This weekend, March 31 through April 3, there? a regional wine and food fair near our apartment in the old river bed. It is the 25th year (more or less) for this event which also features deserts, mussels at one booth, liquors and more. You pay 10 Euros per person. You get 4 food items, 4 drinks, a wine glass and a ceramic ramekin for your food items. Or you can enter without paying and buy anything you want individually.
There are four rows of booths and a fifth line has another set of tastings for another 10 euros and some restaurant offerings, also not included. In the main rows there are lots of cheeses to try, including a surprising number of amazingly mild goat cheeses. Manchego, made from sheep? milk, is everywhere. Some of the cheeses are sharply flavorful. I was also surprised by the number of rose wines locally produced. There was one, just one, who sold organic wine free of sulfites. I visited him twice.
One booth was giving away free coke and coffee liquor mix. It was very odd but quite popular with a hoard of young people milling about right there.
I stood on line for the mussels. There were two youngsters in front of me. I asked if they were standing in line or just hanging around. In line, they said, and we talked about the mussels. They told me that they are serving local mussels, which they said were better than others you can get here. They are farmed in the ocean and they showed me that the booth listed the numbers of the sections of the farm from which came their critters tonight. They prepare the mussels only with lemon and salt, and a little water, steamed open and served.
They were fabulous, very small, as the young women said, and very tender.
Peg and Susan at the fair
Later Peg, Susan and I all remarked on how easy it is to start a conversation here in Spain. While I was waiting for the mussles Peg and Susan were approached by a young guy. I forget what they talked about but no matter, here you can talk about anything. It was a bit harder for me to keep the conversation going at the bar we visit on Tuesdays. This is in English so perhaps that? why.
We ended the night with 12 ramekins and a half dozen wine glasses. People kept asking us if we wanted them. Well, they left them on tables and walked away. For a long time. We timed them.