Living in an area of Spain where the tapas come free has its obvious plus points. But as someone who doesn't eat meat, I end up refusing 50% of everything offered, and this is a delicate operation. Such 'sending back' - if not done diplomatically - may cause offence and result in the denial of a substitute tapa. Such an outcome is unthinkable.
Most of the time bars are happy to accommodate, though a little confused as to why anyone would prefer a slice of cheese over a dry and tired looking meatball. But its not just bar owners and waiters in Spain that raise an eyebrow to dietary preferences. Most omnivorous acquaintances - upon discovering my chosen diet - will point an accusatory finger at my plate of Pulpo a la gallego or gambas al pil pil and exclaim with a salivating and slightly crazed look: “But don’t you see! You can’t be a vegetarian and still eat fish! Thats a contradiction!”
My reply, is usually two fold: First, I tell them that I thrive on contradiction. It gives moisture to an otherwise parched and bleak landscape. This generally prompts further crazed dribbling and so I am forced to point out that I am not a vegetarian, just someone who does not eat meat. “Y ya esta”. It’s not meant to be an example of philosophical logic, nor a stand on behalf of the Vegan Movement.
It rarely works though. I normally have to resort to probing as to how they can be stroking the head of one animal, attached to a leash sitting under our table, whilst consuming the head of another animal on top of it - and still sleep at night. Diet, it appears, is a particularly sensitive cultural as well as gastronomic issue.
THE GREAT BRITISH DIET
This week, a new store opened in the industrial outskirts of town. Calling itself the British Food Store, it purports to supply all those essential british foods so difficult to track down, and that form such an essential component of the Great British Diet.
Given there has been no new businesses opening in town since the collapse of the building industry back in 2008, I went to take a look. I was curious for a number of reasons. First, because the expat community had more or less dwindled to negative figures these last few years as homes were abandoned, and pool maintenance work became harder to find than a honest politician, and secondly because I was simply curious that an obscure food merchants catering for an undemanding exiled group, could be bucking the global economic downturn. (Read More.....)
Why Orwell is essential to understanding Spain today. More here - Forgotten Stories From Spain
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Forgotten Stories From Spain Book HERE
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