Culinary Trendmapping the Mediterranean Rim Reply

roasted sardines Mediterranean

January 16, 2014–Maggie Hennessy, writing for Food says, “Foods from the Mediterranean Rim have been growing in popularity since at least the mid-1990s, reinforced by Americans’ seemingly insatiable appetite for flavors from Italy, Spain and Greece.”

She goes on to comment on the two-way influence this trend in its maximum expression–the Mediterranean diet–has on  “chefs and food manufacturers.” That’s funny, as we thought one of the secrets of the Med diet was to shun manufactured food. It seems that our adoption of new food sensations is a five-step process. It’s an interesting concept.


Spanish Gastro-Tourism Breaks Record Reply

Spanish scallops sauce

From, February 24, 2014–Gastronomy has become the new ‘goose that lays golden eggs’ of the Spanish economy, and hundreds of young chefs are filling cooking schools, turning gastronomy into a mainstay of the Spanish brand attracting 7.4 million international tourists in 2013 alone. This is 32% more, with an average per person spending of 1,170 euros, according to figures from Turespaña. Gastronomy is important to figure in among the factors affecting the satisfaction of international tourists who visit our country, especially in some destinations, according to the most recent Habitur report conducted by the Institute of Touristic Studies (the IET). More…

You’ve Heard About It, Now Watch It Reply

Hemingway Spanish Earth

The Spanish Earth

The film, made during the height of the Spanish Civil War, was directed by Joris Ivens, written by John Dos Passos and Ernest Hemingway, with music composed by Marc Blitzstein and Virgil Thomson. Although the film’s credits state that it was narrated by Orson Welles, it is actually Ernest Hemingway who narrates the film. In December 1936, several literary figures, including Lillian Hellman, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Dorothy Parker, and Archibald MacLeish, formed and funded a company they named Contemporary Historians, Inc. to back a film project proposed by Ivens. Hellman and MacLeish collaborated on the story. Ernest Hemingway was a major contributor as well.


Five Must-Visit Hideaways in Spain Reply

alcazar segovia spain

The Herald, March 26, 2014–So you’ve danced the night away in Barcelona, joined the crowd of football fans in Madrid and travelled back in history in Valencia. Think you’re done with Spain? Think again. Here are five Spanish hidden hideaways, courtesy of the tour gurus at Contiki.

It’s hard not to fall in love with San Sebastian. The charming city is situated on the Bay of Biscay, making it a perfect summer getaway location and ideal place to unwind. Stroll through the streets of the old town, wander along the sand for sunset or sink your teeth into some authentic paella, tapas or even some fresh seafood. The back streets of San Sebastian are home to some of the best local restaurants.


Francisco de Zurbarán Had a Hollywood Sense of Drama Reply

Zurbaran Agnus Dei

Zurbarán: Master of Spain’s Golden Age, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, until 25 May, April 5, 2014–It seems suitable that just round the corner from the Zurbarán exhibition at the Palais des Beaux Arts is the Musée Magritte. Surrealism was in the air of 20th-century Belgium, just as much as it was in the atmosphere of Spain. And of course in many cases its leading figures — Buñuel, Dalí, René Magritte — were lapsed Catholics.


Hot On the Heels of History in Cuenca Reply

Cuenca Spain

Ben Roussel writes for Travel, March 20, 2014–As far as day trips from Madrid, it doesn’t get much easier than the medieval town of Cuenca. This past fall, while traveling in Spain’s capital, I spent a day in Cuenca, 105 miles east of Madrid and a simple, hourlong ride on the Madrid-to-Valencia AVE (Alta Velocidad Espanola) bullet train. Cuenca is a small city in La Mancha region that dates back to the eighth century, when Muslim invaders, recognizing its strategic location overlooking the gorges of the Jucar and Huecar rivers, began erecting the first Cuencan settlement.


Atlas Flight Drone Test Center Opened in Andalusia Reply

Atlas Centre Inauguration

Suas, March 27, 2014–The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Susana Díaz, has inaugurated today the Atlas Flight Test Centre, Spain’s first facility exclusively devoted to testing technologies and light unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and Europe’s first centre specifically designed to research and development activities of this kind of technologies. This centre, located at Villacarrillo (Jaén), will offer the international aerospace community the first permanent technological-scientific facility to safely perform tests, simulations and validation of technologies to be applied to this kind of aircraft and its performance in the airspace.


Top-Notch Tapas: Seven Recipes Reply

Pimientos de Padron

Colleen Casey writes for the Wall Street Cheat, March 2, 2014–It is time to take your taste buds on a little culinary tour — to Spain. While you’re taking yourself on this faux-foodie trip, you might as well experience as many flavors as possible, and there is no better way to do that than with tapas. With tapas, some plates are bigger, and meant to be shared, while others are prepared in bite-sized portions. Either way, they are perfect for appetizers or components of a meal. You can make as many or as few as you’d like. To experience Spain without ever leaving home, here are seven tapas recipes.


In Spain, a Sephardic Family Reunion, Centuries Later Reply

Segovia Spain synagogue

Doreen Carvajal writes for the NY Times, April 4, 2014–At twilight, I roamed a honey-colored labyrinth of brick houses in Segovia’s medieval Jewish quarter, walking a cobblestone path in the footsteps of my distant ancestor from 16 generations ago.

In the shadows, I reminded myself that every element in his story is true: a Vatican power struggle; an Inquisition trial that confused our family’s religious identity for generations; and a neighborhood infested with spies, from the queen’s minions to the leather maker and butcher.


Ponce de Leon Hits Florida; Beginning of the End Reply

Ponce de Leon

Alysa Landry writes for Indian Country Today Media, April 2, 2014–On April 2, 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed on the southeastern coast of Florida, claiming the territory for the Spanish crown and forever changing life for Florida tribes. Born in 1460, Ponce de Leon is credited with being part of Christopher Columbus’ second expedition to the New World in 1493 before he went on to become the first European explorer to land on the Florida peninsula.