Monday, March 10, 2008

Menu del Dia - ¡Te Echo De Menos!

Ever since the Las Vegas weather gods have started teasing us with some gorgeous warm and sunny days here and there I have been suffering from some serious spring fever. Its really tough to keep myself planted in my office chair indoors when I'm planning for my classes. My eyes and my mind keep wandering out the window and making a very convincing case for my body to follow out onto a blanket in the soft grass in the company of the fresh air and golden sun. I've been carrying a fuzzy pink blanket in my trunk just for such opportunities.

To take full advantage of the nicer weather, I spent this lovely sunny Saturday morning hiking out at Red Rock Canyon with Paul and our friend Tim. I haven't really been hiking too much since the Camino last summer so I am a little out of practice, but we did a pretty easy although somewhat steep hike to ease ourselves back into it. Paul took the doors off of his Jeep this morning and was very excited to monster truck over the bumpy trails to get to our starting point.

After we finished up hiking, we headed back to town to grab some lunch. Our lunch conversation turned to the indisputable fact that everything tastes better after a full day of exertion. I remember thinking during nearly every meal on the Camino, save for the curious (read: disgusting) veggie meatloaf in Logroño, "This is the best _________ I've ever eaten!" This is the best beef (ternera -mmm!) and oily french fries I've ever eaten. This is the best squashed-up-from-being-in-my-backpack-for-2-days banana or plum I have ever eaten! This is the best salad with tuna and oil I have ever eaten! This is the best roasted galic soup I have ever eaten. I love most Spanish food to begin with, but it all seemed take on a unnaturally delicious taste after working up an appetite. Even Coca-Cola, which I almost never never touch at home, was incredibly delicious.

All this talk and a recent post by Joe at Italyville where he shares a list of the foods he misses most from Italy got me feeling nostalgic for my favorite sabrositos Spanish treats. So here's my little contribution to the list of foods missed from abroad.

Menú del dia or Menú de Peregrinos After 12 - 15 miles on the road each day, we were exhaused and absolutely ravenous. The menú de peregrinos was just what the doctor ordered, a 3 course meal served at a restaurant or bar, complete with copious amounts of pan and your choice of vino or agua. Most provided a choice of starters (usually salad, soup or pasta), main course (beef, chicken or fish) and dessert and were definitely worth the price.

Zazamoros Little pieces of raspberry and blackberry flavored sugary heaven. You can get these here in the US, but somehow they are just not the same. I first discovered these at the candy/record store down the street from my apartment when I lived in San Sebastián and of course I sought them out again this summer.

A Napolitana with Cola Cao or Café con leche - Ah, the breakfast of champions. A flaky chocolately croissant paired with the Spanish answer to hot chocolate or coffee with steamed milk. Not the healthiest, but this isn't the top healthiest foods in Spain, its just my favorites.

Nestle Maxibon Fittingly last since it is the dessert, the mother of all helado, the Maxibon. Most of the Spanish bars that I passed by carried a tempting array of ice cream bars from either Nestle or Frigo, but this half ice cream bar, half ice cream sandwich, held the number one spot for me. I consumed at least one a day, a wonderful perk of burning off so many calories.

What foods do you really miss that typify the places abroad that you've lived or visited? Or if you're out on the road are you missing some strange things from home?


tmac96 said...

I can't wait until the weather breaks here so that I can finally get out for a hike! I am so missing sunshine! As far as those yummy foods, it sounds like I need to try some of those! When it comes to foods I jones for, I always think of lumpia and pancit -- two dishes from the Philippines that my mom always made. I make them too sometimes, but they are never like hers! :-)

Jessica said...

My Dad's girlfriend is from the Philippenes and make some delicious lumpia too.

Anonymous said...

mmm i love zazamoros! :)

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