After a five-week adventure in the motherland exploring cuisines, cultures and landscapes, I have returned to the autumnal Charlottesville, a mosaic of russets, golds, greens, reds, and rain. lots of rain. Spain was still under drought for the fifth straight month for our visit and became more and more crispy as the days went by. The chiarascuro of narrow medieval streets and cellars gave way to dusty-footsteps, cracked earth, gnarled vines, beautiful sunsets, but no rain in sight. Exceptions were the startlingly beautiful Galicia, Asturias and Pais Vasco, or the Green Coast as it is known.
I was very excited about hearing from our producers of wines, jamons, chorizo, cheeses, ciders, olive oil, almonds, membrillo, and yes, the elusive bocarones. Their practices, profiles, proclivities and prerogatives confirmed to me that quality in materials and sourcing is always first and foremost. The fish we ate so fresh, at times alive just prior to cooking, the aged beef and cured meats incredible, the wines all ridiculously good but most importantly sustainably produced, and the farms, fincas, bodegas and estates showed us that no matter how big, conservation, respect for the environment and tradition can all harmoniously exist. There does not exist the paradox of environment or jobs in Spain, such a proposition is considered preposterous and short-sighted. And yet their economy too is under duress as it tries to matriculate with the rest of the world markets.
We ate so many different cusines and different foods we had to photograph and record to remember all the remarkable moments. you can follow our progress (still ongoing at masinspain.wordpress.com.) i will be producing some extensive photo galleries as well.
I have to thank Juan Esteves and Alex Heilbronner for allowing me to take them away from their pursuits, jobs, schooling, and families - their assistance on this journey was crucial, and hope that they too have the fire in their bellies from meeting and dining and listening to so many remarkable Castellanos, Gallegos, Euskadi, and Catalánes. Now on to the Fall and Winter - i think you're going to like what we have in store! Hasta MAS!
Posted on 07/16/2014 at 04:44:00 AM