I was born in Galicia, Spain where since an early age I developed a very good taste in food. I was lucky, this is a privileged part of Spain food wise. The sea, the mountains, the soil all make for top quality product. Our neighbours make their own wine like you and I make a toast in the mornings and the vegetables you can buy them organic from the neighbour next door who has a “huerta” and sells tomatoes, or eggs from his free range chickens running happily around the garden. We didn’t know what organic was, it was simply the only option available!.
During my childhood, there was never a children menu and an adult menu, children ate the same food as adults and enjoyed it just as much. It gives me pleasure nowadays when I go back and see 8 year olds eating octopus or peeling langoustines and finger licking the empty shell of their scallops. In London kids eat a lot of fast food and miss out on the pleasures of good eating or home cooking and sitting around a table to eat not on a sofa with dinner on their laps. The table is something to be respected , it’s still like a small ritual in my home. I started to value my luck when I saw children eating chicken nuggets with chips from a from a frozen packet that looked unappetising. Children who eat their food with anything but delight. In my home town there was no McDonalds in sight and the first time I ate McDonalds was when I moved to London at 20.
My father always tells me how when my brother was two he found him in the kitchen eating with a lot of “gusto” clams Galician style (Almejas a la marinera) that my mum had prepared. Maybe this is why he is the person I know with the most exquisite of palates.
Now that I live and work in London I cook fresh food everyday no matter how tired, its never a drag, its a pleasure and it’s the only way for me and many people who grew up eating healthily since childhood. In fact, I rather eat in than out.
I was happy when invited to a “Gourmet food experience Galician style” in London (see video above). It was actually my first time trying this type of Gourmet food and it felt different, quirky, original. The portions as you would expect were small but the quality and taste was excellent. We didn’t know what we were eating as the menu was secret but i didn’t mind as it just tasted extremely good.When the menu finally arrived after we finished eating, nothing was what we thought it was which made it fun. Still, Im looking forward going home and eat a big portion of Galician Octupus “Pulpo a la Gallega” and my mum home made empanada.
Galicia is my place for unpretentious excellent quality food heaven. My boyfriend , who is Cuban, always says, why do you eat so much and never put on weight? I believe its all in the quality of the diet! Then, it just doesn’t matter how many portions and how many times!