My Spanish adventure can be summed up as a feast of vibrant colors, tastes and personalities. The past week was festive with colourful platters of tapas and larger than life characters from Pedro Almodóvar’s films, a director who is now a major player in the world cinema scene. The tile of a 2006 film review in the New York Times best described the director’s style. It read ” The Darkest of Tragedies in the Brightest of Colors.”
Pedro Almodóvar’s films are a visual feast, a circus of sorts complete with clowns, ghosts, acrobats and drag queens. The stories are like roller coasters filled with unexpected twists and turns that will keep you hooked till the end. His characters are bold and memorable, most dealing with issues of misplaced identities. Much in the same way that Pedro Almodóvar often questions his own Spanishness in the films by avoiding the expected stereotypes and plots. And yet his films are distinctly Spanish with careful attention to local accents, mannerisms and the rhythm of any given place. And much in the same way, I used the basic traditional Spanish ingredients to create a variety of experiments throughout the week. The essential Spanish pantry ingredients like chorizos, piquillo peppers, manchego and pimenton (spanish paprika) can be paired with fish, chicken, eggs or vegetables to create some delicious and authentic flavors.
My favorites at the end of the week were Asparagus with Salmon, spicy sausage and cheese tortilla and Bad Education, a 2004 film with the famous Gael García Bernal Fele Martínez. A modern day film noir with a Almodóvar twist to it. A story of revenge, lost love and innocence, perverted priests, murder and chaging sexual identities. It is a film about a story in the past, told in the present with a film within a film. It has all the controversial moments typical to his films and yet it is like something you’ve never seen before. But don’t just take my word for it, you gotto try it for yourself.
So until next time, keep cooking with cinema. My next week will be form August 8th to August 16th. See you all then, in a new place with a hungry stomach and a plateful of exotic food
Some great tapa receipes