots) and fabadas Asturias (bean stews) … –I can’t understand anything you’re saying. I want to have supper right now! But master, watch out Destiny! –Remember William’s coming to have supper with us. He’ll be bringing pudding! Wear your best clothes. As if we were going to the Theatrical Courtyard in Almagro… –Will he repeat Othello, full of hatred and jealousy? I understand his Spanglish very well… –He’ll read us a draft he loves: the romance of two adolescents in love that takes place in Verona. He hardly sleeps writing this piece of work! I’ll let him know that it may be played by the couple from Orihuela… Elena and Alejandro. You should think about starring the “Pretty Woman” happy story if you have ever suffered once or more times Romeo and Juliet’s misfortunes. (Page 202-203)
The chorizo (Spanish sausage) from Murcia. “(…) Every time Rosa saw her son depart on the music band bus she got very worried: –Tomorrow you all will be playing for Los Salzillos procession in Murcia! When will you have a rest, son? Here you are 50 pesetas: remember to bring two meat pies from Murcia. Your father and I want to try them. The chorizo (Spanish sausage) from Murcia is said to be excellent! (Page 71).
As sweet as a ‘sapillo’ with bread and milk in the Jerte Valley. “(…) However, his starving smile confirmed such postal happiness: –Letter! It comes from France. It is sent by Perico from Hyères! Such good news turned those days into celebrations, everyone was in a good mood and optimistic. Those days reached their climax at night when the letter was read. For the joy that the family felt those days and in order to close ranks Rosa cooked her best dessert with all her love for her children: rice pudding for tea. Siesta and tea time passed in the twinkling of an eye for young George, just like a sigh with flavor of sweet-cinnamon and lemon, as sweet as a ‘sapillo’ with bread and milk in the Jerte Valley (Cáceres-Spain). (Page 46)
Almojábana, ‘chat’ and valarino at ‘El Angel’s confectionery and Sabi’s patisserie in Orihuela (Spain).“(…) It was still early Sunday morning: desert streets. He was walking along the sidewalk when he passed by Sabi’s patisserie and saw a succulent tempting meat pasty which was on display in the shop window. The conceited one showed off its orange skin. George flattered it. He wants it: exquisite with a glass of milk with a dribble of coffee. But George turned a blind eye to this temptation. To forget that whim he felt like having an almojábana bun, a chat or valarino at El Angel’s confectionery or just walk one hundred yards more and get to the nun’s bocatto di cardenali bakery at La Trinidad square. While staring at the tempting meat pastry within spitting distance George saw Mrs. Gertrudis –the blond-haired pharmacist in mourning clothes with her pink necklace around her neck– coming down the bridge. Her little dog was leading her way jumping up and down along the sidewalk. The canine aureole on four legs resembled her owner like two peas in a pod or was it the other way round? (Page 157)(See the Gastronomy section at the end of the novel/Second Part)