Segovia: The Aqueduct and The Bay of Pigs Invasion

Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
Trip End Jun 07, 2009

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Flag of Spain  ,
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We got up pretty early on Saturday morning to catch our 9pm chartered bus to Segovia. This trip was part of one of our excursions for our Spanish Culture and Civilization 'class', which goes through our WashU program. Luckily, it was a beautiful, sunny day and we began touring the city by checking out some of the Romanesque churches, cathedrals, and other pieces of architecture that defined Segovia. (see pictures). One of the main sites was the Aqueduct. Although obviously no longer in use, it was a great site to see although due to our tour guide incessant historical, cultural, spiritual, and etymological explanations, I often lost interest in what she saying, and instead focused on the awesome structure. As the day wore on, I began to feel tired, and proceeded take an hour and half snooze in my hotel room, which was pretty much in the center of the city. However,  I knew that once I woke up, I was to get ready for eating, literally, no joke, I swear, BABY SUCKLING PIG-a.k.a. 'cochinillo.' This is where the fun begins...

[Apologies/Disclaimer to the vegetarians shall be at this juncture...especially Daniel Reiser if you are reading, which you should be...because you dropped your pocket]

The WashU Crew (rolling about 25 deep) roll into this pretty high-class restaurant called "Mesón de Cándido" with clear expectations of the aforementioned food option(s). Behind the carnivorous fiend that I am, I am extremely pumped to get my 'cerdo' (pig) on at this place. What I did not know, however, was the manner in which these baby pigs were to be presented.

We began the meal with a plate with a few starters: salad with shredded chicken, stuffed red peppers with shrimp and mushrooms, mushrooms and ham, and then some GIANT judias soup (pretty much like big canneleeni beans (sorry for the spelling, Mom).  All was pretty good so far, especially as the majority of the time began to indulge (perhaps a little too much) into the ever-abundant bottles of wine on the table.

Finally, the moment(s) of truth...

Out rolls a table with a large metal tray, with literally 3 baby pigs that have been broiled, crisped, and baked to a golden perfection, surrounded by some lettuce or something. I don't know what was surrounding them as I was obviously too fixated on the fact that there were 3 suckling pigs in front of me, more or less.

There were 3 waiters accompanying the table of pigs and one man, who looked like the Pig-Figurehead who was about to proceed in a ceremony in some way to commemorate the eating of these pigs. This pig-man, who seemed to be the director/owner of the restaurant, read us some sort of scroll that we could barely understand due to his broken English accent. Nevertheless, I was absolutely on the edge of my seat for what was going to happen next.

All of a sudden, as the man finished his incomprehensible speech, he takes a plate, and slices and dices each pig about 3 times with the edge of the plate, thus chopping up the meat for us to eat. I was absolutely shocked and my jaw remained dropped. He then proceeds, in perhaps the most nonchalant manner for this type of occasion, [as if he had just tossed a bat following a World Series Game 7 Walk-Off Home Run (a la 1988 Kirk Gibson and his fistpump) just tosses the plate on the floor, letting it shatter everywhere beneath our feet.

While I was for sure shocked, I actually couldn't stop laughing, perhaps due to the fact that some girls were utterly repulsed as I fully enjoyed this semi-mythical yet historic tradition that defined this restaurant.

I mean, come on, GO PIG or GO HOME, right?

Without question...           

(Pictures to follow when I receive some from other people)

Finally, I was served a pretty sizeable portion of the Cochinillo and it tasted as good as it looked/was presented to us. It was extremely juicy and tender with a solid pork taste. Some people ate the skin, but I figured I probably already had enough of fat to last me through the weekend.

Desert was actually amazing as well, perhaps one of my favorites: a warm, chocolate brownie smothered in chocolate fudge sauce. Delicious!

The evening began to dwindle down but the wine bottles were in full force. Perhaps a few too many girls had a little TOO much wine, but it was entertaining nevertheless. We finished up the meal, and I simply reveled in the ridiculous experience that I will define by the motto, Go Pig or Go Home.

I sincerely apologize to all these squeamish vegetarians and perhaps fans of the movie Babe.
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zengelemon on

i know i told you about my own experience with whole cooked pigs but this certainly is one up on me.

i have a feeling that you're writing the food entries just for me.

you certainly didn't 'Go Home' on this one my friend.

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