Monday, February 23, 2009

A Canarian shopping bag

A week has passed since I came back from Gran Canaria. One of my favourite tasks when travelling is to bring some of the flavours from my destination back with me, so February 13th I roamed through my local Supermercado and bought €26 worth of food stuff. Here is my culinary shopping bag.

Sopa de Marisco y Arroz (Shellfish soup with rice)

You may find me rather stupid to bring dried soup mixes back from a place where fresh fish and vegetables are found in such an abundance. I would normally have refrained from this, if the pictures on the packages of the two soups had not been so delicious.

I am also fascinated that Knorr adjust to the different markets and make soups that please the Spanish crowd as these ones. The Norwegian varieties of soups, casseroles or sauces are not to be boasted of, but the Spanish products may be a surprise - who knows?

I will find out, and you may always add some double cream and sherry, that will do the trick - every time!!

Crema de Langusta (Lobster cream soup)

Look at that lobster tail on this packet! My mouth started watering immediately, and I needed a packet to prepare at home.

The fact that lobster soup is bought in a packet, and not prepared from the shell of the real thing, makes you wonder what perception people have of food.

Still, I am one of the many millions Knorr has lured into buying a luxury item , dried and sealed in a packet. If disappointed some double cream may come in handy!

Mejillones en escabeche (Pickled mussels in vinegar)

At last something that has a shape found in nature.

I love mussels, and these are perfect as a snack before a good meal. Find a toothpick for each and people may stab mussels until all are gone, over a good glass of white wine or cava.

Mussel Paté with Brandy (Mouse de Mejillon al Brandy)

Here is another food item made from mussels. This mousse originates from the Spanish mainland, as a local specialty of the city of Aguiño in Galicia, just north of the Portuguese border.

I have no idea to serve it, except the traditional way - to spread it on crackers or crostinis to follow fore drinks, e.g. to a dinner party.

Sardine & Tomato Paste

This dinky little jar of sardine & tomato paste is actually manufacured in the UK by Princes Food & Drink group.

Norwegians love their mackerel in tomato sauce, and "Stabbursmakrell" is a genuine part of my childhood. The mix of sardines and tomatoes feels Mediterranean. It provides instant sunshine to a piece of toast or a crisp cracker.

Editors remark: Opened up glass and had a taste of the content. I am sad to say that the sardine and tomato sauce did not provide the ultimate culinary experience. Lack of salt and sugar made the paste rather bland and uninteresting.

Tuna and Mayonnaise Paste

Another dinky British jar ready for some crackers. You may really believe that I am a party person. It is true that I entertain a lot, meaning that having these spreads in the house make it easier to serve a snack in a hurry.

Buying a mix of Tuna and mayonnaise is however a little waste, as preparing a good paste or a mousse from scratch with tuna in jelly, Hellmann's mayo, onions or chives and salt and pepper is easy and much better. If you want it chunky, serve it immediately, if you want it smooth, use a hand mixer.

Bon appetit!

Estirpa Negra con Roquefort

This product originates from Fregenal de la Sierra by the city of Badajoz in the Extramadura region. This region borders the southern part of Portugal, and the nearest larger city is Sevilla.

This product is made from livers from the Black Iberian pig and 8% of Roquefort cheese.

I love these rich patés, that may be emjoyed with a good glass of sherry or a Sauternes or late harvest wines.

Quesos Flor Valsequillo - Gran Canaria

A genuine Canarian product - at last! This semi cured cheese with pimento originates from the region of Valsequillo, located in the mountains just up from the city of Telde close to the islands main airport.

The island has a small agricultural production. When we visited the island 15 years ago, there was only ultra pasteurized milk available, whereas now there are local cheese and fresh milk in the shops.

Chorizo Pamplona

Spanish chorizo is such a treat. This product is manufactured by Argal, a large firm with a wide range of different products.

This Chorizo is made Pamplona style. Brightly red coloured with large pearls of white fat. This is delicious on a buffet tray with some good rustic bread and aioli. Yum!!!

Oscar Mayer bacon

Oscar Mayer is a well known American brand most famous for its packages of Bologna, based on the Italian Mortadella.

It was therefore a big surprise to find Oscar Mayer in a Spanish Supermercado. I decided to buy a few packages for our breakfast at Playa del Ingles, and I discovered, to my surprise that it was a superior product. So what would be more natural than to buy a package or two for some good Sundays breakfasts. I'm getting already.

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