Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Travels: My local fixer

As I recounted my Spain trip to a friend, I was asked which city in Spain was my favorite. Sevilla. This was surprising to me and my friend because we both thought that I would like Barcelona or Madrid because they are larger cities than Seville. But Seville was the obvious answer because I had a fantastic local fixer who showed me the local tapas bar where we got what the locals eat and drink.

My and my fixer: Angel(a)

Angel has so far been the only person from the States I have met up with in Europe. I have a lot of new friends here but sometimes it's nice to see a familiar face. 

In Seville I had tapas from a very authentic and not touristy tapas bar, tinto de verano and churros con chocolate. Literally "red wine of summer", tinto de verano is about 2/3 red wine and 1/3 soda of your choice and ice cubes. I had it with lemon soda, not Sprite but something like Schweppes lemon soda, which is much more common here in Europe than in the States. Orange soda is also an appropriate mixer. It's such a popular  drink among locals in Andalucia that 2L pre-mixed bottles are available in every grocery store.

Churros con chocolate is fried sticks of dough dipped in hot chocolate. The fried dough actually resembled a Chinese breakfast food 油条. I started to eat them plain the way 油条 is eaten, which prompted my friend to chide me to start dipping them. The stand we went to was located at one end of the Triana Bridge, the bridge from one side of Seville to the neighborhood of Triana.

Las Columnas is one of the best tapas bars in Sevilla, according to Sevillanos. It was also evident because the place was mobbed on a Friday night! Going to the bar to order was intimidating because so many people were crowded around it. I thought the waiters would forget our order or give us the wrong food but they were good at their job. Their specialty is fried thinly sliced egg plant drizzled in honey. We also had this spinach pie topped with cream sauce and anchovy.

Where's the sangría, you ask. I had that in Barcelona. But I hear that it's perceived by Spaniards as a touristy drink. In Barcelona I had cava, a sparkling white wine produced in Catalonia. I had just a glass but could have had many more...

Thanks Angel! 


Angel said...

You are very welcome :) I'm so glad you came! I haven't gone out that much in the past month, you being here forced me to go out, and it was soooooo much fun!!!

Jessieroo said...

With regards to your gustatory experiences, I am unbelievably envious. So much so that I went out and bought a cookbook on tapas. Hope you're doing very well!

Julia Smith said...

I would die for one of those churros. Wouldn't mind the eggplant or the spinach pie (minus the anchovy) either!! Estoy muuuuy celosa!!