Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I don't have a great question to proffer today but wanted to post to again thank Gerry for doing this chat with us. The depth and range of expertise being shared here is simply awesome. It has made me--someone who speaks the language a bit and spent a few months in the country--realize how much I don't know and just reinvigorates my already high interest in Spain. Love also that, along with the crazy deep expertise on wine, there has been so much to learn about other Spanish foods, the country and cheese! Loved the old Asturian cheese article you shared with us. The content and writing are wonderful and I also caught the small note about the photographer (yep, Gerry also). Gorgeous photos of a region I never visited and now have at the top of my list for next trip to Espana. Thanks again to Don and, especially, Gerry. This is really special, valuable and unique stuff in a world awash with words online teeming with vacuousness and mediocrity.

Wow! Darkstar, I am very flattered and I greatly appreciate your kind comments. :) :) :) :) :)

Check out the Spanish Cheese thread for a new addition that I just posted. There will be more.

I also added a post to the thread on, of all things, blood sausage!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Darkstar, I am very flattered and I greatly appreciate your kind comments. :) :) :) :) :)

Check out the Spanish Cheese thread for a new addition that I just posted. There will be more.

I also added a post to the thread on, of all things, blood sausage!!

Darkstar, check this out the Asturias.

Day One in Asturias: A Visit to Quesos La Peral Plus Pedro and Son Marcos Morán Demonstrate an Exceptional Talent for Finding the Best Mostly Asturian Products and Turning Them Into Delicious Modernized Traditional Alta Cocina Dishes at Casa Gerardo in Prendes, near Gijón, Asturias, Spain's Stunning Natural Paradise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very cool! Huge miss of mine to have spent the time I did in Catalunya and not make it here. But that's just because I made it a ton of other places then and, of course, the future is bright :-)

The slide show wasn't working for me in Safair. Will try different browsers and reloading since no doubt those images will be mouth watering.

More superficially, my favorite line of the piece:

We arrived at Casa Gerardo at around 3:30 p.m and finished lunch around 6:30 p.m. (it is Spain!)

That's one stereotype I found to be true most everywhere in Spain and it's one of so many reasons why the culture is distinctive from ours and at the very top of my list globally. Thanks again, Gerry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As to your question about cava, your statement leads be to believe that you haven't had many of the really good ones.

Back in 2006, I wrote this:

Over the past few years of sipping Cavas in some of Spain's top restaurants, it has become increasingly apparent that a number of the country's smaller producers are bottling some absolutely superb sparkling wines. By contrast, not too long ago, Spanish sparkling wine was little more than quaffable, mass-market bubbly widely available at bargain prices. While that still holds true for a large percentage of the staggering ten million-plus cases of Cava exported each year (another eight million-plus cases are consumed in Spain), during the past ten years — hand-in-hand with quality advances on the country's wine and gastronomy fronts — a number of Champagne-quality Cavas from a wide range of producers have emerged. Some of these exceptional wines are vintage dated, prestige brut cuvées; bone-dry, palate-cleansing brut natures (great with shellfish); and an increasingly impressive group of sparkling rosados (rosats in Catalan), some made with pinot noir, others with indigenous varieties such as trepat.

Juve y Camps, a family firm that has long been appreciated here by wine aficionados, is probably the best known of these cavas, but top-quality names such as Agustí Torelló Mata, Raventos i Blanc, Parxet, Gramona and Castillo Perelada are well worth tasting. The Spanish Artisan Wine Group has some exceptional cavas from Can Festis, but they are not available in the U.S. right now (stay tuned).

To give you an idea of what one critic thinks about the quality of cava, in September, John Gilman, who recently made a trip to Catalunya and came away excited about cava, wrote this in the July-August issue of his View From The Cellar newsletter:

Can Festis Cava (Jaume Giró et Giró)

While I will be doing a full-fledged feature on Cava in the next issue, I wanted to include notes here on The Spanish Artisan Wine Group’s fine Catalan producer, Jaume Giró et Giró and their excellent label of Can Festis Cava. Like virtually all of the top producers I have tasted in recent months, Jaume Giró et Giró is part of the “Six Percent Club” who own their own vineyards and produce Cava solely from their own grapes. As I will elaborate on in my article on Cava, in my experience, this is one of the fundamental building blocks for producing truly world class Cava, and if one were to simply limit one’s consumption of Cava to producers who grow their own grapes and make their own wines, one could steer clear of disappointingly bland examples and come to appreciate just how beautifully delicate and complex top flight Cava can be from members of this “Six Percent Club”. Señor Giró produces three levels of Cava, all fermented in the bottle like Champagne, with the three levels neatly reflecting the Bronze, Silver and Gold medals of the Olympics. These are outstanding sparkling wines that are every bit as interesting as top examples of Champagne in the classic, dancing style of great Cava.

Coming back to Cava.

Because I think there are four wines in the world that, if you name them, the average person with an interest in gastronomy will know they're from Spain: Rioja, Sherry, *maybe* Albariño, and Cava.

I'd love to say Ribera del Duero, but I don't think so. And I suspect more people than we'd like to admit might think Cava is Italian.

Okay, about Cava:

1) Xarel-lo

2) Macabeu

3) Parellada

People are staring at that list, and wondering WTF?

But if we were talking about Champagne, and I said:

1) Chardonnay

2) Pinot Noir

3) Pinot Meunier

There might be more of a connect.

Do you see a brand-recognition problem here? I do, and the only way it's going to go away is if it's pounded into people's minds.

I'm not entirely certain what the characteristics are of these three varieties that most commonly go into making Cava. Can you talk about them, individually, and also touch on the geography of where Cava is produced?

Are there any examples of still ("non-fizzy") wines made from these grapes that can be found in the United States?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very cool! Huge miss of mine to have spent the time I did in Catalunya and not make it here. But that's just because I made it a ton of other places then and, of course, the future is bright :-)

The slide show wasn't working for me in Safair. Will try different browsers and reloading since no doubt those images will be mouth watering.

More superficially, my favorite line of the piece:

That's one stereotype I found to be true most everywhere in Spain and it's one of so many reasons why the culture is distinctive from ours and at the very top of my list globally. Thanks again, Gerry.

Hi, Darkstar, thanks for your comments. (BTW, I looked at the link and the slide show is working for me.

On your comment about the late lunches in Spain, finishing lunch in Spain at 6 p.m.+ is not that uncommon.

Gerry%2520%2526%2520Mark%2520Miller%2520Casa%2520Camara.jpg

Mark Miller and Gerry Dawes at lunch in The Basque Country.

One time, Chef Mark Miller, when he still owed Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe, we traveling in the Basque Country and we raced to get to Kaia, a restaurant in Getaria, about 30 kms. west of San Sebastian, for lunch. This was several years ago and we feared they would be closing the kitchen down. We rolled in after 3:30 p.m. and found the dining only about a third filled. We asked if the kitchen was open.

"Si."

"Can we have a table by the window overlooking the puerto?"

"Let me see, I have to check the reservations list."

Mark and I looked at one another and the looks said, "Yeh, right!"

"Vale, we can give you that table over there."

"Estupendo."

Miller and and sat down, ordered some txakoli and house-cured anchovies, which Miller said were some of the best he had ever eaten.

By 4 p.m., the restaurant was full.

IMG_1042%2520Kaia%2520Rodaballo.JPG

A whole rodaballo (turbot) grilling at Kaia in Getaria.

Photo by Gerry Dawes 2005.

We then had some grilled sardinas, followed by a whole fire-roasted turbot with a 30-year old Rioja gran reserva tinto (in Spain many people drink red wines with fish, especially in the north central Atlantic coast).

IMG_1696.JPG

Chef Norman Van Aken looks on as a waitperson at Kaia prepares to dissect a fire-roasted

whole rodaballo (turbot) at Jatextea (Restaurante) Kaia in Getaria.

Photo by Gerry Dawes copyright 2005.

Over a snifter of pacharàn* on the rocks and a Montecristo cigar, we plotted our next gastronomic research moves (gastro-research is Hell but somebody has to do it!). By the time we finished lunch, it was nearly 7 p.m., a proper hour we thought. We could have some tapas at 10 p.m. and a light dinner at 10:30 - 11:00 p.m.

IMG_2854%2520Kaia%2520Monte%2520Real.JPG

A bottle of 1964 Monte Real Reserva being decanted at Kaia in Getaria.

Photo by Gerry Dawes 2003.

A Personal Homage to the Wines of Bodegas Riojanas on the Occasion of Their 115th Anniversary

(Entry in the book Bodegas Riojanas published to commemorate that anniversary.)

Pacharàn*

July 11, Día de Dimasu, Peña Anaitasuna & A Homage to Patxaran (Pacharán)

IMG_1446%20Patxaran%20Olite%20San%20Fermin%202005%20crop.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMG_2854%2520Kaia%2520Monte%2520Real.JPG

A bottle of 1964 Monte Real Reserva being decanted at Kaia in Getaria.

Photo by Gerry Dawes 2003.

Hey! I have a couple bottles left of this Monte Real Reserva from 89 that I got for something crazy, like $15 a bottle - one of the most strikingly beautiful labels I've seen on any wine. How's it drinking these days?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a real bombshell:

The Robert Parker bombshell By Felix Salmon December 10, 2012 Reuters

Excerpts (Italics are by GD):

"Today, however, Teague is back, this time in the pages of the WSJ. And it seems very much that Parker has sold the Wine Advocate after all — to a shadowy group of investors in Singapore, no less. What’s more, he’s relinquishing that editorial control as well: he’s “turning over editorial oversight to his Singapore-based correspondent, Lisa Perrotti-Brown”.

* * * * *

Parker himself will retain the title of Chairman, and will continue to review his beloved Bordeaux and Rhone wines, but none of this seems like the action of a man who wants to preserve his legacy. Robert Parker is the Wine Advocate — and now he’s handing his baby over to a group of people he won’t even name, but who will probably eviscerate everything he stands for? He told Teague he was presented with “a plan he couldn’t refuse”, but I can’t imagine what that might be. He’s never been a profit-maximizer, but he’s managed to become rich all the same; it’s hard to see how a large check alone would have sealed the deal.

I suspect that in coming days and weeks there will be further shoes to drop; quite possibly, this deal won’t end up closing at all. But if it does, and if TWA does indeed move to Singapore, then that will only serve to accelerate the backlash against Parker’s palate which has been gathering steam for some time now. What’s bad for TWA could be very healthy for the wine industry as a whole: if it is no longer particularly beholden to one man, it can branch out into making more heterogeneous and individualistic wines. The idea that a 95-point wine is always better than an 85-point wine is an idea which deserves to die. And this deal, with luck, might just hasten its demise."

No comment, for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey! I have a couple bottles left of this Monte Real Reserva from 89 that I got for something crazy, like $15 a bottle - one of the most strikingly beautiful labels I've seen on any wine. How's it drinking these days?

Damn, Don, I don't remember when I last had 1989 Monte Real. I think I only have a bottle or two of 1964 and maybe a 1973 left. I will say that the 1989 was well before they started messing around with new oak at the beginning of the new century. If it is a Reserva (and not a Gran Reserva, which I doubt in 1989), open a bottle and make your judgement. If it is still drinking great, keep the other one. My guess is that if they are Reservas, they may not keep forever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming back to Cava.

Because I think there are four wines in the world that, if you name them, the average person with an interest in gastronomy will know they're from Spain: Rioja, Sherry, *maybe* Albariño, and Cava.

I'd love to say Ribera del Duero, but I don't think so. And I suspect more people than we'd like to admit might think Cava is Italian.

Okay, about Cava:

1) Xarel-lo

2) Macabeu

3) Parellada

People are staring at that list, and wondering WTF?

But if we were talking about Champagne, and I said:

1) Chardonnay

2) Pinot Noir

3) Pinot Meunier

There might be more of a connect.

Do you see a brand-recognition problem here? I do, and the only way it's going to go away is if it's pounded into people's minds.

I'm not entirely certain what the characteristics are of these three varieties that most commonly go into making Cava. Can you talk about them, individually, and also touch on the geography of where Cava is produced?

Are there any examples of still ("non-fizzy") wines made from these grapes that can be found in the United States?

I am off to the city (NYC) today, but I will get to this cava post later this evening or in the morning. Don, I wish you were in NYC today. I am having a tasting lunch at 2 p.m. down in Chelsea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming back to Cava.

Because I think there are four wines in the world that, if you name them, the average person with an interest in gastronomy will know they're from Spain: Rioja, Sherry, *maybe* Albariño, and Cava.

I'd love to say Ribera del Duero, but I don't think so. And I suspect more people than we'd like to admit might think Cava is Italian.

Okay, about Cava:

1) Xarel-lo

2) Macabeu

3) Parellada

People are staring at that list, and wondering WTF?

But if we were talking about Champagne, and I said:

1) Chardonnay

2) Pinot Noir

3) Pinot Meunier

There might be more of a connect.

Do you see a brand-recognition problem here? I do, and the only way it's going to go away is if it's pounded into people's minds.

I'm not entirely certain what the characteristics are of these three varieties that most commonly go into making Cava. Can you talk about them, individually, and also touch on the geography of where Cava is produced?

Are there any examples of still ("non-fizzy") wines made from these grapes that can be found in the United States?

Don, do you really think that 95% of people who buy Champagne know what grapes are in it. I do not think the grape composition means much to anyone but hard-core wine aficionados.

Disconnect for cava? First Codorniu then and Freixenet now are the largest producers of methode champenoise sparkling wines in the world. (Probably more than 95% of Champagne and cava purchasers do not know what the Hell methode champenoise.

As to the primary grapes in Cava, 1) Xarel-lo, 2) Macabeu, 3) Parellada, which I call the "bland brothers trio," I would point out that the best cavas now have some chardonnay or even pinot noir in them, plus cava production is more about the method of production (like Sherry and the white wines of Lopez de Heredia, for instance) than it is any specific grape.

Lots of producers in Catalunya made still wines from these cava varieties. There are a few xarel-lo bases wines that can be quite good, but I have never tasted a truly great xarel-lo, let alone a good macabeu (viura) or parellada (which was blended with chardonnay to make Miguel Torres Viña Sol) and yes some of them are available in the States.

"Over the past decade or so of sipping cavas in some of Spain's top restaurants and writing about cava for wine publications, it has become increasingly apparent that a number of the country's smaller producers are bottling some absolutely superb sparkling wines. By contrast, not too long ago, Spanish sparkling wine was little more than quaffable, mass-market bubbly widely available at bargain prices. While that still holds true for a large percentage of the staggering ten million-plus cases of Cava exported each year (another eight million-plus cases are consumed in Spain), during the past ten years — hand-in-hand with quality advances on the country's wine and gastronomy fronts — a number of Champagne-quality Cavas from a wide range of producers have emerged. Some of these exceptional wines are vintage dated, prestige brut cuvées; bone-dry, palate-cleansing brut natures (great with shellfish); and an increasingly impressive group of sparkling rosados (rosats in Catalan), some made with pinot noir, others with indigenous varieties such as trepat, monastrell and garnacha." - - Gerry Dawes

"While I will be doing a full-fledged feature on Cava in the next issue, I wanted to include notes here on The Spanish Artisan Wine Group’s fine Catalan producer, Jaume Giró et Giró and their excellent label of Can Festis Cava. Like virtually all of the top producers I have tasted in recent months, Jaume Giró et Giró is part of the “Six Percent Club” who own their own vineyards and produce Cava solely from their own grapes. As I will elaborate on in my article on Cava, in my experience, this is one of the fundamental building blocks for producing truly world class Cava, and if one were to simply limit one’s consumption of Cava to producers who grow their own grapes and make their own wines, one could steer clear of disappointingly bland examples and come to appreciate just how beautifully delicate and complex top flight Cava can be from members of this “Six Percent Club”. - - John Gilman in View From The Cellar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just want to say thank you for this thread. (I'm only partially through it) I'm going to forward it to some out of town foodies. Its wonderful reading: fun, interesting, informative, and did I say fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just want to say thank you for this thread. (I'm only partially through it) I'm going to forward it to some out of town foodies. Its wonderful reading: fun, interesting, informative, and did I say fun.

Many thanks, Dave, for you kind comments and for following my ramblings. ;)

My best, Gerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Natalie MacLean: World’s Best Wine Writer or Content Thief?

By Palate Press on Dec 15, 2012

"Natalie MacLean is a well-known wine writer who self-publishes a subscription newsletter at NatalieMacLean.com, who proudly proclaims she was named the “World’s Best Wine Writer” at the World Food Media Awards. Unfortunately, Ms. MacLean appears to be building her reputation, and her business, on the work of others.

Her website offers a paid “Magnum Membership” that gives readers access to wine reviews. It also generates revenue from advertising. The core of Ms. MacLean’s work is the publication of wine reviews and food and wine pairings. In addition to her own reviews, which are often a sentence or less, Ms. MacLean includes professional wine reviews by writers from other publications. The reviews sometimes include the writer’s name, but never the publication or a link. Rather, they are all accredited to “Vintages Wine Catalogue,” a Liquor Control Board of Ontario publication which runs fully accredited reviews, including author, date, and publication, to drive wine sales, much like any retailer on line or on shelf-talkers.

There is a simple phrase for this practice in which Ms, MacLean has engaged – copyright infringement. Just because someone is writing about wine rather than, say, politics or foreign affairs does not absolve him or her from adhering to journalistic ethics. Intellectual property theft is a scourge on journalism and cannot be tolerated."

Read the whole story by clicking on the link above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rafael Vidal's True Paellas Valencianas at Restaurante Levante outside of Valencia.

IMG_1098.JPG

One of Rafael Vidal's true paellas valencianas at Restaurante Levante outside of Valencia. Real paella valenciana has no seafood, it has duck, chicken, pork and two kinds of bean, a flat type of bean called a vaina and a large local Valencian dried bean called a garrofó, which Rafael Vidal grows himself. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2012. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Natalie MacLean: World’s Best Wine Writer or Content Thief?

By Palate Press on Dec 15, 2012

"Natalie MacLean is a well-known wine writer who self-publishes a subscription newsletter at NatalieMacLean.com, who proudly proclaims she was named the “World’s Best Wine Writer” at the World Food Media Awards. Unfortunately, Ms. MacLean appears to be building her reputation, and her business, on the work of others.

Considering how many awards Ms. MacLean has won in recent years, this is one heck of an accusation. If true, the bigger story is, "How did it go on for so long, undetected?"

A couple people have commented on this chat (with Gerry) being left up for so long. And I've also asked myself, "Do I want to stick with it?" And the answer is, yes. There's a reason for it, and it's not what you think. It's because I *know* that Gerry Dawes has paid his dues, is a *great* writer, and is "the" master of Spanish gastronomy (I'm including the combination of food and wine knowledge). Gerry has labored in relative obscurity over the years, and if I don't support him, who's going to? He is in very much the same position I'm in: a man without a country, or should I say, a man without a newspaper or magazine backing him. This makes it nearly impossible to get national attention, even when it's richly deserved.

For every award Natalie MacLean has, Gerry Dawes should have ten.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

_MG_6015.JPG

Chestnuts roasting over an open fire. La Castañera, the chestnut roaster, a bronze statue in Burgos, Spain.

There are many chestnut roasters selling castaños on the street in the winter in Spain.

Photo by Gerry Dawes©2012; gerrydawes@aol.com.

IMG_5054-1%2520Chestnut%2520Roaster.jpg

Chestnuts roasting over an open fire. In the snow, La Castañera, the chestnut roaster, a bronze statue in Burgos, Spain.

There are many chestnut roasters selling castaños on the street in the winter in Spain.

Photo by Gerry Dawes©2012; gerrydawes@aol.com.

IMG_7364%2520Chestnut%2520seller%2520detail%2520Madrid.jpg

Begoña, street stand in Madrid off the Plaza Mayor, offering roasted maíz (corn), batata (sweet potato) and castañas (chestnuts).

"Watch out! They are very hot and they will burn!"

Photo Gerry Dawes©2011 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook & Twitter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loved the Mercado San Miguel (photos upthread) during our trip last month. We ate lunch there twice, and stopped in post-dinner one evening for a glass of wine. It is an absolute zoo on a weekend night, but much more manageable at lunch, and a must-visit. We enjoyed the Mercado San Anton as well, in particular the bar on the roof.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering how many awards Ms. MacLean has won in recent years, this is one heck of an accusation. If true, the bigger story is, "How did it go on for so long, undetected?"

A couple people have commented on this chat (with Gerry) being left up for so long. And I've also asked myself, "Do I want to stick with it?" And the answer is, yes. There's a reason for it, and it's not what you think. It's because I *know* that Gerry Dawes has paid his dues, is a *great* writer, and is "the" master of Spanish gastronomy (I'm including the combination of food and wine knowledge). Gerry has labored in relative obscurity over the years, and if I don't support him, who's going to? He is in very much the same position I'm in: a man without a country, or should I say, a man without a newspaper or magazine backing him. This makes it nearly impossible to get national attention, even when it's richly deserved.

For every award Natalie MacLean has, Gerry Dawes should have ten.

Many thanks for your very kind words and support, Don. I wish what you just wrote would get around as fast as this Nathalie McLean thing has. I first read it in an e-mail from Belgium, then I put it on Twitter and Facebook. Since then, I have heard from a top wine writer in New Zealand and the story is now in the hands of a major blogger in England and someone from the Associated Press in Madrid. The point is be it MacLean or Parker or Pancho Campo, missteps get transmitted around the world in the space of a few hours, sometimes minutes. It is not easy to hide these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Natalie MacLean: World’s Best Wine Writer or Content Thief?

By Palate Press on Dec 15, 2012

"Natalie MacLean is a well-known wine writer who self-publishes a subscription newsletter at NatalieMacLean.com, who proudly proclaims she was named the “World’s Best Wine Writer” at the World Food Media Awards. Unfortunately, Ms. MacLean appears to be building her reputation, and her business, on the work of others.

Her website offers a paid “Magnum Membership” that gives readers access to wine reviews. It also generates revenue from advertising. The core of Ms. MacLean’s work is the publication of wine reviews and food and wine pairings. In addition to her own reviews, which are often a sentence or less, Ms. MacLean includes professional wine reviews by writers from other publications. The reviews sometimes include the writer’s name, but never the publication or a link. Rather, they are all accredited to “Vintages Wine Catalogue,” a Liquor Control Board of Ontario publication which runs fully accredited reviews, including author, date, and publication, to drive wine sales, much like any retailer on line or on shelf-talkers.

There is a simple phrase for this practice in which Ms, MacLean has engaged – copyright infringement. Just because someone is writing about wine rather than, say, politics or foreign affairs does not absolve him or her from adhering to journalistic ethics. Intellectual property theft is a scourge on journalism and cannot be tolerated."

Read the whole story by clicking on the link above.

Jim Budd weighs in on the Nathalie McLean affair from England

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you probably already know, Gerry, in the underbelly of the wine-writing world, Ms. MacLean is being positively raked over the coals behind the scenes. She is being dismissed as a total lightweight (which *I've* always thought she was, quite frankly), and an opportunistic one at that. If these accusations are all true, she's got some serious damage control to do.

Many thanks for your very kind words and support, Don. I wish what you just wrote would get around as fast as this Nathalie McLean thing has. I first read it in an e-mail from Belgium, then I put it on Twitter and Facebook. Since then, I have heard from a top wine writer in New Zealand and the story is now in the hands of a major blogger in England and someone from the Associated Press in Madrid. The point is be it MacLean or Parker or Pancho Campo, missteps get transmitted around the world in the space of a few hours, sometimes minutes. It is not easy to hide these days.

And, as a corollary, decades of good, solid work often languish unrecognized (refer to David Schildknecht, a totally respected wine critic (by other wine critics) who's just not as famous as he should be).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loved the Mercado San Miguel (photos upthread) during our trip last month. We ate lunch there twice, and stopped in post-dinner one evening for a glass of wine. It is an absolute zoo on a weekend night, but much more manageable at lunch, and a must-visit. We enjoyed the Mercado San Anton as well, in particular the bar on the roof.

It can be a lot of fun there--and sometimes you can eat great shellfish there without paying the heavy price at a restaurant.

IMG_8765.JPG

Man enjoying a plate of cigalas (Dublin Bay prawns) by himself at the Mercado de San Miguel.

Photo by Gerry Dawes©2009. gerrydawes@aol.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 53 Best Things We Ate This Year

Published in Gourmet Live 12.19.12

verdinas-asturias-spain.jpg

Verdinas con Marisco, Heredad de la Cueste

Cangas de Onís, Spain

Just a few years ago in eastern Asturias in northern Spain, I was introduced to verdinas con marisco, a small, light green, very delicate heirloom flageolet bean from the coastal town of Llanes usually cooked with clams and langostinos (prawns) or shrimp. I have had several dishes of these wonderful, easily digestible beans, including dishes served by chef-owner Seamus Mullen at New York's Tertulia, but in late October I had an excellent version of verdinas con marisco at the spectacular Heredad de la Cueste, which belongs to Jaime Rodríguez and his wife, Marichu, (it was her mother's family home) and was named the top casa rural—country bed-and-breakfast lodging—in Spain in 2011. Jaime had grown the beans and his mother-in-law cooked them with whole small nécoras (velvet swimming crabs) and shrimp. Of all the dishes I ate in Spain this year, verdinas con marisco was my favorite.

—Gerry Dawes, author of the blog Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel and founder of The Spanish Artisan Wine Group

PHOTO: Gerry Dawes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMG_4061.JPG

Cochinillo asado, roast suckling pig, specialty of the house Casa Botín, an old Hemingway hangout

where a major scene in The Sun Also Rises was set, on calle Cuchilleros, old quarter of Madrid.

Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2009. Contact: gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter.

Gerry Dawes,

Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel

The Spanish Artisan Wine Group - Gerry Dawes Selections

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×