Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's been raining since yesterday. Last night in Sevilla it started pouring. It let up a little on my drive to Cordoba this afternoon. It had been raining softly since I got to Cordova, and it started raining hard here about two hours ago.

It's eight o'clock, which means it's time to open my guide book and find a restaurant. I'll probably eat at ten tonight. In Spain, dinner happens after nine or so. The afternoon siesta makes the rest of the day happen late. Last night I was in a Flamenco bar that opens at midnight.

When I was in Granada I ate for nourishment, not for novelty. I ended up settling into a Doner Kebap groove. A gyro to Greeks is a kebap to Arabs, and there are a lot of little kebap tiendas in the Albaicin (or Albaycin), the old Arabic part of Granada. (I suppose to some a gyro isn't the most nourishing thing, but I think it actually has something from each of the food groups: grains (pita), vegetables (tomato and a kind of cole slaw), meat (lamb), and dairy (yoghurt). Did I forget fruit? That's the story of my life.)

After I left Granada, I discovered that Spain has some amazing food. In Ronda, at the Hotel Polo, I ate alone in the hotel restaurant. Not only was I solo at my table, but the only other person I saw was the waiter. (Fue tranquil.) It was perfect. He only had me to attend to, so he could take his time figuring out my Spanish. We had a conversation about the ontology (although I didn't use that term) of sherry in English, where sherry is a supertype, and the subtypes are the grades of dryness and sweetness. In Spain, however, there's no common supertype (unless the supertype is just "vino"); the driest "sherry" is called Jerez (after Jerez de la Frontera, a city in Andalusia) and the sweetest is called Màlaga (also a city in Andalusia).

Anyway, in Ronda I had lightly crusted ravioli stuffed with small eggs and ham, a seafood paella (a rice dish), a chocolate mousse, a cafe con leche (basically a small lattè), and a small glass of Màlaga.

Last night in Sevilla I had a booze-free beer and a small plate of olives. The entrèe was artichoke hearts stuffed with sautèed lamb, some kind of cheese, and a variety of mushrooms. To top it off I had cafe con leche and a hot chocolate cake with a mint sauce.

I'm going to have to do a lot of yoga to burn off these calories. Tubby me. Now where's that restaurant guide? All of this food talk has made me hungry.

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