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36. Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel

"My good friend Gerry Dawes, the unbridled Spanish food and wine enthusiast cum expert whose writing, photography, and countless crisscrossings of the peninsula have done the most to introduce Americans—and especially American food professionals—to my country's culinary life. . .” - - Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019; Chef-partner of Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York 2019


Spain's giant Osborne bull heads for Dallas: Demand for Spanish roadside feature in US and Denmark, but Not Without a Little Revisionist Politically Correct Bullshit from Osborne's Spokesman.

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An article in Britain's The Guardian by Giles Tremlett

Osborne bull alongside a Spanish highway. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010 /

"It is one of most memorable sights in Spain, a huge black bull with horns and prominent cojones that sits on hilltops and roadsides watching over the passing traffic. . . 

(Osborne spokesman) Llanza says the bulls are not meant to represent the bullfight. "These are not fighting bulls, they are roadside bulls – large pieces of metal, painted black and with very long lifespans," he said." -- From Tremlett's article in The Guardian.

Yes, the Osborne bulls alongside Spanish roads (over 500 of them) do have big cojones, but it is BULLSHIT to say that they "are not fighting bulls," which has to be some kind of PC revisionist history. The Osbornes, who made their fortune in Sherry and now own other wineries such as La Rioja's Montecillo, plus the Sánchez Caravajal Cinco Jotas jamón Ibérico brand and chain of Cinco Jotas ham-themed restaurants and tapas bars, has long had fighting bull ranches in the Osborne family. 

These ubiquitous emblems of Spain that were first installed along Spain's highways as Osborne Veterano sherry brandy advertisements, are indeed modeled on the Spanish fighting bull.   

Indeed, the magnificent 19th-century bullring in El Puerto de Santa María, the atmospheric Andalucian Guadalete river port and Bay of Cádiz town where Osborne's historic sherry bodegas are located was built in 1880 by a group headed by D. Tomás Osborne Böhl de Faber.  In front of the bullring stands an excellent statue of a fighting bull, done by the late Spanish sculptor Antonio Navarro Santafé, the same sculptor who did the famous Oso y el Madroño (the Bear and the Strawberry Tree monument [the symbol of Madrid] that stands in Madrid's Puerta del Sol.  

Another pair of Navarro Santafé modeled fighting bull sculptures are installed in front of one of Osborne's bodegas at the entrance from the road coming in from Jerez de la Frontera. 

The brief opening shot in the video below shows one of the Osborne bulls along the highway. 

Mr. Dawes is currently working on a reality television series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.

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