A Gluttons Guide to Spanish Culture

Los Caracoles in Barcelona, you enter the restaurant through the back of the bar...

...and go through the kitchen to your table

I love Spain and am passionate about Spain’s food, wine and history, so I wrote a very personal piece about Spanish food and some very traditional restaurants and I think you might enjoy it, its published on Catavino.com and you can read it here

The Treasure of the Sierra de Gredos – old vine Grenache

Garnacha vines in the beautiful Sierra de Gredos

I am not always very keen on Grenache, but recently tried some fascinating and wonderful examples of old vine Garnacha – the original Spanish name for Grenache – from a part of Spain that I had never come across before, although I have written about wines from nearby – here, here and here.

Map of Spain's wine regions showing where the Sierra de Gredos are - click for a larger view

That place is the wild and rugged region of the Sierra de Gredos to the west of Madrid and like the landscape that the grapes are grown in, the wines are spectacular.

You can read about them in my piece published by Catavino here…

Casa Botín – a large portion of tradition

GW500H333I had heard about it for years, I had even read about it, in guide books and on the web, but I had never been there. Given a day in Madrid I decided to change that.

I am talking about the the world’s oldest restaurant, the famous Botín. It has always appealed to me, really traditional Spanish restaurants just do, they have an attraction to me that I cannot really define. I think it is the way the menus never change, food in some cultures is not an evolving art form, but a commitment to their past, almost an anchor to their traditions. Well good traditional Spanish food can be just that and I love the experience when it is done well, it is like being in a really good interactive museum.

Continue reading