By Linda Hall • 02 February 2023 • 9:25
IN the past the Spanish weren’t big on desserts which, incidentally I refuse to refer to as puddings.
Puddings a.k.a. desserts bring meals to an end in cold climates but not Spain where even rice pudding translates into laconic Arroz con leche.
When I first lived here, the most you could expect at the end of a meal was fruit, ice cream, the aforementioned rice pudding or if you were pushing the boat out, a Pijama whose name has nothing to do with nightwear.
Instead, it is a misheard version of the Peach Melba requested by US sailors when the Sixth Fleet visited Spain in 1951 once General Franco became the lesser of two evils as the Cold War freeze set in.
Peach Melba it wasn’t, but an improvement on the further option of flan which was a caramel cream, not a sponge-based delight oozing with fruit and cream.
My first summer here coincided with a protracted visit from my adolescent brothers-in-law who lived in Madrid. It was a rude awakening for all concerned as until then I’d never had to look after myself, let alone a grown man and two hungry teenagers.
My husband helped out with the cooking occasionally but I wanted to try my hand too, and one day decided to make them liver and bacon. Done in the oven the way my mother always cooked it, this was possibly not the wisest choice at the height of a Costa Blanca summer.
Manolo, the youngest of the brothers, looked at it in confusion before picking up a greyish chunk of liver between two fastidious fingers while asking incredulously, “What on earth is this?”
I redeemed myself by attempting a trifle which, although I say it myself, went down a treat and Manolo, now a university professor in Latin America, has never forgotten it.
Cravenly he now denies all knowledge of liver and bacon, although on reflection, perhaps that was a meal that’s best forgotten.
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Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share?
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