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Food Arts Silver Spoon Award to Gerry Dawes


 Premio Nacional de Gastronomía - - James Beard Foundation Nomination (Best Wine Writing)
Premio Periodistíco Cava

Gerry Dawes's Article Medieval Riches of El Cid's City (About Burgos, Spain)
Front Page, The New York Times Sunday Travel Section

 About Blog Author Gerry Dawes, Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award)




10/30/2017

Spending Time with Juan Gil, Marqués de Figueroa, at Palacio de Fefiñanes, Cambados (Pontevedra), Galicia and Ranting on Oak in Wines and Other Heresies.


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Video courtesy of Devour.tv
Sorry for the poor light in much of this video.  Think of this as an audio podcast with hints of video.  Something went awry with the camera (not mine), but the audio captured my philosophy about wine. 
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 Gastronomy Blogs
 About Gerry Dawes

 Gerry Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià. 

In December, 2009, Dawes was awarded the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award in a profile written by José Andrés

". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009. 
 
Pilot for a reality television series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.
 

How To Carve A Joselito Jamón Ibérico


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(Courtesy of Joselito, Guijuelo, Salamanca)
______________________________________________________  

 Gastronomy Blogs
 About Gerry Dawes

Gerry Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià. 


". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009. 
 
Pilot for a reality television series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.
 

10/16/2017

The Magic of Málaga, Picasso’s Hometown: Unique Traditional Andalusian Ambience and Cuisine of a Trending Modern City (Part Four of Four)


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The Magic of Málaga, Picasso’s Hometown: 
Part Four of Four


Text & Photographs by Gerry Dawes©2017
 

Pablo Picasso refrigerator magnets, sold on the streets of Málaga.

Frequently during my peregrinations in the old quarter of Málaga, I saw signs pointing to the Picasso Museum and to his natal home, announcements with photographs of Picasso on them, drawings and photographs in restaurants (like the ones at Casa de Guardia and El Chinitas), Picasso reproductions in souvenir shops and even refrigerator magnets of Picasso as a mature artist painting.  There is also a bronze statue in the Plaza de la Merced of middle-aged Picasso seated on a bench with a pencil and a drawing pad.  

The statue in the Plaza de la Merced depicting a scene of a middle-aged Picasso on a bench in Málaga poised to make a drawing, something that could not have occurred here during his adult life, as depicted.  (Photo courtesy of Lovely World.)

But, though Pablo Ruíz Picasso was born in Málaga in 1881, he lived there for just the first ten years of his life.  His father was an artist and art instructor and Picasso, then just Pablo Ruíz (Spaniards take both their father´s and mother´s names, but are usually known by the father´s name).   Legend, abetted by Picasso himself, has a very precocious young Pablo beginning to draw before he could talk and when he did began speaking, it is claimed that his first word was "'piz," a shortened version of lápiz, Spanish for pencil. 

Picasso hated school and as a young boy he had to be dragged kicking and screaming through the old quarter of Málaga to school, where he ignored his teachers and spent most of his day drawing at his desk. 

Because of the family´s fragile economic circumstances, his father took another job teaching art  and his family moved to A Coruna in Galicia for a few years, then to Barcelona, where Picasso began hanging out (and drawing inspiration) at the artists-owned Els Quatre Gats (The Four Cats) Café in 1900.  During vacations, the Ruíz Picasso (his father was José Ruíz, his mother Maria Picasso) family had visited relatives in Málaga.  But, Picasso returned to Málaga for the last time after Christmas in 1900 with his ill-fated, suicidal Catalan friend Carles Casagemas.  He moved permanently to France in 1905 and returned to Spain only for vacations in and around Barcelona.  

During the Spanish Civil War and WWII, Picasso, a fervent anti-Fascist, remained in France.  Commissioned in 1937 during the Civil War by the Spanish Republic,  Picasso painted Guernica, the famous anti-Fascist painting inspired the Nazi-led bombing of the Basque village of Gernika on market day during the Spanish Civil War.   After the war, Picasso kept the vow he made to never return as long as Civil War victor, the Fascist Dictator Francisco Franco, was alive.  

 Guernica (Gernika in Basque) by Pablo Picasso, Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid.

Sadly, Franco outlived Picasso, who died in 1973, by two and a half years, so the great artist never returned to Spain after the Civil War, and apparently, except for those few family visits and the post-Christmas jaunt when he was 19, never returned to Málaga.  Though the city has every right to promote itself as Picasso’s birthplace and to promote the excellent Picasso Museum, there is little of substance to Picasso’s early home and the statue in the Plaza de la Merced depicting a scene of a middle-aged Picasso on a bench in Málaga poised to make a drawing, something that could not have occurred here as depicted.  

During our stay, our crew of journalists spent one day outside of Málaga, visiting the good La Torre olive oil producing facility and orchards, then to Cortijo de la Fuente, a Sierras de Málaga winery making unremarkable wines, and on to the Stone Age dolmens in Antequera, one of Málaga province’s oldest and most interesting towns.  

 Víctor Pérez, Director, Finca la Torre Olive Oil producer (owned by a Swiss company) near Boabadilla (Málaga).   Shown with a bottle of Finca la Torre Hojiblanca variety Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

The high point of the excursion was a marvelous restaurant in Antequera, Arte de Cozina, which is ensconced in the charm-ing, take-me-back-three-centuries patio of a 17th-century building that houses the restaurant and charming small hotel.  

Patio dining room at Arte de Cozina.

Chef-owner Charo Carmona and her son, Francisco, are cook-ing exceptional modernized versions of area classics, some with recipes dating from the 16th Century, but it is highly doubtful that they ever tasted as good then as they do now from Charo’s kitchen.  Her food exemplifies the best of this style of retro-Spanish cooking.   She gives out cards with descriptions, citations from 16th-18th- century cookbooks that inspired the dish, and the recipes.  

 Chef-owner Charo Carmona and her son, Francisco,
Restaurante Arte de Cozina, Antequera


At Arte de Cozian, Carmona offers classic porra antequerana (similar to the thick gazpacho-like Cordoban salmorejo), served in three different versions in a three-portion china rectangle. . .

Carmona offers classic porra antequerana (similar to the thick gazpacho-like Cordoban salmorejo), served in three different versions in a three-portion china rectangle and accompanied by thin strips of toasted bread:   Porra de tomate, a thick gazpacho-esque locally sourced ecological tomato-based soup-sauce-dip; porra blanca, a white garlicky version; and local oranges-based porra de naranja.  

Carmona’s menu is brilliant and enticing, yet homey and comforting.  She offers five kinds of gazpacho, including the traditional tomato-based classic, one made with organic green asparagus, ajo blanco (white garlic gazpacho, one with almonds and another with dried fabas) and a Sephardic-inspired one with yogurt, cucumber, parsley, walnut and onion. 

Carmona’s croquetas, the indispensable croquettes of Spain, come filled with stew meat, salt cod, shrimp, spinach and pine nuts or goat cheese.  Perdíz en caldo gazpacho is a traditional  dish of partridge in a Antequerana gazpacho sauce. There are three different cuts of Ibérico pork (the pigs from which the famous hams come), local suckling goat sweetbreads with garlic, and traditional or Russian-style caviar from nearby Río Frío (Granada). 


Perdíz en caldo gazpacho is a traditional  dish of partridge in a Antequerana gazpacho sauce.  

That same evening, the lunch that we had at Arte de Cozina was in stark juxtaposition to the Spanish chef-driven modern cuisine experience we had at dinner.  We were bused to Benalmadena (26 kms. west of Málaga) to the Michelin one-star cocina de vanguardia restaurant, Sollo, in the DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa, the domain of budding Brasilian rock-star  chef Diego Gallegos. 

 Michelin one-star cocina de vanguardia restaurant, Sollo, in the DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa, the domain of budding Brasilian rock-star  chef Diego Gallegos. 


Gallegos learned a lot about river fish, particularly trout and sturgeon, when he worked in Río Frío (Granada), a mountain river fish farming town where he sources his trout, sturgeon and sturgeon caviar (he is known locally as the “caviar chef”).   

 Granada Riofrio caviar Restaurante Sollo, Benalmadena.

 Fish in the pisifactoria at Restaurante Sollo.

Diego Gallegos also raises many of the fish he uses in his dishes in tanks at this fish farm- (river and sea) to-table restaurant, which ironically overlooks the Mediterranean.  With the chef, we visited his pisifactoria, where fish were being raised in large tanks to become part of such dishes on the 18-course menu as Yogurt Protein with Piranha Slice Sumac (sic) and Black Olive Powder (I wondered whose job it is to tell a piranha it’s next?), Grilled Fish mixed with Sturgeon Blood Sauce and Ramen Soup of Catfish Whiskers and Skin.  If these dishes don’t sound particularly appetizing, perhaps on snack served on a dried, chopped off sturgeon head won’t either. 

 Snack served on a dried, chopped off sturgeon head at Restaurante Sollo, Benalmadena.

Fortunately, for the traditional Spanish cuisine lover in me, most of my experiences were centered the traditional aspects of Màlagan cuisine.  The remainder of the visit would be concentrated on what makes Màlaga such a discovery for culinary explorers.  

On the last day, we ran a gamut of traditional cuisine experiences that makes Málaga so unique.  On an ambulatory prowl around the old quarter, we stopped for our “first” breakfast at La Malagueña, where we were served piles of crisp, freshly fried churros, called tejeringos in Málaga that has its base in a naughty double entendre having to do with an “injector,” a syringe or jeringo in Spanish (you can fill in the rest).  Loops of hot tejeringos, stacked several inches high on a plate, come with cups of thick rich hot chocolate Spanish style or coffee. 

 Waiter with tejeringos at La Malagueña. 



Loops of hot tejeringos, stacked several inches high on a plate, come with cups of thick rich hot chocolate Spanish style or coffee. 

 Pablo, the tejeringos cooker at La Malagueña.


Gastronomic research is Hell, so we moved on for what would be a peripatetic, unique multi-course desayuno-tapas-almuerzo meandering across the old city.  The next stop was in a funky antique-curio-gift shop-restaurant (open for breakfast and lunch only) called La Recova (egg and poultry shop) with a few tables and a small kitchen surrounded by furniture, ceramics, baskets, bric a brac, etc.   

 
We sat at a few tables pushed together in the center of the room and ate rebanadas, thin slices of toasted bread, served with little dishes filled with jam, sobresada (Mallorcan paté-like soft chorizo) and zurrapa (the Spanish equivalent of rillettes) and sides of sliced tomatoes, Spanish cured sausages and olives. 

 
Our merienda—meal between breakfast and lunch—drink at La Recova was the lightly sweet house vermut rojo (red-brown vermouth) on the rocks with slices of lemon and orange.


We toured the Ataranzas market (Click on link for report on market), then stopped at nearby Antigua Casa de Guardia, where we sampled copitas of Málaga wine with clams on the half shell, steamed langostinos (prawns), mejillones (mussels) and skewers with anchovies, pearl onions, pickles and olives.  

Chef-owner Willie Orellana, Uvedoble Taberna.

Many of the group went on another museum tour, but I opted for meeting up later at Uve Doble, the eponymous “W” for chef-owner Willie Orellana, whose very good food features tasteful modern twists on classics such as a Spanish tortilla de patatas trufada al momento (classic potato Spanish omelette with truffles) and fideos negros tostados with calamarcitos de Málaga (a smallish macaroni-like pasta, toasted, “blackened” with squid ink and cooked with baby Bay of Málaga squid).  

Orellana intersperses his menu with internationally inspired dishes such as swordfish ceviche with avocado grown in the nearby Axarquia region and deboned suckling pig with cous cous.   Wine offerings on the blackboard at Uve Doble are some of the most inspired in the city. 

 Spanish tortilla de patatas trufada al momento (classic potato Spanish omelette with truffles).


Fideos negros tostados with calamarcitos de Málaga (a smallish macaroni-like pasta, toasted, “blackened” with squid ink and cooked with baby Bay of Málaga squid).  

Following an hour sampling food at the Málaga Gastronomy Festival, which was held down by the port, I organized an escape with four other journalists by taxi to Pedregalejo, where I returned to those fabled chiringuitos, beach front restaurants specializing in sardinas al espeto, sardines impaled on a cane spit and grilled over wood coals.   

 Sardinas al espeto, sardines impaled on a cane spit and grilled over wood coals at chiringuito Las Acacias, Pedregalejo (Málaga)

There were a dozen chiringuitos on the beach, all with sand-filled fisherman’s dinghies permanently beached in front of each restaurant, all glowing with hot coals cooking sardines and fish on spits.  We settled on the outdoor terrace of Las Acacias and I ordered two dozen sardines, communal plates of salad and bottles of cold Spanish Rosado and we ate and drank just a few feet from the Mediterranean with the smell of the sardines and the sea, the embers of the fish cooking coals glowing in the night and beyond, the lights of Málaga, just three miles down the coast to the west. 


On Pedregalejo beach, I had closed a circle and gained a new appreciation of Málaga, one that I regret not taking more advantage of in my youth.  Spaniards have a saying, mejor tarde que nunca, better late than never.  As late as my re-discovery of Málaga may have been, I plan to make up for lost time and put this magical city high on my agenda. 
 
Painting on tiles at Las Acacias of el Cenachero, the fishmonger with baskets of sardinas and boquerones, the great folk symbol of Málaga.

See also:


The Magic of Málaga: An Ancient Quintessentially Andalucian Port City With An International Outlook Is Rapidly Becoming a Not-to-be Missed Attraction (Part Two of Four)
 

 Gastronomy Blogs
 About Gerry Dawes

 Gerry Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià. 

In December, 2009, Dawes was awarded the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award in a profile written by José Andrés

". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009. 
 
Pilot for a reality television series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.
 

10/15/2017

The Magic of Málaga, Picasso’s Hometown: The Unique Traditional Andalusian Ambience and Cuisine of a Trending Modern City (Part Three of Four)






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The Magic of Málaga, Picasso’s Hometown
(Part Three of Four)

Text & Photos By Gerry Dawes©2017

At the entrance to the market a young man was selling from a cart big bunches of esparragos trigueros, thin wild green asparagus that is often served a la plancha grilled, drizzled with Spanish Extra Virgen Olive Oil (EVOO) and a sprinkling of sea salt.

On my second day in Málaga, I would be free to explore on my own until the arrival of the press contingent—I was the only American--so I set out in the morning to tour the old city.  My memories of the Mercado de Atarazanas and the authentic old wine bodega-tavern la Antigua Casa de Guardia from my cruise ship excursion a decade earlier put return visits to both high on my list. 

Mercado de Atarazanas, Málaga.
  
The Atarazanas market is a big, striking, always busy place whose southern entrance is a massive 14th-century marble Moorish Nasrid dynasty horseshoe-arch that is juxtaposed against an attractive 19th-century wrought-iron framed building that occupies two city blocks.  Before the city filled in areas along the harbor that created space for barrios like nascent wannabe-hip SoHo, the Moorish archway led directly to the port.  Centuries ago, this building once housed the atarazanas (Arabic) or astilleros (Spanish), the ship yards for building and refurbishing boats.  

At the entrance to the market a young man was selling from a cart big bunches of esparragos trigueros, thin wild green asparagus that is often served a la plancha grilled, drizzled with Spanish Extra Virgen Olive Oil (EVOO) and a sprinkling of sea salt or cut into pieces, sautéed and put with shrimp into tortillas de esparragos trigueros y gambas (Spanish asparagus and shrimp omelette).   Inside the market was a cornucopia of Spanish food products, many unique to the region of Andalucía and to the province of Málaga.   
 
Anchovy stand.  At the Carilla fish stand the owner keeps moving around his remaining boquerones, silvery fresh anchovies, as they are sold, into Picasso-esque, irregular three-fish triangles.


At the Carilla fish stand the owner keeps moving around his remaining boquerones, silvery fresh anchovies, as they are sold, into Picasso-esque, irregular three-fish triangles, the same way it was done at this stand when I photographed it ten years ago.  Also typical here are búsanos, a type of predatory rock sea snail (Muricidae family) from the Bay of Málaga, that was actually highly prized in ancient Phoenicia and in Rome, because expensively extracted secretions from these snails yielded the famous “royal” purple dye for clothing.  Búsanos are still eaten in the bars, restaurants and homes of Málaga as they have been for 3000 years.   

Cheese stands feature quesos de cabra (goat cheeses) soaked in Málaga Moscatel wine and excellent goat and sheep’s milk cheeses from the up-and-coming cheese producers in the Sierras de Málaga.  And from all those milk-producing goats up in the hills comes chivo de Málaga, kid goat sold in the market’s butcher shops, as well as freshly made and cured chorizos, morcilla (blood sausage) de Ardales and other cured sausages hanging alongside jamón Ibérico de bellota (hams from acorn-fed pigs) from Jabugo (from the mountains of Huelva in Western Andalucía) and fresh Ibérico pork cuts called secreto, pluma, presa and lagarto

 Spice stands have bags full of bright carmine pimentón (exquisite sweet, smoked or picante paprika).

Pasas de Málaga (Moscatel grape raisins), dried orejones (apricots), dátiles (dates), toasted local almendras (almonds), sticks of canela (cinnamon), avellanas (hazelnuts), nueces (walnuts) and castañas (chestnuts) are all available in the frutos secos (dried fruits and nuts) stands. Spice stands have bags full of bright carmine pimentón (exquisite sweet, smoked or picante paprika, the best of it from La Vera in Extremadura and from Murcia); scoops of dried orégano; comino (cumin); fresh and dried tomillo (thyme) and romero (rosemary) pulled from the sierras; azafrán (saffron, much of it now from Iran) and strings and bulbs of garlic, all flavors found in the cooking of much of Spain.  Angulas del monte (mountain eels), not the famous baby eels, are a type of chanterelle-yellow trumpet mushroom available in season.  





Amazing Aceitunas Bravo offers a dazzling array of aceitunas (olives): gordales (fat green olives, both brined and cured with anchovies), green and ripe Manzanilla olives, others called kimbos, chupo dedos (finger-licking), rellenas de almendras, ajos or pimientos (stuffed with almonds, garlic or pimientos), new harvest green olives from nearby Álora and picante Moroccan olives.  Atarazanas market bars offer típico tapas such as migas, a very typical Andalucian paisano dish, of bread crumbs sautéed with chorizo, here served with a fried egg and a fried green pepper, sometimes served with grapes.  













Migas (bread crumbs sauteed with chorizo and topped with a fried egg and fried green peppers at a market bar, Mercado de Atarazanas, Málaga.
 












But it was the vieiras (sea scallops) cooked in their shells a la plancha, on the flat grill, at Casa Guirado Marisquería-Freidura (shell fish-and-fried fish specialist) that caught my attention.

 



I can easily spend several hours in markets like Atarazanas, but I moved on to explore more of the city.   La Plaza de la Constitución, with its fountain in the center, shops, sidewalk cafes and a maze of old quarter streets emanating from it, is one of the main pedestrian crossroads of the city.  The meandering streets are the quintessence of Andalucía.  Around every turn is a new discovery, a unique shop, a centuries-old church, a museum and a multitude of typical Málaga tapas-bar/restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating with awnings and umbrellas to shield patrons from the southern sun.  


Hand-painted, tiled plaques and artistically done signs announce such uniquely Málagan places as El Piyayo (photo), La Bodeguita de Malaga, El Pimpi, El Chinitas, Casa Lola and El Patio. 

I made a passing acquaintance with Antonio, a sun-baked middle-aged man selling toasted (and candied) almendras from a cart on a street just off the plaza.  I bought a bag, stashed it for later, then moved on to encounter a busy tapas bar, Pepa y Pepe, where I sat at an upended barrel and ordered a draft beer and a favorite dish, puntillitas fritas (deep-fried whole baby squid).
  





Antonio, a middle-aged man selling toasted (and candied) almendras from a cart on a street just off the plaza de la Constitución.









On my old quarter peregrinations, I encountered specialty food shops, including la Mallorquina, well stocked with hanging jamones Ibéricos and embutidos (cured meats), cheeses and northern Spain’s stellar canned seafood products and with a first-rate bake shop next door.  Near Atarazanas is maestro panadero (baker) Antonio García’s El Colmenero de Alhaurín el Grande, the Málaga outpost of his famous bakery-cum-bakery museum in the town of Alhaurín el Grande northwest of the city.  And along the way there were stores selling from open baskets of especies morunas (Moorish spices) for pinchitos morunos (typical lamb skewers), especias caracoles (spices for flavoring snails) and pimentón (paprika) by weight.  

 Especies morunas (Moorish spices) for pinchitos morunos (typical Moorish-style lamb skewers) at Herbolario Escencias de Málaga.

    
Running cuentas (tabs) are kept old-style, scribbled in chalk on a series of side-by-side rectangular wooden tables that make up the bar at La Antigua Casa de Guardia.  

La Antigua Casa de Guardia is a not-to-be-missed 19th century Málaga wine bodega (founded in 1840 by Don José Guardia!) lined with rows of ancient barrels.   Veteran barmen stand ready to draw copitas (cylindrical glasses holding 2-3 ounces) of stout sweet or semi-sweet Vino de Málaga directly from the barrels and serve them with a variety of tapas, including pinchos de boquerones (anchovies on a toothpick with a pickle and pearl onions), conchas-almejas (large clams on the half shell), steamed mejillones (mussels), superb shell-on langostinos (prawns), local queso de cabra (goat cheese), chorizo, olives, etc.   

 Foreign visitors taking food photos at Casa de Guardia.


On the wall above the barrels at La Antigua Casa de Guardia is a famous photo by Hungarian photographer Gyenes János (1912-1995)--known in Spain as Juan Gyenes--of Pablo Picasso in France with the late flamenco dancer Antonio El Bailarín gifting the artist a garrafa (jug) of Málaga Moscatel from Casa de Guardia.



 Pablo Picasso´s Las Palomas at the Museo Picasso, Málaga.

In the afternoon, I met my fellow journalists and we were taken on a guided tour of the superb Picasso Museum, many of whose works were donated by Christine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, Picasso’s daughter-in-law and grandson.   If you are a fan of Picasso, this museum, in a lovely two-storied building with a blend of Renaissance and Mudéjar elements and a patio, would likely make the trip to Málaga well worthwhile, even if the city didn’t have its other attractions.  
 
Picasso Museum, in a lovely two-storied building with a blend of Renaissance and Mudéjar elements and a patio.

And beneath the museum, excavations have uncovered important Phoenician, Roman and Moorish remains, including fragments of the 7th century Phoenician walls and remains of a Roman garum (the prized umami-rich fermented fish sauce) and mojama (air dried-and-salted fish) factory.

Before dinner, we strolled along the nearby pedestrian calle Alcazabilla, a street alongside the Roman theater, Alcazaba fortress and movie theater built in 1945, whose architecture is based on southern California-style Spanish buildings like those seen in Santa Barbara.   Along this street is the famous, terrace bar-restaurant-bodega, the legendary el Pimpi, where you can have a drink and a tapa and contemplate Roman, Moorish and Californian architecture all in one panorama.  


Alcazaba fortress.
  
There is also the glassed-in excavation of the vats of another garum factory and even a Garum Restaurante, which serves a modern version of this pungent, fermented fish sauce (see Mariani's Virtual Gourmet May 21).  Although Màlaga may function as a modern, hip city with plenty of wi-fi, hotel terrace bars and restaurants and other 21st Century trappings, in the center of this city, reminders of its antiquity are never far away. 


          
    
     At Restaurante Garum facing the ruins where garum used to be made, you
can have Lingote sobre un Mar de Garum, a tuna "ingot" on a sea of garum.




 Chef José Carlos García

Our evening meal was at Restaurante José Carlos García, an eponymous cocina de vanguardia (avant-garde cuisine) signature chef glass-fronted, open-kitchen restaurant, down in a tasteful new commercial section built on a concrete dock facing the harbor.  





A staff member made good cocktails that were served on the terrace before dinner, then we settled to a parade of a dozen sampling portion dishes showcasing García’s one-star Michelin food, which included Ferran Adrià-inspired “liquid olives,” salted seaweed-and-yogurt biscuits, a smooth clam “margarita,” the chef’s take on classic cold white gazpacho (with mango), Atlantic horse mackerel and “candied” roast suckling pig.  This restaurant is one of the best modern cuisine choices in Màlaga.  

 
Chef José Carlos García’s take on classic ajo blanco, cold white almond-and-garlic gazpacho (here with mango).

Read Parts One & Two below:

_________________________________________________________________________________  
 Gastronomy Blogs
 About Gerry Dawes

 Gerry Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià. 

In December, 2009, Dawes was awarded the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award in a profile written by José Andrés

". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009. 
 
Pilot for a reality television series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.
 


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