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sábado, 14 de febrero de 2015

BLOSSOMING ALMOND TREES IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY.

BLOSSOMING ALMOND TREEES


The almond tree is one of the first trees to flower all over the world. Here in Elche countryside, just next to the Mediterranean coast, it happens in winter. In the months of January and February magic falls over the landscape. At this time, almond trees are dressed in an elegant coat of colorful blossoms, while the winter are still alive. 

Every year in these days, when hues of white and pale pink flood the scenery, it´s very nice to have a walk in the countryside, enjoying this burst of color.


almond flowers


Almond trees also start to buzz, literally, as bees go to work pollinating trees.

Bees are very busy thanks to almond trees blossom.
Bees are very busy thanks to almond trees blossom.


almond flowers


Spain is the world’s second largest producer of almonds, and most almond trees are found in the Mediterranean region. As one of the most important products cultivated in Spain, it isn’t surprising that the almond is often found in Spanish cuisine. 


BLOSSOMING ALMOND TREEES




lunes, 9 de febrero de 2015

TOMATO WITH "CAPELLÁN", A TRADITIONAL LOCAL SALAD.


The tomato with "capellán" salad is  a Mediterranean course very typical of this area. The ingredients are tomato, olives, "capellán" flakes, olive oil, and sometimes capers.

When a tourist read it in a bar menú, it isn't easy to guess what "capellán" is. And if you look for in a dictionary, to read that is a kind of priest is not a good help.

The "capellán" is a small cod relative (Micromesistius poutassou, blue whiting in English, and "bacaladilla" in Spanish), when is prepared salted and dryed with the sun. This is one of the oldest methods of preserving fish, very usual here since ancient ages.

Blue whiting or "bacaladilla"
Blue whiting or "bacaladilla"


"Capellanes" in a traditional market
"Capellanes" in a traditional market.

The "Capellan" is ready to eat, but for this traditional local salad it's grilled directly on a flame, and once the skin is toasted, it's flaked by hand (never is cut with a knife).

As the "capellán" flakes are salty, I always prefer not to add salt to the tomato, combining it with the fish. No doubt it's worth to taste it.


Tomato with "capellán" salad.
Tomato with "capellán" salad.