Slow Roasting Lamb on an Asturian Mountaintop 1

Asturian lamb roast

Without a doubt, the festival of roast lamb (Cordero a la Estaca) is one on the finest al fresco eating experiences there is. Up high on a mountaintop meadow, the cooks light the fires early in the morning and constantly top them up with ash firewood  creating a slow burning pit of embers ideal for cooking whole splayed lamb for six hours or more.The result is a succulent “cooked to perfection” meat with a delicious Smokey flavor from the ash wood and a wonderful added taste from the homemade chimichurri (a mix of herbs, garlic, vinegar, white wine and olive oil) which is squirted into the meat just before the end of the cooking process.

This method of preparing lamb can be found throughout the region of Asturias during the summer with many towns hosting their own festival and is open to anyone wishing to try it. There are also many restaurants that offer “Cordero a la Estaca” throughout the year but you will have to pre-order the dish as it involves a lot of preparation. More…

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It’s Official: The World’s Best Paella is from Santa María del Campo Rus (Cuenca) 5

Note: Here below is the list of ingredients for Valencia’s most authentic paella. Try this at home!

Worlds best paellaSeptember 15, 2013, Madrid’s El Mundo newspaper, translation ¡Alegria!–A restaurant in the province of Cuenca, el Posada Real, in the town of Santa María del Campo Rus, has won first prize in the International Paella Valenciana contest celebrated in the Valencian town of Sueca. This town located in the center of Valencian rice country has hosted this paella contest, generally conceded to be the most important of its kind in Spain, for the past 53 years. According to the jury of experts, chef Julián García of el Posada Real restaurant produced “the best paella in the world” and took home a diploma and 2,500 euros in cash. Second place and a prize of 1,500 euros went to the Casa Picanterra restaurant from Cullera (Valencia). The third place prize of 1,000 euros went to the Cambao restaurant from Miami (USA). More…

Annie Sibonney Presents an Old Friend of Ours 1

Annie Sibonney SpainAnnie Sibonney is a charming, smart and very-Spain-hip Toronto girl who was a professional chef before she was a presenter for a Canadian TV network. She also runs culinary tours to Spain and Italy. This video is a chapter from her From Spain with Love series. It takes you to a feast of the traditional iberian pork production. You will discover here new aspects of this gourmand’s dream animal and its gastronomic possibilities (secreto, presa, tenderloin, pluma, and cured sausages, as well as the justly famous salt-cured acorn-fed ham.) The potent combination of Annie, Spain and the Iberian pig will captivate you, and if you’re lucky enough to be Canadian you can watch the rest of the series (more than 100 chapters) on television at home. More…

Francisco Goya – The First Modern Artist? -1/3 3

by Bart Sedgebear

Goya maja vestida

The name of Francisco Goya is familiar to all of us.  He was, after all, one of the all-time great visual artists. We are  familiar with the court paintings he did for Spain’s first Bourbon king, Fernando III, with the designs he did for the Royal Tapestry Factory in Madrid, with his half-hearted religious paintings and his prodigious prints.  And let’s not forget his celebrated oil portraits of othe Duchess of Alba, “The Nude Maja” and “The Dressed Maja,” which turned out not to have been of the Duchess of Alba, after all.  Have we stopped to consider, however, that this 18th-century Spanish artist from a humble village in the Aragonese outback may have been the inventor of modern art as we know it? More…

Neymar, Welcome to FC Barcelona 1

Neymar to BarcelonaThe Barcelona Football Club has just signed Brazilian wonder boy, Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (“Neymar”) to a five-season contract for a reported 57 million euros. This sum does not include the cost of bi-monthly flights from Brazil to Barcelona for a group  of Neymar’s friends, so he doesn’t get lonesome so far from home. The new forward’s objetive in Barcelona is to repeat the success of his compatriots who have played previously: Romário, Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho.

At the age of 19, Neymar won the 2011 South American Footballer of the Year award after coming third in 2010. He won it again in 2012. In 2011 Neymar received nominations for the FIFA Ballon d’Or, where he came 10th, and the FIFA Puskás Award, which he won. More…

“Full Cycle” on the Camino de Santiago–Reflections on a Life 1

Marty Kendall Joe“An 800-kilometre bike ride across Spain gives you plenty of time to think,” says Martha (Marty) Kendall, an American teacher, writer, cellist, wife and mother who bicycled the Camino de Santiago with her family in 2002 and wrote a book about the experience. The book’s title, Full Cycle, is a double entendre. It’s obviously about cycling, but it’s also about living a life. The captivating thing about Marty’s book, her 20th, is not only its account of a family’s three-week cycling trip across the parched plains and verdant hills of northern Spain, but the author’s skillfully interwoven interior journey. More…

Culture Straight from the Street–Steamroller Art in Granada 2

Impresiones Gigantes GranadaA dozen international linocut artists celebrated the second annual edition of their Impresiones Gigantes event last Saturday in Granada. They brought their intricately carved linos out into the Paseo del Salón park, inked them in front of a mesmerized public, then carefully lay them down on the pedestrian street there , covered them one by one with fabric and ran a road roller over them. Shazam!  A giant print. More…

Mike Randolph Discovers There’s Folks for Everything 1

Mike Randolph SpainThe Spanish say, “Hay gente para todo.” “There’s folks for everything.” Hispano-Canadian photojournalist, Mike Randolph, confirmed that old saying on a recent trip to Cataluña to cover a “castellers” competition. What’s “castellers?” Hint: It comes from “castell,” “castle.” But you have to see it to believe it. Lucky for us Mike made a smashing video of the event and he’s generously given us access to it.  Mike’s story is interesting in itself. He was born in Cádiz, raised in Toronto and returned to Spain as an adult. He’s one of an elite handful of journalists capable of producing outstanding text and images indistinctly. See more of his work here and here. More…

Fascinated by Spanish Guitar Music? 1

Spanish guitar construction

Are you fascinated by Spanish guitar music? Does your record collection (most of which you can no longer listen to) include well-loved records by Andrés Segovia, Sabicas or Paco de Lucía? Do you miss them? Do not despair. Just turn off your cell phone, put your feet up and enjoy this 44-video YouTube playlist of Spanish guitar music, both traditional and contemporary.” More…

Traditional Spanish Cooking Techniques–Frying and the Sofrito 2

Spanish sofritoHave you tried Spanish cooking? Would you like to learn? Here we’re going to show you a series of short videos from Foods from Spain.com demonstrating the cooking techniques that are the basis for many delicious dishes prepared by housewifes and chefs throughout Spain.

Later you can apply them to almost everything you cook Spanish style. We’ll start with two techniques–frying in olive oil (extra virgen, please) and the sofrito, a sauteed mix of vegetables and herbs that is the starting point for oodles of Spanish standard dishes from stews and sauces to paella. A good friend who makes a wonderful paella (always on a pine-wood fire) reminds us: “A good paella is just a good sauce with rice cooked in it.” More…