24 April 2009
Madrid Through My Stomach
If we’ve done anything well on this trip (to be fair, we’ve done nearly everything well), it has been eating. I’m like a bottomless pit that just can’t stop. Not only is food fairly inexpensive, it’s also absolutely delicious. The “must-eats:”
Tapas, tapas and tapas. Namely, chorizo, patatas bravas (which sounds like “bravo potatoes” to me, which is absolutely true), goat cheese and honey on toast, croquettes (cheese, ham or ham & cheese) and the egg/potato pancake thing.
HAM! It as much as possible and note that it does not taste in any way like Oscar Meyer singles. Museo de Jambon (Museum of Ham) in Madrid did it best. Honestly, consume as much as humanly possible.
Trendy salads. I don’t know how else to refer to them. Just eat the concoctions they have come up with. Blackberry balsamic vinegar, for example.
Fresh fish! While this is more of a Portuguese specialty, try it anywhere near water. Grilled over open flame served in olive oil topped with garlic and onions. Fish-fection (that’s a play on perfection).
Sangria. Is there anything more to say about it?
Port. Again, more of a Portugal thing, but it’s sweet and delicious and tastes lovely accompanied by some chocolate.
Wine in general. I mean, what else is there to say?
Coffee. Not my scene, but alas loves it “LIKE WHOA.”
Ice cream. It’s as close to Italian Gelato I’ve found outside Italy, which makes it pretty darn good.
And last but certainly not least, PASTRIES. This is a region of the world committed to carbohydrates. I mean, seriously committed. I’m beginning to think complex carb ingestion may be a regional sport. There are entire shops committed to nothing but baked bread in all different flavors and sizes. This is an every morning kind-of thing that simply CANNOT be missed, so throw out the absurd “no carbs” diet and start your day right with fresh juice, coffee and a pastry. Remember - these people are WAY THINNER than we are and they do it, so there must be something to it all. My top three:
3. Plain bread. It’s amazing. Smear it with preserves, honey or chocolate spread and enjoy.
2. Chocolate croissant. Seems easy enough, right?
1. Xuxo. Pronounce “chew-cho,” this little Spanish wonder is filled with cream and covered in granulated sugar. I actually got so addicted to these and ate so many in a short period of time that my glands swelled from sugar overdose. No, seriously. They couldn’t handle it. I had to cut sugar out of my diet for four days to recover. Needless to say, proceed with caution. Word of asvise: Don’t submit your symptoms to WebMD. They told me I was either pregnant or had a “potentially fatal gland infection.” No WebMD, I just ate too much sugar.
And now it’s your turn. Go!