So, aqui estamos (here we are) in Tarifa! Greeted in to our new apartment by our flat mate’s tiny kitten, Suzie, who we speak to in French and who needs constant attention day and night; this journey has sure got off to a bizarre start! I was given the perfect book for a graduation present called ‘The food of Spain: a journey for food lovers’. It quotes that ‘the three major influences on the cuisine of a country are its geography, its history and its personality.’ Spain’s immense variety in all three areas makes for an astonishing range of flavour within Spanish cuisine and culture. Our first experiences on this journey have most certainly illustrated this diversity. Our housemate is Moroccan and we converse in a mixture of French, Spanish and English providing plenty of different cuisines to explore
As new arrivals, we were made to feel very en casa. Our first dinner was simple yet extremely tasty: roasted vegetables and potatoes ‘Moroccan style’ with an array of spices including cumin and saffron. Topped off with a squeeze of lemon from our own lemon tree in the courtyard, a zest of Spain was added, creating a dish that negotiated two complimenting cuisines.
Day two hosted the arrival of our friend Tom, adding some Polish in to the equation. However we decided to abandon our international roots this evening and enjoyed a very local Spanish dining experience: tapas, of course! With many a tasca (tapas bar) to explore, we ironically chose Bar Frances where the bar staff are French. Here we sat and indulged in our favourites including tortillitas de camarones (flat and crispy golden fritters stuffed full with tiny shrimp) and chicharrones (Pork cooked in lard) which may not sound very appetising, but is absolutely delicious!
So, voila, here we are on a food trail of Spanish cuisine, yet already the international influences are cropping up, and I am sure they will continue to do so every step of the way!