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

"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

4/16/2022

Churrería Alba in Ronda, Three Generations and 80 Years of Making Some of the Best Churros in Andalucía, With Maestro Churrero Juan Alba, April 16, 2022.

 
* * * * * 
 
My breakfast this morning on calle Bola (don't go looking for calle Bola, its official name is calle Espinel and it is the main pedestrian only street in Ronda, running nearly a mile from the Plaza de Toros) at Churrería Alba, a legendary churros place that has been going for 80 years. 
 
There is usually a line to get a sidewalk seat in the morning and the bar is packed as well. I got a spot at the bar right next to where third generation of the same family churro maker Juan Alba was making the churros. When I told him that the second volume of Sunset in a Glass: Adventures of a Food and Wine Road Warrior in Spain Enhanced Photography Edition would have a whole chapter on Ronda, he made room for me where he was working, invited me to my fresh squeezed orange juice and offered me a shot of aguardiente at the end. Standing next to me was the doctor for the Plaza de Toros in Ronda.
 
 
When I told owner Juan Alba that the second volume of Sunset in a Glass: Adventures of a Food and Wine Road Warrior in Spain Enhanced Photography Edition would have a whole chapter on Ronda, he made room for me where he was working, invited me to my fresh squeezed orange juice and offered me a shot of aguardiente at the end.
 
 
 Churro maker Juan Alba was making the churros at Churrería Alba, Ronda.
 
Churro maker Juan Alba was making the churros at Churrería Alba, Ronda.
 

A pile of freshly made churros from churro maker Juan Alba was making the churros at Churrería Alba, Ronda.
 
 
 
 A pile of freshly made churros from churro maker Juan Alba was making the churros at Churrería Alba, Ronda.
 
 
 
 Cups of chocolate in which to dunk churros at Churrería Alba in Ronda.
 
* * * * * 
 
 
(Available at Amazon, Despana (NYC), LaTienda.com, La Boca Restaurant (Santa Fe, NM) and at Kitchen Arts & Letters bookstore (NYC). 
 
Comments are welcome and encouraged.
 
Text and photographs copyright by Gerry Dawes©2021.  Using photographs without crediting Gerry Dawes©2021 on Facebook.  Publication without my written permission is not authorized.
 
Help Support Gerry Dawes's Spain & Its Content

If you enjoy these blog posts, please consider a contribution to help me continue the work of gathering all this great information and these photographs for Gerry Dawes's Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel. Contributions of $5 and up will be greatly appreciated. Contributions of $100 or more will be acknowledged on the blog.

Please click on this secure link to Paypal to make your contribution.
 

* * * * *
  Shall deeds of Caesar or Napoleon ring
More true than Don Quixote's vapouring?
Hath winged Pegasus more nobly trod
Than Rocinante stumbling up to God?
 
Poem by Archer M. Huntington inscribed under the Don Quixote on his horse Rocinante bas-relief sculpture by his wife, Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington,
in the courtyard of the Hispanic Society of America’s incredible museum at 613 W. 155th Street, New York City.
 ______________________________________________________________________________________
 Gastronomy Blogs

In 2019, again ranked in the Top 50 Gastronomy Blogs and Websites for Gastronomists & Gastronomes in 2019 by Feedspot. (Last Updated Oct 23, 2019) 

"The Best Gastronomy blogs selected from thousands of Food blogs, Culture blogs and Food Science blogs in our index using search and social metrics. We’ve carefully selected these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information."  

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


 
About Gerry Dawes

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


Gerry Dawes is the Producer and Program Host of Gerry Dawes & Friends, a weekly radio progam on Pawling Public Radio in Pawling, New York (streaming live and archived at www.pawlingpublicradio.org and at www.beatofthevalley.com.)

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.
 

4/07/2022

Soldaditos de Pavia, battered and fried bacalao, one of Sevilla's favorite tapas explained. At Las Teresas, an excellent tapas bar in the Barrio de Santa Cruz.

 
* * * * *
 
Soldaditos de Pavia, battered and fried bacalao, one of Sevilla's favorite tapas.  "The little soldiers of Pavia" supposedly gets its name from Pavia in Italy or from a general Pavia whose soldiers wore red berets.  This tapa is often served with a strip of red pepper on top, the red "beret," so came to be called by this popular name, soldaditos de Pavia, at least that is what my Sevillano brother Manolo Esquivias Fedriani told me. 
 
This is why I sometimes go to my very long-time friend Janet Mendel, the great author of books and cookbooks on Spanish cuisine. From her My Kitchen in Spain blog: "Soldaditos de Pavía means “little soldiers of Pavía.” The “soldiers” are strips of batter-fried cod. The saffron in the batter turns the fritters yellow and they’re usually wrapped in a strips of red pimiento, so they are named, depending on which story you prefer, either for the color of the uniforms worn by the Spanish Hussars who occupied the Italian city of Pavia in a famous battle of 1525, won by Emperor Charles V, or else for the troops of General Pavía, who wore red waistcoasts when in 1874 they stormed Parliament and forced its dissolution at bayonet point, marking the beginning of the end of Spain’s first republic."
 
* * * * * 
 
 
(Available at Amazon, Despana (NYC), LaTienda.com, La Boca Restaurant (Santa Fe, NM) and at Kitchen Arts & Letters bookstore (NYC). 
 
Comments are welcome and encouraged.
 
Text and photographs copyright by Gerry Dawes©2021.  Using photographs without crediting Gerry Dawes©2021 on Facebook.  Publication without my written permission is not authorized.
 
Help Support Gerry Dawes's Spain & Its Content

If you enjoy these blog posts, please consider a contribution to help me continue the work of gathering all this great information and these photographs for Gerry Dawes's Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel. Contributions of $5 and up will be greatly appreciated. Contributions of $100 or more will be acknowledged on the blog.

Please click on this secure link to Paypal to make your contribution.
 

* * * * *
  Shall deeds of Caesar or Napoleon ring
More true than Don Quixote's vapouring?
Hath winged Pegasus more nobly trod
Than Rocinante stumbling up to God?
 
Poem by Archer M. Huntington inscribed under the Don Quixote on his horse Rocinante bas-relief sculpture by his wife, Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington,
in the courtyard of the Hispanic Society of America’s incredible museum at 613 W. 155th Street, New York City.
 ______________________________________________________________________________________
 Gastronomy Blogs

In 2019, again ranked in the Top 50 Gastronomy Blogs and Websites for Gastronomists & Gastronomes in 2019 by Feedspot. (Last Updated Oct 23, 2019) 

"The Best Gastronomy blogs selected from thousands of Food blogs, Culture blogs and Food Science blogs in our index using search and social metrics. We’ve carefully selected these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information."  

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


 
About Gerry Dawes

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


Gerry Dawes is the Producer and Program Host of Gerry Dawes & Friends, a weekly radio progam on Pawling Public Radio in Pawling, New York (streaming live and archived at www.pawlingpublicradio.org and at www.beatofthevalley.com.)

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.
 

Sevilla: Breakfast at Bar Plata and A Remarkable Walk From El Arco de la Macarena to the Cathedral Featuring a Half Dozen Mudéjar-and-Gothic Churches Built on the Sites of Former Mosques in the 14th Century Part One

 

* * * * *

Part One: The Beginning

Bar Plata and El Arco de la Macarena

 

 
Photograph from Chapter Three Sevilla: Arrival in Spain from page 29 of Sunset in a Glass: Adventures of a Food and Wine Road Warrior in Spain Volume I Enhanced Photography Edition by Gerry Dawes©2021, Photo by Gerry Dawes©1968.

 
Among many historic, fascinating and enriching walks in the old quarters of Sevilla, the walk along what was the old Roman calzada or roadway, the cardo máximo, or main north-south street in any Roman city, entering the city from the North is one of the most rewarding.  Entering through El Arco de la Macarena, once a gate in the ancient Roman walls then a major entrance to the city under the Moorish-Berber  rule, when the gate was 12th century Islamic architecture (later rebuilt in the 18th century in a classical style).  
 
El Arco de la Macarena, one of the remaining ancient gates left in Sevilla and one of the most important because it leads to the revered La Basilica de la Macarena.  But since in modern times it is off the main routes leading into Sevilla, it is unlikely that any foreigner in 1968 would enter Sevilla this way for the first time, although since the post-Islamic period, it has been the traditional entry point for the kings and queens of Spain on their ceremonial first visits to Sevilla. This was my very first photograph of Sevilla. Note the traffic jam of bicycles, motorbikes, small trucks and cars and a donkey pulling a cart. 
 

 
El Arco de la Macarena, June 2021.

 
Gerry Dawes on his first day in Sevilla in 1968 with the Cathedral of Sevilla in the background. 
Photo by Tom Sims.


Road Warrior Gerry Dawes at El Arco de la Macarena June 20, 2021.
I did not arrive or leave in that black car behind me.  Photograph by Kathleen Balun©2021.
 
I recommend you begin this exploration of historic Sevilla with breakfast at Bar Plata, which looks out on the ancient remains of the northern section of the walls that once encircled Sevilla, El Arco de la Macarena and la Basilica de la Macarena.  Appropriately, the owner is a woman who is even named Macarena (shown below with Gerry Dawes).

Gerry Dawes and Macarena, the owner of Bar Plata in front of the splendid mural on the back wall the restaurant.  Photo by Kathleen Balun. 
 
 
The splendid azulejos (tiles) mural at Bar Plata showing the old northern walls of Sevilla and el Arco de la Macarena, originally built by the Carthaginians, then the Romans, then a series of Islamic occupiers of Spain and after the mid-13th century, the Castilian Christian reconquistadores
 


Breakfast at Bar Plata, Sevilla.
Mollete (bun) with tomate, aceite de oliva y jamón, café con leche, fresh-squeezed zumo de naranja and gazpacho with ice cubes and a cucumber slice. 
 
Also available at Bar Plata are porras, a thicker type of churro. 

 

Bar Plata opened in 1909.  It is situated on the corner of the end of the Vía de la Plata, the old Roman silver road--parts of which can still be seen in Extremadura and other parts of western Spain--that ran from Sevilla through Extremadura and Castilla y León to Asturias.  On the day I first entered Sevilla in 1968, the bus dropped Tom Sims and me alongside the Bar Plata.

* * * * * 
 
 
(Available at Amazon, Despana (NYC), LaTienda.com, La Boca Restaurant (Santa Fe, NM) and at Kitchen Arts & Letters bookstore (NYC). 
 
Comments are welcome and encouraged.
 
Text and photographs copyright by Gerry Dawes©2021.  Using photographs without crediting Gerry Dawes©2021 on Facebook.  Publication without my written permission is not authorized.
 
Help Support Gerry Dawes's Spain & Its Content

If you enjoy these blog posts, please consider a contribution to help me continue the work of gathering all this great information and these photographs for Gerry Dawes's Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel. Contributions of $5 and up will be greatly appreciated. Contributions of $100 or more will be acknowledged on the blog.

Please click on this secure link to Paypal to make your contribution.
 

* * * * *
  Shall deeds of Caesar or Napoleon ring
More true than Don Quixote's vapouring?
Hath winged Pegasus more nobly trod
Than Rocinante stumbling up to God?
 
Poem by Archer M. Huntington inscribed under the Don Quixote on his horse Rocinante bas-relief sculpture by his wife, Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington,
in the courtyard of the Hispanic Society of America’s incredible museum at 613 W. 155th Street, New York City.
 ______________________________________________________________________________________
 Gastronomy Blogs

In 2019, again ranked in the Top 50 Gastronomy Blogs and Websites for Gastronomists & Gastronomes in 2019 by Feedspot. (Last Updated Oct 23, 2019) 

"The Best Gastronomy blogs selected from thousands of Food blogs, Culture blogs and Food Science blogs in our index using search and social metrics. We’ve carefully selected these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information."  

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


 
About Gerry Dawes

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


Gerry Dawes is the Producer and Program Host of Gerry Dawes & Friends, a weekly radio progam on Pawling Public Radio in Pawling, New York (streaming live and archived at www.pawlingpublicradio.org and at www.beatofthevalley.com.)

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.
 
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