Thursday, July 19, 2012

"The Promise" from Paul

At the beginning of my study abroad experience, I made a promise. For as long as I can remember, I have not eaten anything but hamburgers and spaghetti (which hit the spot at Casey and Graham's diner in Conil). Now, at the start of technically a new life in a new country, I decided to leave some of my baggage in the States. From then on out, I would eat anything that was passed to me and sample any new exotic items, no matter how much they stared and wriggled at me. To this day, I have kept that promise, and I will tell you, I'm glad I did. Right off the bat, I was bombarded with new meats, veggies, and fruit prepared in new combinations and with new flavors provided by ancient spices and recipes that only the host moms know about.

Had I stuck with my old ways, I would never have touched the "Habichuelas revueltas con huevo". First off, I was never a green bean man, and I never had eggs prepared this way; nevertheless, I forced back my gag reflexes and explored this new dish. I now cannot stop eating it. Every time Encardna (our host mom) prepares this meal, I go crazy about it and usually am the first man who finishes his plate. You truly have to appreciate the flavor involved with preparing a meal like this. I don't cook so I don't know how its made, and I don't think Encardna is willing to share the secret.

Another crazy meal is the "Langostino con bacon." Now don't let the bacon let you get carried away. There's shrimp in there, too. Think of it as a pig in a blanket with the grilled shrimp as the pig and the bacon as the blanket. Now, since bacon was involved, it wasn't that hard to say yes, but the shrimp did slow me down. I was never a big fish fan (which was a problem seeing how Spain is the second largest consumer of fish), but once again, I remembered my promise and took a bite and ended up eating over 25 of those little suckers. This is a plate for which you will always ask "Please sir, can I have some more?"

Great as those plates were, nothing compared to the trout that was to come. On the way back from Granada, we were informed that we would be stopping in a village called Riofrio (Cold River) for trout. Uhhh... Not only was I still shy about fish, but the trout looked like it was just caught out of a river and served onto my plate. I was so close to breaking my promise that day that I literally forced a bite into my mouth. The following picture will show what happened next. I devoured the big guy, and I loved it. There was so much flavor between those scales and ribs, as well a piece of ham (which is always a plus). After that amazing experience, I have officially graduated to a full time fish fan. Now I feel like I can tackle any new sea dweller. I just hope that the fish back in the States tastes just as good as Riofrio.

"You won't never know until you try," as the old saying goes. Sometimes people go to another country and starve into submission, because they refuse to eat a squid shaped object or a fish eye (I'm still working on that one), yet if they get through that first bite, then a whole new world of possibilities are open. As for me, I feel glad knowing that I can go back to my family and finally enjoy a good Oriental restaurant with my them yet without an American side menu.


No comments:

Post a Comment