Friday, January 23, 2009

Spanish Food - La experiencia!

Today, we went to visit another school for the girls, and then went to exchange Loretta's new cell phone, which wasn't working properly. Simple things are more difficult to accomplish in a foreign country until you learn the system in place (not to mention the language issue). After speaking with numerous people, moving around the store to different locations and a full hour of time, we were finally successful!! Yea!!
In the afternoon, we headed to Algeciras and the port. Charles met David for a guided tour of the massive terminal and David's work environment. It's a very impressive facility and it was obvious that David has already make a difference in many areas of the operation. Charles really enjoyed spending time talking with David about his new job and some of the challenges that he has already encountered. We are proud of his work and know that it's a great move for him!!


Loretta and I (and the girls) went to explore the local shopping at El Corte Ingles, just minutes away from the APM Terminal where David works. I was impressed with the availability of merchandise from clothing to shoes to decorative items. Loretta had some chances to practice her Spanish (I was very impressed with her fast progress!) while we enjoyed the stores.


Afterwards, we all met for a 4:00 pm late lunch at La Cabana - a Spanish restaurant with great local flavor. It was very authentic with a casual rustic decor, just like you would expect it to be in Spain. We did the entire spread - a luxurious 3 hour lunch!! To me, food in a new country is really interesting and I love to try most of it. However, David mentioned that I needed to put a retraction in the blog about the iberico ham, so here it is....Yes, after trying it on Wed, again on Thursday and now on Friday - I have tasted 3 different cuts and styles of the famous Spanish ham. The first two were just terrible, but I have to admit at La Cabana, they did it right. It was actually good....... or maybe I am beginning to acquire a taste for gamey meat!! I enjoyed the variety of food tonight, some of which just happened to show up on the table. We began with bread, olive oil and ham pate', which was good. Then we had some type of stew with beans/seafood/spices and ham, which was eaten with bread. The next course included a wonderful potato dish (potato/egg/cheese with iberico ham.) The following plate contained our appetizer - croquettes with cheese and ham (does anyone see a pattern here?) and then stuffed mushrooms with cream sauce (which were good, but I think there may have been tiny pieces of ham in the stuffed part?). As our entree', we all had different cuts of beef and pork grilled over an open grill, which was wonderful. Then on to dessert - Between the chocolate crepe and ice cream that Loretta had (yum!) and the chocolate torte that Charles ordered (rich!), we had a nice selection. David and I ordered limon sorbet, which was served with cava (champagne) poured over it. The restaurant itself was incredible and our waiter was excellent!!
To me, I don't just want to SEE another county - I want to experience it to the fullest!! The sights, the smells, the tastes are all such an intregral part of the grand experience of travel. Spain truly has so much to offer and we are fortunate to be able to try it all.....Eating our way through Spain has been fun! :)

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