Monday 21 October – Food
Food is a pain already. We’re self-catering, and we’ve got excellent facilities. We’ve got a grill, oven, microwave, fridge, and freezer. We’ve got frying pans, and saucepans. But still, food is a bit of a pain.
There’s no trays for the oven, so as I couldn’t find any actual oven trays in the local supermarkets, or even the disposable aluminium ones, I bought some aluminium foil and fashioned my own.
So what can I oven? Well, not a lot, really.
A look through the local “supermarkets” (which seems to be a most overused term to describe any grocery store bigger than a phone box) gives me very limited options of things to oven.
Chips? Seems not. All the chips are fry chips only. I’m not risking a fire by using a thin saucepan as a chip pan, nor do I want to buy several litres of oil to fill it.
Fish fingers? No.
I can’t see any chicken burgers either, or sausage rolls, or pies of any kind. There’s not a pastry product anywhere. What do the Spanish folk use their ovens for, if you can’t buy anything to go in them, and everything is designed to be fried?
I watched a cookery show on one of the Spanish channels, and absolutely everything Sergio made was done on the hob.
I eventually managed to find some slightly-herbier-than-normal chicken nuggets, and some Aunt Bessie’s roast potatoes. The Aunt Bessie’s roasts weren’t my first choice but all the other potato products were designed to be fried, and of the limited fruit/veg available fresh, potatoes were not one of the things available in several supermarkets we tried.
My girlfriend is a vegetarian, which is something that doesn’t really seem to exist here. The V logo certainly doesn’t exist. Even on products that *are* vegetarian-friendly, they don’t like to admit to it on the packaging.
Last night, after we’d shunned a load of restaurants aimed at British tourists selling chicken wings, steaks, and other such non-vegetarian-friendly options, we ended up eating at an Italian restaurant.
There were no vegetarian pizzas, or vegetarian risottos. There was about 3-4 pasta dishes that didn’t contain meat, on the whole menu.
Maybe the people who live here make it all fresh? That’s quite tricky though too.
Every supermarket sells fruit and veg, but with surprisingly minimal choice, as they’re all quite small shops.
The larger stores sell more, but it’s all pre-packaged. Some things like carrots and potatoes don’t seem to be sold loose. The prepackaged amounts are enormous – nothing less than 2kg of anything really.
Spanish ready meals seem to be mostly meaty, and/or enormous. Croissants come in bags of about 10. Cakes and chilled desserts look like they’re designed for about 20 people. I don’t know how Spanish people aren’t all hugely overweight.
Even where you can buy fruit and veg loose, the sizes of it are incredible. Apples probably twice the UK size, peppers probably three times the UK size.
Presumably that’s the size preferred by the customers or the supermarkets wouldn’t cater for it, but it’s a bit awkward when there’s only two of you.
It must be a real pain in the arse being a single person here. You’d waste a lot of food, I reckon. Or freeze a lot. Or just eat out, all the time.
Thinking about the sort of food we might cook at home together, it’s a bit limited here. We might have sweet ‘n’ sour cooked in two pans – mine with meat in, gf’s without. But we’ve not seen any ready-made sauces. Or Indian sauces. I’m not sure I’ve even seen soy sauce anywhere. In fact there’s not much Chinese food at all. Or Chinese people really. How can that be?
Snackfoods, we can do. We bought some very moreish crisps that were tomato, onion and coriander.
And this is the most delicious breakfast cereal I’ve ever eaten.
And biscuits (where you can find them) are pretty good too.
These are a bit like Nice biscuits, but instead of coconut, have hazelnut and chocolate (basically Nutella) on them.