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eat the cup, part 2


what's so cool about spain? if you didn't actually go up and ask them, you might never find out. known in the soccer world as the perennial under-achievers of europe, spaniards seem to lack the marketing flair of their more dramatic cousins, france and italy. occasionally, though, you get to see glimpses of the sleeping iberian giant.
 
fact is, there are a lot of cool things about spain. how can you not love the country that brings us the food uber-trend of the moment, tapas. bar snacks for people who don't want chicken fingers, these ingenious little plates have us all wondering why no one ever told us about them before. spain produces more olive oil than italy and more wine than either italy or france, but you'd never know it, because they seem very happy to keep these things for themselves. (i guess they're worried about running out of wine to go with the tapas...)
 
and then there's paella, which is tonight's meal. granted, paella is becoming better known. (getting a plug on an episode of seinfeld doesn't hurt.) paella is risotto's sexier cousin. made in any number of regional styles, the base is always rice prepared in a saffron infusion, mixed with local produce and meats. but let's face it, it's the saffron that makes it special.
 
saffron, the world's most expensive spice, is not particularly common in other european cuisines. you're much more likely to find it in north african or middle eastern cookery, which shouldn't be entirely surprising. after all, spain's history and culture is deeply marked by its proximity and interaction with the empires of north africa, one more thing that makes them unique.
 
spain made history for a brief, shining moment by managing to establish a functioning anarchist enclave during the civil war. this is a remarkable feat, sadly overlooked by historians who prefer to see the twentieth century as a dialectic between capitalism and communism only.

perhaps it was decades of repression under one of the only fascist governments in europe to survive the second world war that makes spain less bold, less overtly proud of their achievements, than its neighbours. evidently in sport and in politics, though, this big country can do big things.

Comments

Steve MacIsaac said…
Ah, you've discovered paella. If we are ever in the same zip code again, and in proximity to a kitchen, I'll make my paella for you. It's my favorite thing to make. :)
flora_mundi said…
it's a date!!!
pelao said…
don´t forget gazpacho!
and great anarchist plug!
from mainland spoon, keeping it all to myself! yeeeeeeeeeah!

as long as you're here, why not read more?

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: hot stuff, comin' through

i don't even know what to say about the weather. the end of september saw temperatures at a scalding 36c/ 97f outside. this is especially annoying because we've had a moderate summer. most days it rained a little in the morning, the temperatures didn't creep into the 30s too often and there wasn't the normal stretch of a few weeks when it felt like we were living on the sun. now, we've receded into more normal fall weather, although it's still on the warm side for mid-october. that climate change thing is a bitch.

trying to think of something positive in the situation, it does put me in a perfect frame of mind to write about urban decay's naked heat palette. it's the latest in what appears to be an endless series of warm neutral and red eyeshadow palettes that have followed in the footsteps of anastasia's modern renaissance. [which i ultimately decided i didn't need after doing a thorough search of my considerable stash.] i do think that it'…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…