The day I learned that Sundays were my host mother’s day off, I started planning Sunday dinners all around Sevilla. Contrary to popular belief, classes in Spain are really just like classes back home, and they can carry on for what seems like forever. After I’ve listened for several minutes and definitively nodded at my teacher a couple times (Yes, I am listening), I scroll Eater, and then pull out my restaurant list. It’s torn out of a notebook, folded haphazardly, and filled with Spanish scribbles.
My method is simple: divide and conquer. I’ve decided to try the best Spanish tapas bar in each neighborhood of Sevilla, and hopefully try some of the best food Sevilla can offer. This Sunday, my friends were troupers and walked with me in the drizzling rain to a tapas bar called Las Golondrinas in Triana. Triana is my favorite neighborhood in Seville so far. It is much more lively then where I live in Los Remedios, and less touristy then El Centro. It has that local color I’ve been looking for, or “local cul-ah” as a New Orleanian would say. We walked in and it was just what I ordered, tiny, quaint, and filled with colorful tiles.
We ordered a ración of chipirones (a new favorite since Cádiz) and punto de Solomillo. The punto was supposed to be a local favorite at Las Golondrinas, but for me it was simply a slice of sirloin on toasted bread. The squid was pretty tasty, and was served in a green sauce over lettuce and olive oil. I enjoyed my food at Las Golondrinas, but I was left feeling like I was missing something, as I often am in Sevilla. As I wrote in a previous post, where is the food that screams Sevilla?
I was talking with my dad on the phone about my bad luck, and he said something along the lines of this: “When I went to Europe I didn’t go for the food. Food in Europe is good, but we’re from New Orleans. That makes things all together different.” Being in a city across the Atlantic can have an effect on your memory, in that you are so surrounded by another culture that you forget your own, and it even made me forget my hometown for a minute. I briefly forgot that I am from the food town of all food towns, a place where soul is in every bite and Italian and Creole food can be on the same menu, and where you can taste the music as much as you can hear it at a Sunday Jazz Brunch.
New Orleans is loud, and what I’m coming to find out is that Spanish food is not. Spanish food is cured ham, crushed tomatoes on bread, and olive oil dripped on seafood. It has always been good, and always will be good and on a whole it does not try to combine its flavors with other cultures or be anything it is not. And that is something I am growing to appreciate, and even be proud of experiencing. Of course, I have not been to Barcelona or the Basque Country, where I am sure they are doing innovative foodie things every minute. But this is Andalucia, and Andalucia is purely traditional, and purely Spanish.
Punto de Solomillo