Falling into the Italian bread hole

Happy new year everybody!

After the break, we’re back with a lot of curiosity and interest in perfecting our cooking.

May this be the year in which you master anything that has been bugging you, or maybe the year in which you learn something new that you did not even know existed and it brings you lots of pleasure!

Which in my case seems to be Italian flour and breads. Brace yourselves…

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Packed lunches, the English way

Butter, ham and mustard sandwich

We took some days off last May and visited a few outdoor places. The last episode of lock-down at the time hadn’t quite finished yet, and thus places weren’t fully “functional” either. So we decided to play it safe and take our food with us rather than go empty handed and attempt to buy something on-site, only to find the café closed.

And since we were holidaying in England, and it felt a bit like going on a school trip, I thought: “we should prepare packed lunches like the English would do for their kids!”

Devvers wasn’t super thrilled about this extravagant idea of mine, but still agreed to share with me tips and tricks for making sandwiches “the English way”.

This is very important because since I did not grow up in the UK, if left to my own devices, I would put olive oil and a slice or two of tomato on the sandwiches… the anathema!

So here’s the secret, for all of the Spanish people out there who want to pretend like they’re in England, or want to surprise their English partners with the thrilling sight of a Proper English Sandwich! 😆

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The quest for the perfect fogassa d’Ontinyent

Four bowls with ingredients for a fogassa, before mixing

As I said in my Fogassa d’Ontinyent post, I have been trying to locate the “proper” recipe for this for a few years already.

I think I started searching for a recipe in 2018, as November approached and I desperately wanted to eat a fogassa but could not visit Spain for multiple reasons. And I thought: Well, it is “only” a sweet bun, so it can’t be that hard to find a recipe for it, right?

Well, turns out that it can!

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Our visit to Almazara La Alquería – an olive oil mill in Alicante

Panorama of olive trees

I “adopted” an olive tree from Almazara La Alqueria a couple years ago via Crowdfarming.

I was very excited that the producer was close to home in Spain, right in the Sierra de Mariola natural park, and that they would send me nice freshly pressed olive oil to my home in London. Also, I would contribute to organic farming in the area—what’s not to like?

Even more interestingly, as part of the Crowdfarming arrangement you also have the chance to “meet” your adopted tree if you want to.

Of course this hasn’t been very easy in the last year and a half plus 😏

But I finally had the chance to do that last month! It was really interesting and I learned lots of things which I’m going to share with you now!

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