Girona’s Feast Frenzy.
Set amongst Girona’s 2000 year old history sits the fantastic cobbled streets and old fortified walls of the Força Vella and the Medieval Quarter. The Força Vella dates back to the Roman foundation while the medieval extension of the city walls was carried out during the 14th and 15th centuries.
The city is dominated by the overall Gothic style Cathedal whose darkened interior provided welcome respite from the heat of the day…….……….and even for an ardent atheist, sitting quietly amongst the contrast of light and dark was a pretty moving experience.Once a year though, the streets around Carrer Cort Reial are given over to food…………..and the local restaurants from the area all bring out tables into the street – cooking up a storm of fresh meats…….………..tapas sized serves ranging from the traditional classic Croquetas de Jamón Serrano (Serrano Ham Croquettes) with a creamy filling of ham flavored mashed potatoes, often with additional cheese – to slabs of tuna on bread with olives…….…….to some innovative takes on pasta filled mouthfuls topped with piquant tomato sauce…..……and huge paella dishes of Arròs negre………. ……….a Catalan dish made with cuttlefish (or squid) and rice. Arròs negre should not be confused with black rice, the collective name for several cultivars of heirloom rice that have a naturally dark color. The traditional recipe for this dish is made with squid ink, white rice, garlic, green cubanelle peppers, sweet paprika, olive oil and a seafood broth.
And if that wasn’t enough, a hearty helping of sugar overload from the pastry ladies who had whipped up a storm of bunyols de vent (small deep fried doughnuts) and strings of xurros – those deadly deep fried choux pastry based snacks.Food will often be the trigger to celebrate community and nothing could represent this more than to get offered a Brazilain caipirinha from a couple of guys – one from British Honduras, the other a local lad from Girona……….……….to accompany the chocolate coated bunyols de vent, secreted back to the hotel room to be consumed in a private orgy of over indulgence.
But for some – it was all a little bit too much.