Browsing: Europe

Last Day in Malaga-Tapas Tour

December5

Our time in Malaga was winding down, but we had one last day to savour the food and be immersed in the sights. I was so captured by this exquisite statue, right across from where we were meeting our tour guide for our Malaga Tapas Tour. The sculpture “Mom raising a Child” was completed by Vallencian artist Mariano Benlliure.

The Christmas decorations hadn’t gone up, but there were these beautiful garlands that hung in the ancient trees on the grand boulevard.

Everywhere we strolled there was a new sight to behold.

We began our tapas tour with a peak into the window of this long-standing store front.

In their front display case, they sold Bacalao (salted cod), rolled up to look like an enormous herring. I had never tasted it but a relative from Newfoundland absolutely loves it!

A stroll through Old Town led us back to the Market, which had become a favourite place in a very short period of time.

It was our guide Javi, from Malaga Food Sherpas who explained the history of the market and its importance to the community. This particular tour chose small artisans, grocers and chefs to share their personal stories and their passion for food.

Our first tastes were of another variety of Sangria along with the artichokes that we loved at our own market lunch. Fairly new to us though, were the Padron peppers. I once had blistered Padrons that were being tested for a Winnipeg restaurant, but I don’t know if they ever made it onto the menu. They are a bit hard to source especially in the middle of Canada. Unlike other peppers, most are mild but occasionally you might bite into a very firey one, without rhyme or reason.

At another stall in the market, I spied my favourite tapas of all time-Spanish tortilla. Well, I guess it would be a tie between this dish similar to a potato omelet and patatas bravas. Can you see why I call myself a potato aficionado?

Here is Javi, our expert foodie and guide. He was delighted that Sister #3 spoke some Spanish and was such a food expert herself. This tour was her birthday gift from Sister #2 and I.

Javi spoke of the delicacy of figs and almonds, both plentiful in the surrounding country. He demonstrated how to split the fig and slip the almond inside-simple and absolutely delicious.

At still another shop, we sampled Iberian ham, mild hard cheese and a couple of locally made dry sausages. All were beautifully cured and delicious.

At our next stop we were served an amazing white soup called gazpachuelo. Neither Sister #3 or I took a picture of it as it was served in a white bowl. Take our word for it though, the Andalusian white gazpacho made with potato and salt cod was divine, especially as it was served at room temperature.

Our last destination that day was at a beautifully restored restaurant called La Gloria, almost next door to the Picasso Museum that we had visited earlier. Had it not been our last day in Malaga, I predict we would have visited again. The outdoor patio was packed with diners that day.

Here we were served another version of croquettes

and another style of ham. The ham was very fatty but delicious, especially with a squeeze of lemon that neutralized the fattiness.

This was the place where I was finally able to sample the Spanish tortilla (potato omelet easy on the eggs).

It was jazzed up with a spread of homemade mayonnaise. Oh yum!

And finally, another version of fried eggplant. This time in wedges and without the honey. Equally as good as the first version we had tasted.

Can you guess why the three sisters were so happy in this pic?

We found Casa Arunda and they were not out of churros! We ordered what we felt was enough to share but then we had to order again as they were so amazingly good-a light airy confection which soaked up the chocolate sauce!

The restaurant was packed on a Friday evening with couples, families and co-workers all enjoying this elusive treat. We couldn’t have left Malaga without this final delight. But after the last dunk of creamy chocolate, it was time to head home and pack up for our next and final destination-Dublin.

Kath’s quote: “Never make eye contact with a stranger when you’re having a churro.” – Rucy Bran

Love never fails.

posted under Europe, Malaga | No Comments »

Malaga, Day Four-Paella

December2

When I am home, D and I have tea together most afternoons. Even though our schedule was drastically different in Malaga, I craved tea around 3 o’clock every afternoon. Since the Air BnB was so well stocked with China, I enjoyed this afternoon’s tea from a China cup and saucer.

Once we were hungry for supper, we strolled towards the centre of town again and went the route via the Market (now that we had successfully found it).

Right by the Market was this beautiful apartment building built in 1925.

We knew where we wanted to try Malaga paella and headed to where we had heard it was stellar-Los Mellizos. They actually had two locations right across the street from each other (hence the name-the Twins) but neither had opened yet for the evening, so we had to kill some time. We found this lovely sidewalk cafe and stopped for cervezas. Little did we know at that time, that we would be back later that evening.

Another refreshing jug of sangria was ordered as we shared a paella made for three. Unfortunately, our eyes were bigger than our appetites. Sister #2 didn’t really care for it and Sister # 3 carefully eats small portions. So the gauntlet was thrown to me, and I couldn’t manage more than my fare share and we ended up taking home the leftovers. In the end I realized that I would have preferred if the Mixto had been a mix of sausage, chicken and shrimp as I expected. Mouthful after mouthful of exactly the same taste, did get kind of tiresome. But how do you know, unless you try. Right?

We wandered the streets again looking for churros for dessert and this time we actually came across the cafe! Alas, they had sold out of churros for the day. But we did not fret.

We went back to that earlier cafe and indulged in decadent ice cream cones. All was not lost!

Kath’s quote: “Never ask a girl who is eating ice cream straight from the carton how she’s doing”-authour unknown

Love never fails.

posted under Europe, Malaga | No Comments »

Malaga’s Botanical Gardens

December1

We debated for a long while, whether we should take a day trip from Malaga to a village close by or spend our budget on something a little less draining on us all. Once again Sister #3 did her research and found that there were Bontanical gardens just on the outskirts of the city. We hailed a cab and were on our way.

This beautiful mosaic was just inside the gate, and we knew we were in for a special wander.

Here is some of the history of the gardens from their website. “The hacienda of La Concepción has its origin in the union of several farms located on the banks of the Guadalmedina River, north of the city of Malaga. With an agricultural vocation, there were crops of cereals, olive trees, almond trees, vines and, above all, citrus fruits. Its creators were the marquises of Casa Loring, Jorge Loring Oyarzábal and Amalia Heredia Livermore, both sons of well-known businessmen who came to the city in search of fortune. According to the jurist Rodríguez de Berlanga, the idea of making the garden came as a result of the visit to the palaces, villas, parks, haciendas and botanists that they met on their honeymoon, made throughout Europe seven years earlier. For the creation of the garden they had the help of a French gardener named Jacinto Chamoussent, who selected and acclimatized exotic plants, obtaining numerous awards for his work.”

“In 1911 La Concepción was sold to a couple from Bilbao formed by Rafael Echevarría and Amalia Echevarrieta, who expanded the garden with new areas such as the Arroyo de la Ninfa, the Avenida de Palmeras and the Mirador towards the city.”

“Once the Basque couple died, La Concepción passed into the hands of Amalia’s brother, Horacio Echevarrieta, who kept the hacienda in perfect condition until 1963, the year in which he died. From then on the estate went into open decline, with the abandonment by his heirs of its buildings and gardens.”

“The garden, recognized in 1943 as a “historical-artistic garden”, occupies 3.5 hectares. Its main value lies in its characteristic topography, its intact layout and the collection of subtropical flora it houses. Located on the side of a small mountain and with a landscape design, waterfalls, streams, fountains, stairways, greenhouses, large trees and old palm trees follow one another, the latter constitute one of the best existing collections in Europe.”

“This is called the Historic Viewpoint built by Rafael Echevarría around 1920, it is regionalist in style. From it you can see the cathedral, the castle and the mount of Gibralfaro, the mountains of Malaga, the sea in the background and the leafy grove of the Hacienda San José on the other side of the highway.”

“Of the more than 3,000 species present on the farm, there is an important monumental grove, with centenary specimens, where the ficus stand out, amidst magnolias, pines, cypresses and cedars, among others. There are also giant birds of paradise, bamboos, water lilies

and a unique climber that covers a huge arbor in iron of the nineteenth century.”

“This mansion was built as a recreational residence from the acquisition of the estate by Jorge Loring and Amalia Heredia in 1855. Built by the German architect August Orth, it is a classic style villa located on top of a hill from where you could see the entire estate and even the cathedral of Malaga and the sea. Its interior is organized around a central courtyard with marble fountain and double height with gallery, so that the rooms on the upper floor appear.”

“It had several rooms, billiard room, chapel, kitchens, cellar, numerous rooms and a celebrated library, where they gathered unpublished manuscripts, books of the fifteenth century, classic works and everything that was published related to the history of Malaga.”

Sister #2 and #3 appreciated the central courtyard as a spot to rest for just a bit.

I fell in love with Moorish tile when D and I visited the Alcazar in Seville a couple of years ago.

We enjoyed a picnic lunch in front of the house before making the descent back down.

With that, we were back at our starting point having enjoyed a jaunt in the country without leaving the city.

Kath’s quote: “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the (wo)man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. “-William Blake

Love never fails.

posted under Europe, Malaga | No Comments »

Day Two, Part Three-Italian Food from Milan in Malaga

November30

When I am given the choice-Italian Cuisine wins every time. I love pasta only slightly less than potatoes but the other ingredients of garlic, lemon, basil, tomatoes, sway me every time. So it was, that when I got to choose the restaurant where we would dine that evening, I picked La Tagliatella.

We commenced with Prosecco Sangrias. Likely the best tasting and most refreshing Sangria I have ever had.

We started by sharing burrata y panzanella. A generous ball of buffalo mozzarella crowned the plate of taggiasca olive pate, marinated anchovies, pesto pearls and yellow confit tomatoes, all on a confit tomatoes base. We couldn’t get enough of the surprising anti pasta. I vowed that I would make it at home for our first dinner party but we haven’t managed to schedule one yet.

Sister #3 was over the moon with her choice of Lomo Cosenza, pork loin nestled onto Genoese focaccia with campanella pasta in a beautiful cosenza sauce. She vowed to make it at home her first chance and she did!

Sister #2 had carbonara on tagliatelle, I think that she had been expecting a traditional carbonara made with raw eggs, hard cheese, cured pork and black pepper. Instead, the pork appeared to be the thinnest slice of bacon-like ham you might ever have seen. It wasn’t incorporated into the eggs and cheese but was perched upon the bed of pasta. I think she enjoyed the noodles well enough even if she was not terribly impressed with the presentation.

I opted for a salad and was blown away by the cremoso di rullo di capra- mixed greens with goat cheese mousse, nutty croutons, parmigiano reggiano, pineapple, carmelized pumpkin seeds, confit tomatoes and tomato jam. I was in heaven!

We thought our handsome server was Spanish or perhaps Italian. Turns out he was Argentinian as I recall. He did a stellar job taking care of us and held his own as the restaurant filled up with other diners.

It had been a magical day topped off with delicious fare. What more could three sisters want?

Kath’s quote: “Italian food is seasonal. It is simple. It is nutritionally sound. It is flavorful. It is colorful. It’s all the things that make for a good eating experience, and it’s good for you.“-Lidia Bastianich

Love never fails.

posted under Europe, Malaga | No Comments »

Malaga Day Three-Part Two, Churros Where Are You?

November28

Leaving the market after our amazing tapas lunch, we went in search of churros. Or perhaps it was another day, but it really didn’t matter when it was, the search for churros was ongoing. Sister #3 had researched where to enjoy the best churros in Malaga. Unfortunately, the place did not have extensive hours and we kept missing the opportunity to taste one of our favourite treats.

So we went home instead. Now don’t feel too disappointed for us, if we couldn’t have churros, we could still indulge in lovely olives from the market, an economical vino tinto which was just to my liking AND the best kettle chips I have tasted anywhere! Truffle flavoured of course.

As sisters we often get together for happy hour, whether it is at Lester Beach where Sister #2 lives, Isla Mujeres where Sister #3 and I visit every year, Prague or Malaga Spain.

Since we tried to eat only one meal out per day, we gathered round the dining room table for leftovers (once again, please do not feel sorry for us) of shrimp pasta and fettucine carbonara from the Italian restaurant we visited the evening prior.

Kath’s quote: “I cling to our love like saran wrap on leftovers. If you want to know when dinner will be ready, the answer is last night. We could make love, or we could simply reheat what we already had“. – Jarod Kintz

Love never fails.

posted under Europe, Malaga | No Comments »
« Older Entries