Lunch in Ronda

Trip Start Mar 02, 2013
Trip End Apr 06, 2013

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Thursday, March 14, 2013

Well, well,

Spain has over ninety superior hotels in a class of their own, called Paradores. They are hotels often converted from castles, monasteries and other monuments. The Parador de Ronda original to the city as part of the outside structure of the old town, became a town hall and police station. It is spectacular and certainly has the best views looking out from the structure that is perched precariously on its' footings! Paradores are situated in historic sites and are often less expensive than the five star hotels they compete with.

Andalusia has a varied cuisine based on history. The Romans brought Gazpacho to the area but it was Christopher Columbus who completed the recipe when he brought back tomatoes and peppers into Spain after one of his voyages. I can not imagine Gazpacho without tomatoes and peppers! The Moors planted the orange, almonds and olive trees. The oranges I have mentioned, the olives are incredible with their varied flavours and the trees stand like soldiers perfectly placed. They are the landscape of Spain like grapevines are the landscape of Italy. The almond trees also have their place and the almonds, mostly Marcona are tender little bites of goodness. They are sold by street vendors everywhere.

The Moors also introduced spices like cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg and saffron and vegetables like eggplant, spinach, quince and pomegranate. This brings me to our lunch.

We were invited to sit where we pleased and chose a table near one of the big windows. To welcome us, we were given a glass of sherry, white and dry. It was refreshing and a surprise to our palate. Olives are always part of the table and these ones were unusually sweet but paired perfectly with the sherry. Olives can be addictive and I compare it to eating popcorn, just one more. We held back!

We were given an Amûse Bouche, or they called it an appertivo, a small tart filled with a creamy pumpkin cream and a tiny knot of crispy fried FILO that held a bit of cheese. I forgot to take a photo.

Tony's first course was Stuffed Anchovies. Those little fish held cheese, tuna and varied spices, with a chopped sweet chutney mayonnaise, he thought he would not eat them all but they were gone! Mine, was a goat cheese to die for, rich and creamy, wrapped in the lightest pastry and served with dried fruit (apricot, raisin and fig) on a bed of almond and pomegranate purée. Gone!

Tony certainly was excited to have Roast Suckling pig. It arrived hot and heavenly. He kept using heavenly as the descriptive for his meal. Served on top of a bed of small cubed fried potatoes and jus were tender morsels of pork that melted in your mouth, then the layer of crackle hit. All perfectly composed. I could hardly see the rest of his face, his smile was so big.

My entrée was red deer! Ronda is well know for this dish and I loved it. Perfectly cooked it melted in my mouth and the flavouring was perfect. Again a chutney of dried fruit and just the right amount of cinnamon. To compliment was a perfect square of layered pumpkin and potato, yummy!

We shared dessert - on that dish is a wild berry custard square that was like mousse made by angels! The chocolate truffle ice cream was perfect homemade goodness served at just the right temperature, smooth on the outside, holding its cool core and a piece of almond nougat that took us over the top. Then there was the perfect fresh fruit purée it was served on!

The presentations were exquisite and appreciated. Every plate went back to the kitchen without a crumb. So much fun!

I finished our rosé, Tony had an espresso and off we went. Mucho gracias!
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Donna /Jim on

I'm drooling . Hope you can match that at your next dinner party!!

Karen on

Thank you, ��together again! Well for a bit anyway��
OMG! What a meal and the presentation, I'm going to show the chefs tonight when I go to work. Keep your trip coming I look forward to hearing from you

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