Gastronomy

Summer is Here

Summer is here and, as always, it has a good side and a bad side. In the good hand we can take a walk through the cherry trees that garnish the streets of Arad full of its red berries, if the weather is really hot we can go to the Neptun Lido, besides the fortress of Arad and have fun with the different swimming pools, someones with hot springs (smell of eucalyptus) another with slides and also there are several places to eat something and, why not, take a beer for only 2 lei!

800px-Cetatea_Aradului

Another advantage that summer brings is the goods you can find in the open market a lot of fruits and vegetables very cheap (cheaper than the big supermarket chains where we are used to buy) and, definitely more tasty and healthy. Now is the best period to enjoy of the Romanian goods, it’s easier to eat better spending less money.

But not everything are advantages in this period for us, the schools and kindergarten shut down so we aren’t gonna work anymore with our children, after nine months we’ve taken a load of affection to them. We’ve tried to teach them and I think, in general, we’ve done a good job but, honestly, I think I’ve learnt more with them than they with me. Sometimes we forget the language is something else than connected words, the gestures, the looks, the expressions… children are able to remember you the worth of all of this. There are been 9 month full of emotions, hugs, dedicated drawings, smiles and tons of fun. We’ll remember them as, I’m sure, they’ll remind us.

Ne vedem!

P.R.

Categories: Art & Culture, Discovering Romania, EVS Activities, Gastronomy, Our Beneficiaries, Volunteer´s life, Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I don´t like to boast, but I´m from Malaga (gastronomy)

I’d lie if I said I don´t miss my land. Sometimes we don´t appreciate the everyday things around us and we have to take distance to see things into perspective. Malaga is well known for its beaches, in fact, we have 161 km of coastline called “Coast of the Sun“, but we are also the most mountainous province of Spain; actually, 32% of the land is between 600 and 2000 meters. Thanks to this geography, you can take a sunbath in a quite beach or you can do trekking at 2000 meters above sea level with only 30 kms between a place and the other.

Regarding the gastronomy, due to the charasteristics of the zone, we have a great variety of meals. On the inside of the province you can taste meats of wild boar, goat, rabbit… and the most typical dish in the mountains is the “Plato de los montes” (dish of the mountains) made up of pork products, that tends to be loin in lard, with a couple of eggs and chips, everything served in a large platter. It can also have chorizo, morcilla and a couple of garlics in the olive oil. Other typical dishes are the snails, the roasted suckling piglet, the stuffed sirloin, roasted shoulder of baby lamb.

Obviously the gastronomy of the Costa del Sol is heavenly influenced by the popular Mediterranean diet. Fresh fish, vegetables, legumes, fruits, good olive oil and excellent wines represent the food from the Costa del Sol. After a number of foreigners settled down along the coastline during the last years, also the regional were influenced.

The most traditional in Vélez-Málaga (my town) specialties are berzas (a cabbage dish with green beans, potatoes, chickpeas, aubergine, squash and meat), ajoblanco (a cold soup), ajobacalao (codfish and garlic dish), as well as sopa de maimones (a soup made with bread and olive oil and other ingredients), gazpacho (a cold soup) and chambao (made with diced tomatoes, peppers, onions and cucumbers and a quantity of olive oil) or “ensalada cateta” (country salad). Mostachones (a pastry containing pine nuts) and tortas de aceite (olive oil cakes) are the most notable pastries. It should not be forgotten that tropical fruits (mangos, custard apple, papayas and avocadoes) are some of the main products of this municipality and the visitor is advised to sample these fruits.

One of the most typical dish is the “Pescaito frito” (fried fish): It is made by coating the fish (blue or white fish) in flour and deep fried in olive oil then sprinkled with salt as the only seasoning. It is usually served hot, freshly fried, and can be eaten as an appetizer (for example with a beer or wine), or main course. Usually, it is served with fresh lemon, which is squeezed over the fish. We have a great variety of fishes like “chanquete” (Transparent goby), salmonete (Striped red mullet), “boquerón” (European anchovy), “pijota” (hake),  “cazón” (School shark)… and seafood like “calamares” (squid), “jibia” (Cuttlefish), “pulpo” (octopus).

pescadito

But the most appreciated dish is with no doubt the “Espeto de sardinas” (sardines on a stick): So many restaurants serve freshly caught sardines, grilled in front of your eyes. Often cooked on an old fishing boat berthed in the sand and located in front of the restaurant. It is about more than novelty value or a gimmick to attract tourists. It is about tradition. As is the way the sardines are cooked and served. For so many years skewered on wooden cane sticks. But now there has been some controversy over whether or not these cane skewers are a health concern.

espeto

The best place to taste this fish dishes is without doubt the “Chiringuitos” (local bars based by the beach) are a oasis for these warm days in summer, where you also can take a local beer (like San Miguel or Victoria), or a refreshing “Tinto de verano” (summer red wine, it´s a mix of wine with gaseosa or lemon soda) or “Sangría” (It normally consists of wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of added brandy). I have my favourite “chiringuito” where I try to spend the most part of my summer days: “El Hornillero” is sited in one of the few remaining unspoiled beaches along our coastline. Besides, is built with natural materials and surrounded by native vegetation… and all the vegetal admixtures they use for their recipes are collected by them in their own ecological orchards.

hornillero

This is only a brief summary about the gastronomy (I could write about the sugarcane honey, the “moscatel” grape and the sweet wine we make with this variety of sweet grape…) so you can imagine how many things you can discover if you come here. There are thousand of things I can tell you about: culture and art, history, curiosities and secrets, weather… but that will be another day.

 

Ne vedem

P.R.

Categories: Art & Culture, Gastronomy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mid-Term Training (1/2)

The last week we were in Predeal again for the Mid-Term Training, and it was a bittersweet feeling. On one hand we can come back to the Hotel Eden and enjoy Predeal with a lot of EVS volunteers (we were 66) from the five continents (from Africa – Tunicia, Marroco-, from Asia -Nepal-. from Oceania – New Caledonia- , from America – Perú- and the rest from Europe), almost half of them were with us in the arrival training and we had met many others volunteers in these months in Romania; the sessions were, in general, better and more interesting that in the arrival training, the nights were more quite but maybe, more intense. On the other hand, we met with a lot of volunteers who will leave Romania soon and it´s difficult to meet them again in a short time; another negative side is that this training means we already spent the half of our time as EVS volunteers.

2013-14 385

I started this trip with Luca and Aga, we decided to squeeze the long trip to Predeal, and we made a stop in the amazing city of Sighișoara, we spent one day in this beautiful place roaming the narrow streets of the citadel, visiting The History Museum inside the Clock Tower and we even entered the house where the famous national hero Vlad Tepes was born, now reconverted in a hotel with restaurant. It looked like a good place to rest and eat something but the prices are prohibitively expensive for our pockets so we ended up into a small pension eating the most typical Romanian dish (șarmale cu mamaliga și smântână), it was my first time. After that we went to the train station, under the snow which began to fall minutes before, towards Brașov.

2013-14 166

In Brașov our friends were waiting for us in “Casa De Cultura a Studentilor Brașov” where they were helping to the “Incubator107 Brașov” in a multicultural event. There we met a lot of unknown volunteers (local ones, EVS from Craiova, Baia Mare…) and other ones already known, after this meeting our friends showed us the nightlife in Brașov (we already knew the city by day) so we went in a taxi to the downtown (it was my first time I was been driven under a snowfall) and we came to a wonderful place, at least for me, Beraria Ciucas. We ate and drank something to go after to another club: For SALE PUB, a typical irish bar where between beers and peanuts where we took shelter from the bitter cold that Brașov offered us that night.

311522_402047523236436_1980444581_n

If in our first trip to Predeal we ended up spending the night in Brașov, this time we slept in Brașov just before going to Predeal. So on Sunday  came to Predeal… but that part of the story I will tell you the coming week.

It shall continue… (click here)

Ne vedem saptimana vitioare!

P.R.

Categories: Art & Culture, Discovering Romania, EVS Activities, Gastronomy, Volunteer´s life, Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

EVS experiences in Arad

Empower your EU citizenship

EVS experiences in Arad