The headline “I don’t like Spanish food” is a bit dramatic, and not entirely true. What I don’t like is the self righteous prigs who tell me I should like Spanish food BECAUSE I live here!
I came to write this after Elle read an article I wrote, in which I voiced my disappointment at Burger King being closed when I was in Almeria a few days ago. She asked “Do you really want to take the flack about Burger King?” Hell yes, I’m happy to embrace and encourage it!
I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve read or heard, usually from newbie expats who will be gone in a year or two, that it’s not really possible to fully embrace life in Spain without eating the local dishes. I’ve never heard it from long term expats, nor have I ever received a lecture on the matter from a true foodie, it’s always from over-excited and over-enthusiastic newbies.
The simple fact is, I like what I like. It’s not a question of culture, it’s a question of my own personal taste.
In truth I love a lot of the seafood dishes. I love calamari, and I’m very partial to a bit of pulpo (octopus). What I really can’t stand is chorizo, it just doesn’t work for me. I dislike it almost as much as I get annoyed by the inability of almost anyone in the UK, including many of the TV chefs to pronounce it properly. For the record it is pronounced ‘chureetho’ not ‘choritzo’ – please get it right in future if you are one of the culprits. I don’t like the stuff, and I don’t like any dishes tainted with the taste, which are many.
I don’t like paella, in my eyes it can easily be recreated by throwing a bit of seafood and chicken into a portion of Bachelors savoury rice! I don’t like cooked olives or uncooked ham either! I really can’t be bothered with some of the dry and tasteless pastries on the supermarket shelves here, and I’d rather have chips than patatas bravas or papas arrugadas. Add to all that, Spanish sliced bread (although it lasts ages) is not a patch on its English equivalent.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an English breakfast every day, I don’t have afternoon tea; I have a McDonalds only about twice a year, and I don’t believe I still live in the days of the empire. I do however reserve the right to dislike some Spanish cuisine in preference for more traditional English fayre like pizza, crispy duck with pancakes, chilli, fajitas, spag bol, or a decent curry.