Buenas tardes 🙂
So, it’s been quite a while since my last post on valenciandoporlavida which means that I have a montón of things to talk about today! Wahoo! *Don’t forget to try to guess the song reference in the post title* What would your life be like without puns? Actually, don’t make me think about that. I don’t like it one bit.
To avoid wasting any time here I’m pulling out the big guns first…BISCUITS! After a sneaky one-hour shift at work yesterday (to make up for the six years of torture teaching in the UK state sector!) I had a routine trip to Mercadona and picked up a few delights including strawberry-flavoured gin and some lovely little bargain eye gel patches for travelling (only 1€ which is so cheap compared to the ones I’ve seen in Boots. Hoorah for Mercadona!) The eye patches are currently in my travel suitcase (as Manchester Neighbourhood Festival and a weekend wit mi cariño approaches) along with the obligatory hair straighteners, a teeny travel pot of foundation (minimal make-up needed with top tan – wahey!), geisha-style dressing gown bought in Thailand as a pick-me-up when I had inflated legs after 8 flights in a week and my new coat from Zara that I can’t wear here because it’s still too hot and sunny. Did I mention that? It’s 27 flipping degrees still and I am still getting mosquito bites. This little Zap-It has been my hero!
TANGENT ALERT: While we’re still on the topic of food (mosquitoes are food, aren’t they?), I’ve been looking for sourdough bread for ages in Valencia as a certain someone may have got me hooked on it. I’ve tried artisan bakeries, smalls supermarkets and even an old lady who lives in my apartment block. On one rather grim Sunday evening just after my novio left and I’d been feeling pretty ill all day (two mutually exclusive events, I promise!), I had a 9pm ten-minute cycle to Carrefour, a throwback to my Dijon uni days especially the time when I was forced to steal a trolley just to transport my two-monthly settling-in shop to the bus stop. I remember calling my friend almost in tears saying ‘you’ll have to come and help me. I bought too many things and can’t carry them.’ Talk about First World problems… Que vergüenza. Anyhoo, back to this particularly sad domingo when I trekked to Burger King near the BioPark in the Pobles de l’Oest and discovered that this is where the locals hang out all day and evening when almost everything else in the non-touristy parts of Valencia is closed for the sacred day-of-rest-and-paella. I didn’t order the expected ‘queso con beicon’ sino (but rather) ‘cheese con beicon’. It’s the absolute best speaking English with a fake Spanish accent and having the 17-year old supervisor grimace at your failed attempt to speak your own language badly. This is definitely yet another reminder of spending Sundays in McDo in Dijon and one time actually being given a free tombola ticket and winning nothing less than a Phil Collins DVD which I subsequently bequeathed to a very puzzled étranger. The point of all of this was to say that even Carrefour don’t do pan de masa fermentada (sourdough)but what I did eventually find in Mercadona was pan de espelta de masa madre and I think it’s the best that this self-confessed food snob is going to get. No, the food snob isn’t me. I dunk my biscuits. Twice. Sometimes I even use a second biscuit to retrieve the first one that unsuspectingly plopped into the mug. What a feeling that is when you manage to get it out…
Ok, back to the biscuits. Well, actually before that let’s just briefly mention this disgusting gin I bought. It’s probably my own fault and I foolishly bypassed the Ophir-style €15 good-value-but-not-bathtub-gin situated next to the fresh fish counter. Mercadona, please move your fish counter or get some smell-proofing or something. Yuk! It was only about 8€ but strawberry-flavoured. I mean, come on, who can resist such a pretty little bottle? The problem may be with the gin but also potentially with the water. I had to drink it with agua con gas instead of tónica as after 23 minutes of searching round the alcohol-aisle with Spaniards mainly browsing sophisticated Rioja (white Rioja too – which I’d highly recommend) and local Marqués del Túria. Sorry Aldi and Tesco but there’s not 6 bottles of prosecco for £20. While I’m here, why have middle-aged women and young women who act like they’re middle-aged already ruined prosecco for the world? It’s like when chavs stole Berghaus or K-Swiss. I used to love those £5 work trainers from JD Sports. Those were the days… What an improvement from Original Shoe Co. where my boss called me and my brace-ridden mouth a pink toolbox, where I sold two left trainers to a deaf lady and had to chase her through the MetroCentre and where finally I quit my job because I ‘needed’ a holiday. Some things never change!
BISCUITS: So all I wanted to say on this matter was that I’ve found the most amazing biscuits ever. THEY TASTE LIKE CHEESECAKE. Like REAL CHEESECAKE. I kid you not. Roll over empanadillas and tortilla de patatas (which I will be doing a blog post on soon FYI), these are the Spanish delicacy you’ve all been waiting for. Like un-cheesy Ritz crackers with a lemon cheesecake filling. Paraíso total. Plus, they’re 99c and they have changed my life in the last 24 hours. Mainly because now I look super curvy in a bikini! Check out my very Spanish despensa and its contents. (No, despensa means cupboard, not body, or anything else inappropriate that you may have thought of! Go meditate or repent or something. Arrepentirse – a great word I learnt recently which means to regret or repent).
Stay tuned for more really soon including a week of fun with the favourite person, empanadillas, my non-expert view of the Catalan referendum, Valencian Day, all the seafood, Cabanyal, going autónoma, the brilliant band HINDs and the lovely MYNTH.
Oh the song was a cheesy one to match my biscuits:
QUIT PLAYING GAMES by the one and only BACKSTREET BOYS.
Don’t listen to that song though, listen to them trying to sing Despacito instead here (3 mins in).