Let me start by saying I don´t know if anything can bring more happiness to me than eating. Not just eating, but eating good food, with the setting matching the food. Mostly, I don´t think these occasions can be duplicated. It happens at the right time, right place, and can only happen there. The food came from a few miles away, maybe the yard next to the table where you are eating it. It is so fresh you can taste the last rain that dropped on the vegetable. You can´t quite say you´ve had tapas, if you´ve eaten them in Richmond. It´s not the same. It may be good, but eating it in Spain, hearing Spanish all around, eating the food with the ingredients that came from so close to where it was prepared. What only makes the experience better is eating with people you love and enjoy being around. Food is a commonplace, brings people together, everyone is in a joyous mood, naturally as food is only good for the body. On many occasions in the past, and I hope you all have had these also, I have had food epiphanies. Times where happiness is so full, everything is so right, overcome by a blissful food blanket. It is ethereal. My mind, body, and soul are at ease, and the only thing that is coming to my mind is how dang good the bite is that is in my mouth, and how good that next bite will be. (Now, I am not fat, and hope to never be fat, food is just so good, it is my medium, my art, my love.) Today, I had one of those occasions. I´m going to attempt at writing this a la Anthony Bourdain esque...if you don´t know who he is, he is the only tv show I watch. He travels the world and eats, and was a former french chef in NYC for 30 years. He knows what he´s talking about, and more importantly, HOW to talk about it. He is funny, smart, and puts on a very good show. Check it out. If you´re in a foreign place reading this, search his name and your country on youtube and who knows, he might have done an episode in your country.
Hungry, hot, tired, I continually stumbled through the streets of Palma looking for that right place to eat. I had no idea where I was or what I was looking for to eat, something good and Spanishesque, please though. Finally I trudged onto the right street-seeing six or eight Jamon Iberico legs hanging in the window, I thought this is the place for me. And I was right. Busy, and deep in the streets, not along the water tourist trap, I foresaw this meal being a very great one. This blissful moment in my life all began with five nice, crusty slices of bread generously smothered in a vibrant, most true tomato flavor I have ever eaten. Topped off with a good handful of olives and more pressing, the oil. The oil was seeping from side to side, onto my fingers. So substantially beautiful, I would truly soak myself in this stuff. I was crying with pleasure. The oil/brine from those olives, with that tomato...heaven. The olive in the juice rang the taste buds, I couldn't stop eating it.
Next came the good friend sausage. Sausage you say, you mean that tough, flavorless, fake casing tube of meat found in the U.S.? Oh no my good friend, this was tender enough to cut easily with a fork, flavorful and juicy. Soaked/braised in red wine, I say we replace the hot dogs in the baseball stadiums with these. The fans wouldn't know what hit them, this my friends would be more historical to the game than Babe Ruth.
And finally, the Primeros (Primeros meaning appetizer or small plate in Spanish) sampling paradise.
When this came into my life I was already tense with happiness, still working on the Sausage and Bread, but the feeling had already blanketed my whole body. Nothing could stop it, it was flowing through the veins with such intense vigor as the Nile. It flowed faster and it grew.
The platter was composed of Dates wrapped in Bacon, Fried whole Baby Calamari con Lemon, Croquettes, and Mussel shells filled with a mousse of the mussel, and other joyous ingredients. Salty, fatty bacon encased the sweet morsels from god, and the flavor profiles went in the same order. The mussels were rich, beautiful. Croquettes fluffy and full of flavor. The calamari was great and tender, unlike the chewy normalcy I have experienced in the U.S. Flavor was extremely fresh and vibrant, rang true and complemented well with the lemon of course.
All this swished throughout with a local, cold, and as of right now my favorite cerveza to taste in Spain. Of course, no, I cannot remember or tell you all the name, as I couldn't quite understand the person who served me. Guess I can account that to more authenticity of the place?
This was a lot of food. And I finished it all. I sat after for quite a few minutes, gazing, still in a food bliss euphoria. Beginning to snap back, I attempted to talk to the minimal english speaking workers, wandered the restaurant, gazed upon the Jamon Iberico legs incredulously, and eventually wallowed back out onto the small streets of Palma, Mallorca.Hope you enjoyed this post. Tomorrow during break I will hope to recount the rest of the day spent in Palma, and finally recap the past few days for me here. Enjoy the night, talk soon!