As we get closer to Christmas, we unavoidably tend to think in special kinds of food.
Food shops decoration in their best to look appealing to clients, restaurants are crowded with people and at home our tables are dressed up in red, golden and white. Does this sound familiar?
When we talk about different foods our imagination lifts high, we have guests for dinner and we obviously want everything to be as perfect as possible. What do they like? How can I surprise them?
This time I’ve decided to take a chance and select different things from the ordinary. Let’s go!
KAMTCHATKA CRAB OR ALASKAN RED KING CRAB
This exquisite delicacy comes from the Kamtchatka Peninsula in Russia, although it was later (in the 70’s decade) introduced by the Russians in the Barents sea with the objective of facilitating valuable and significant captures to the Soviet fishermen of that time.
This delight may be easily found in “chatka” cans and in order to eat it in a fresh way I would suggest visiting some of the renown restaurants that serve it in Spain.
If we talk about “Waygu beef” you may not recognize it immediately, however if we mention “Kobe beef” it will sound far more familiar.
There is no doubt this is an exquisite meat. With a Japanese origin, from the Kobe region, I would dare to say that it is one of the best beefs in the world. The way the cows are raised, how they are taken care of, lead to a very tender meat that melts in the mouth and which hardly requires a knife to cut it. A meat that can easily be prepared in a grill with olive oil and salt in order to maximize all its flavor.
There is also what we could call a “rival” of this beef, a lot less acknowledged but in my opinion, just as exquisite: it’s the Hida beef which is raised in another region of Japan but with just as much attention and care as Waygu meat.
Let’s make a change! We now travel to the north of Europe to discuss the herrings. We don’t traditionally eat this type of fish in Spain but it is actually one of my favorites.
It is usually found in the Atlantic Ocean and in the Baltic Sea and it is a very frequent dish in the Polish, Estonian, Russian, Danish, Icelander, Norwegian and Finnish gastronomies, and very likely some other country I may have forgotten to mention.
It is usually consumed marinated in different sauces: mustard, dill, tomato, etc. and in Northern Europe countries it’s normal to eat them with boiled potatoes and eggs, chopped chives and sour cream.
Nowadays canned herrings can be easily found in different gourmet shops in Spain, as well as in big shopping centers. Even though we don’t have as many varieties as in the countries of origin, we cannot complain about the options available in our market. Let’s herrings!
Yes, you read correctly, I am not crazy. We have travelled 5.000km from Norway to the Canary Islands to discuss the Canary cheese.
When we talk about cheeses we tend to think of French cheeses, Italian cheeses and naturally Spanish cheeses from the Peninsula because the truth is, we have excellent cheeses from La Mancha, Extremadura, Galicia.
Nevertheless, we forget about the Canary cheeses and they are sublime.
The cheese is produced in the seven islands of the archipelago, mainly from goat cattle which is the most abundant animal in this area.
We can find cured cheeses, semi-cured, made with raw milk, smoked, made with gofio […] Hundreds of varieties, sometimes unthinkable but delicious, and unfortunately difficult to name one by one.
I will however mention one of my favorites, the Maxorata. This cheese is elaborated in Fuerteventura and in July 2015 was named “Cheese of the Month” by Sant Pau restaurant managed by the super famous Carme Ruscalleda.
Another example, the smoked cheese from El Hierro, smoked and with raw milk. Extraordinary.
Lastly I am to name the Almogrote cheese, a very special and different cheese from La Gomera, made with paprika and easy to spread.
GALETTE DES ROIS
We already have our appetizers and main dishes for the table… what about the dessert?
We obviously didn’t forget about it!
I would like to suggest something different, the Galette des Rois. This typically French cake is often found on Kings Day and it would be the equivalent to our “Roscón de Reyes” even though their flavors and textures are dramatically different.
Everyone recognizes the delicacy of the French pastry and this would be no different. The Gallete des Rois is prepared with puff pastry and almonds and I highly recommend you to order one in case you are lucky to have a French bakery nearby.
You won’t be disappointed!
JIJONA NOUGAT CREAM AND JIJONA NOUGAT CAKE
We return to Spain because I obviously can’t forget our nougats!
Nevertheless, I would like to suggest an alternative to the typical nougat, I recommend a nougat cream and a nougat cake, both from Jijona which you can find in gourmet shops and which will not disappoint either.
Lastly and to continue the nougat thread, did you ever try the “Turrón a la Piedra”? I leave it to you to investigate but I am absolutely sure that once you taste it you will never go back to the traditional nougat.
We now finish our gastronomic trip around the world, I hope that these original ideas will help you surprise your dearest ones and above all that you can enjoy it all in the best of companies.
How about you? Which dishes do you fancy the most?