Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day one of España

As the plane touched down, I barely managed to restrain myself from leaping into a cab and stuttering in broken Spanish, "Take me to the nearest tapa bar." Twelve hours is a long flight, even for someone who frequently travels to Asia. And it feels even longer when the meals consist of microwaved trays of muddy stews and limp vegetables.

Fortunately, our friend/guide/native of Madrid, steered us to a local wine bar stacked with a panorama of aged and young vino. A complimentary plate of tapas appeared magically with the wine. Much to my surprise, it is common to have a few simple tapas of olives and pinxtos sent out with orders of wine. Who doesn't love that?!

rivera de duero, favorite wine!

The tangy pickled olives tasted nothing like the preservative laden olives of the US. The plump mejillones (mussels) were prepared ceviche like, with chopped bell peppers, tomatoes and a dash of lime. But my absolute favorite, even to this day, are the white anchovies! It is umami in every bite.

                                                               El Anciano Rey de Los Vino
                                                                  La Paz, 4, Madrid, Spain

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