I am not, however, an island. I’m very much enjoying spending some time with my friends from Mexico and Holland this week. And tonight my friends from Germany have invited me to their apartment for dinner and a movie. They’ll make rice and chicken, and I’ll eat a little of the chicken because I’ll be too embarrassed to tell them I’m vegetarian…I’ve been eating a bite or two of meat every couple of weeks here, just out of curiosity, (it’s not helpful that I’m dating a decidedly non-vegetarian) and every time I do, I think, “Why did I do that?” Because it never tastes as good as I think it will.
I have vanquished my three essays and my first final, and tomorrow is smack dab in the middle of the week of Puente, with no exams and I’m hoping for a day trip…
But I digress. For culture’s sake, here are a few of the unique meats Spain has to offer. Hint: all of them come from pig.
Chorizo: This is sausage. It’s harder than sausage in the U.S. and according to my room mate, better.
Jamon iberico: Iberian ham. It comes thin sliced, like prosciutto, and with a similar flavor, if I recall the taste of prosciutto correctly. (I do recall that I thought it tasted like a dirty shoe.)
Jamon serrano: Spain’s most expensive ham. It can cure for decades and sell for up to 100 euros a kilo. Which is approximately six million dollars the way the US economy is going.
Morcilla: Like the Irish, the Spanish have a taste for blood. Pig’s blood sausage, that is.
Jetas: Cooked pig cheeks. Our assistant director had them deep fried, complete with the hair.
There are many small shops here called jamonerias, which only sell ham. One walks past them and is greeted with the smell of dirty feet. And the sight of ham thighs hanging, complete with hoof, and, at this time of year, a small red Christmas bow as a garter.