Monday, 25 February 2013

Carihuela's comeback

On Sundays we like to wander off to the nearby village of Arroyo de la Miel for churros and Sunday papers (very middle class and middle-aged, our joys...). Last Sunday was no exception.

After lengthy struggle with the crossword we had to admit our defeat (and ignorance) and took off for a walk on the beach. You know, to get some exercise. To walk off some of those calories. 

But through no choice of our own, our feet took us back to Carihuela, which was a lot closer than we realized - it takes less than 30 minutes to walk there from Arroyo's marina. So, no walking and definitely no burning off any calories...

We were, however, in for a lovely lunch at Plaza San Ginés. Sun was shining and the view was every bit was delightful as we remembered: long tables stretched across the square like at an Italian family dinner. 

Watching the world go by is a wonderful way to spend a lazy afternoon- especially with a glass of rosé glued to one's hand. As pointed out before, people here have healthy pride over the local produce, but it stays within the realms of sanity, unlike in France or in Italy, where the regional fascism can easily go a bit overboard. The French snobbery would warrant a chapter their own: I have witnessed how a perfectly pleasant dinner turns into a heated debate on where to get the best butter.

But we don't have any of that here. I, too, could learn so much about the laid back attitude of the people here. They don't fuss over little things- just look at them lunch. Even if the plate is brimming with seafood, the glass might be full of red wine. Nothing to fret about, just take it easy.

We kicked the lunch off with superb croquetas with a dip that was just sublime (Shellfish stock? Roasted peppers? Tomatos? Cream? Angel wings? Rainbow morsels?)

For the main course we just had to have some zarzuela: fish and seafood soup made with local bounty. Jesus Garcia Lopez,  it was fantastic! The creamy tomato-based stock was so good I wanted to have the rest of it to go. In a doggy bag. Or just fed intravenously. 

It's probably good that my limited vocabulary could not express my desire. Though... I suppose there's no harm in learning the phrase just in case, for the next time...

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