Some news from Spain LXXV

So here I am back in my beloved Spain. In my neck of the woods it is cloudy and pleasant no rain and temps of 10C or about 50F. In my precious Madrid it is about the same cloudy 51F.  It’s about time I tell you a bit more on my Spain, everything under the sun!

The Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum opens on Monday March a retrospective exhibition by the French artist Balthasar Klossowski , known as Balthus, jointly organized with the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen/Basel and the support of the family of the painter, as reported by the museum. Balthus, considered one of the great masters of Art of the 20C, is one of the most unique painters of his time. His work, diverse and ambiguous and so admired as rejected, followed a path virtually contrary to the development of the avant-garde, with a personal and unique figurative style, away from any label. More here:

The magician Pop (Mago Pop), Antonio Díaz, has announced the purchase of the Teatro Victòria of Barcelona, a management that will be formalized from June, when the theater season ends. It has revealed that the theater’s infrastructure will not undergo significant changes, although some aesthetics.  In fact, Diaz does not want a theater only of magic, but of great multi-generic spectacles, provided that the offer of Barcelona as a reference . As for the programming, the musical theater will continue to be protagonist in the Teatro Victòria in the month of September. His first season with the show ‘ Nothing is Impossible ‘, currently at the Teatro Rialto in Madrid and will make the jump to Broadway soon. Considered the most blockbuster European illusionist of the World by Forbes Magazine, the Magician Pop was found on the scene in 2013 on Discovery Channel, and was the first illusionist to have a television program that led him to be known in 150 countries. More on the theater Victoria here:

Ángel León, the Magician of the Sea cuisine, reinvents itself. From the old windwill by the sea in El Puerto de Santa María, to the captain of Aponiente (a boat restaurant visit and eaten here!), it is still three weeks before the boat sails again and reigns calm in the ingenuity of its chef. The boat was built in 1815 to take advantage of tidal flows as a driving force to transform cereals of Jerez and the Puerto into flour and process the sea salt. The Caño Mill was an industrial benchmark in the Bay of Cadiz for 150 years, until the mechanization of the mills and the salt crisis of the 1970’s relegated it to oblivion. Aponiente would be the only restaurant in the world located in a bicentennial tidal mill. This was how Angel Leon and his faithful sailors boarded it in 2016, moving pots and belongings from the original local of Calle Puerto Escondido;  in 2017, the unusual miller restaurant received its third Michelin star. The idea is to make Aponiente a destination for gourmets fans. This does not imply that the proposals of tasting of the new season call the Mar de Fondo (deep sea), the most extensive, and Mar en calma (calm sea), the shortest  are free of surprises. Understanding the Michelin 3 stars is that 70% of his clients are foreign. The chef has other proposals for those who cannot be made with a reservation in the dining room of the old mill. One of them in the same Puerto de Santa Maria: The Taberna del Chef de Mar, with tapas and portions of informal tone in the same place of the Calle Puerto Escondido where Aponiente began its trajectory in 2008. Another, of more ambitious rank and also starred by Michelin, is Alevante, restaurant opened in 2016 in the hotel Meliá Sancti Petri, (I have stayed and eaten here!) in the neighbor town of Chiclana de la Frontera. Finally, from 2017, the Hotel Urban in Madrid has reformulated its Cristal Bar (glass) as Cristal mar, with a menu entirely conceived by the sea chef. More on Aponiente here:

The actress Carmen Conesa (very good actress worth seeing) stars in the adaptation of the Broadway musical with an original story that will be represented from the 28th to the 31st of March in the auditorium of Palma de Mallorca. “ Addams. “Being normal is boring”, the Addams family sounds like Tango, to Latin rhythms, to pop and even to jazz, and the lyrics-also adapted with care by Ferrer and Silvia Montesinos are not separate in the narration but they help to advance in the history. And in which more than 50 people work among actors, dancers, musicians and technicians. More here:

Thursdays is a Rastro (flea market) trail that every week is located on Calle Ferias in Sevilla. Among the many antiques that are exposed there, it is easy to find records and cassettes. Some of them,you have to look well, as one can imagine are genuine jewels. That place and those found treasures are the starting point for the new work of the Huelva singer Rocío Márquez ( a good one of the genre). Marquez has become one of the indisputable figures of the Jondo contemporary art, understanding flamenco as a vehicle of communication between different sounds and genres. Her polyhedral vision is again evident in her sixth album, a kind of back to the roots in which she accompanies the guitar of Canito and the percussions of Agustín Diassera. The three recover pieces popularized by artists as different as Bambino, Turronero, El Cabrero, Pepe Marchena, Bambino, Concha Piquer, José Menese and Paco Ibáñez and take them to their terrain, prioritizing this time the most primary emotion on sound recesses. Rocío’s voice shines with her usual finesse, administering strength and subtlety, Jondura and class. As bonus track, a duet with Kiko Veneno in which they play the immortal Aceituneros of Jaén, by Miguel Hernández. Rocío Márquez transcends labels to certify that she is one of the great artistic personalities of our country. “Rocio Màrquez Visto en el Jueves” (seen on Thursday). More here in Spanish :

With the help of culinary experts and chefs, the Taste Atlas has published a ranking with the 100 most valued dishes in the world. Among them, three Spanish recipes are found with the most been Asians and of these Japanese. OF course, the unique Paella, a typical recipe of the Valencian Community (original classic!), with a rice base and very popular in Spain and other countries. The rice is cooked in a specific paellera container. The basic ingredients that should always be used are chicken, rabbit, green bean, lima/butter beans, tomato, rice, olive oil, water, saffron and salt. Also, the cold soup type , Salmorejo, typical dish of Cordoba consisting of a cold cream that is served first. It is made by a mash of bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil, salt and tomatoes. It is usually presented with Iberian ham on the surface, croutons or hard-boiled egg crumbs. Cochinillo ,although its consumption is widespread throughout the world, in Spain is much appreciated that of Segovia (indeed the best!). It is baked in a clay casserole and served to diners hot and crusty. It is hardly made with the fat of the pig and some laurel with sometimes white wine is added. Enjoy it see the webpage with the best food of Spain:

This is past event but worth mentioning me think.  The 5th edition of the Salon de Vinos Radicales ( radical wines). They are labels of small vine growers, limited productions, very personal and sometimes product of heroic viticulture, of very old vineyards, and both the wines and their authors respond perfectly to the radical model, authentic people and passionate, risky, with a touch of madness. The meeting took place in the lower floor of the COAM , the official College of Architects of Madrid. It was 34 the wineries that participated this year in the Salon de Vinos Radicales, including three French, from the Southwest (Jurançon, Cahors and Madiran) as guests. More on COAM here: Official COAM org

Having the opportunity to know the wines of the Jurançon (for info I am direct and visit the region for their wines) is like moving to the green and beautiful slopes of the Pyrénées Atlantiques, to the very literary area of the Béarn, full of stories since in the 14C it is said that the princes of Béarn invented the concept “cru “, which comes to mean the category of vineyards and therefore its greatest value. What we can consider as the first protection to preserve the identity of its unique wines. The truth is that also perfectly with the cheese of raw milk of Extremadura merino sheep of Campanario, Badajoz, Cremositos (creamy) of the Zújar, were also, present so that not everything was to drink. Madiran, (very much in the Toulouse area and we like it) a few 200 km from Irún, stands out for its red wines of Tannant, a  grape that as its name suggests, highlights by its tannins. And also present Malbec, one of the most traveled French grapes, and there are few in their country of origin, France. Specifically in Cahors, its place of origin, it remains the protagonist of its famous black wine. For the local wines grapes of white Garnachas of Terra Alta and Gredos, the White Plateau Albillo, the Blanca Cariñena of Empordà. It is always good to come to these places for new finds and thrills assure. More here and the full list of wines that were present, enjoy it.

For info, Spanish wine exports closed 2018 with growth in value (+ 2%) and volume drop (-14%), increasing the average price by 18%. They were sold 1.986 billion of liters worth of 2,9 billion euros, at an average price in euro of 1.47/liter (about 5,5 US gallon). The turnover reached a record number in 2018, according to the Observatorio Espanol del Mercado de Vinos ( OEMV) or  Spanish observatory of the Wine Market. By markets, the UK is the main customer in both value and volume. Among the main customers, only increase their purchases of Spanish packaging in value and volume, Canada and Mexico. The other main markets are France, Germany, Portugal and Italy. If interested further reading at the official webpage of the OEMV:

It was 15 years ago that El Paraguas opened its doors in the Calle Jorge Juan that was not even said much about the Golden Mile, but the restaurant of Brazilian chef Sandro Silva and his wife Asturian Marta Seco had a brilliant success and clamped much the concept. The couple did not stop on the road and, with Ten with ten, Amàzonico and Ultramarinos Quintin, built a multi-million dollar empire. As a complement, a very professional and attentive service, and a winery rich in these Riojas and Riberas that so many customers from Madrid consume with enthusiasm without even looking at other sources, but also contains small treasures like that Grans Muralles de Torres we had a while back, and that is one of our best Mediterranean wines, full of sunshine but also of finesse and lightness, without alcoholic heaviness. Love it,See it ,taste it ,enjoy it at  Calle Jorge Juan, 16 ;closest Metro Serrano or Velazquez of Line 4. More here:

A tour of the Prado Museum to discover the works of art that among its elements include some of the most recognized products of the Spanish pantry. Gastronomy and art or Art and gastronomy. More information here:

Some portraits to see that were of interest to me are Los Pedroches (DOP), “Bodegón con chorizos, jamón y recipientes”, of Luis Egido Meléndez (1772), Mahón-Menorca (DOP) “Bodegón con plato de cerezas, ciruelas, jarra y queso”, of Luis Egido Meléndez (1760), “Plátano de Canarias” (IGP) of Luis Egido Meléndez (1760) ;”Frutas”, of Adela Ginés y Ortiz (1910), Queso Manchego (DOP) “Interior de la cocina de una posada del pueblo manchego de Maqueda”, of Cecilio Pizarro y Librado (1876), “Una de mesa embolsada del Vinalopó (DOP)” Bodegón con cuatro racimos de uvas”, of Juan Fernández “el Labrador” (around 1636), the previous painting showcase the only grape that grows protected “najo” (a paper bag), which carefully caresses and keeps all the grains of the bunch. And many more! The Prado Museum webpage is here for reference as well as to celebrate the 200 anniversary of the museum : Prado museum bicentenary anniversary

Some ideas on some wines of the southeast of Spain that are worth trying, as my recommendation:

Other excellent wines that me and/or my family had ,all the Spanish Sureste (southeast), again with predominance of those of Monastrell, but with a great variety of styles and a growing presence of the wines of the wine farms, which provide an undeniable plus of personality. Some good ones with region, winery, wine name, and price below : Bullas,Bodegas Lavia,Lavia Finca Paso Malo (2014)33.00. Bullas,Bodegas Lavia,Lavia Origen (2014)20.00. Yecla, Atlan & Artisan,Epistem Nº 5 (2016)120.00, Valencia ,Bodega Fil.loxera & Cía, (garage wine no web) El Cordero y las Vírgenes (2016)20.00. Bullas,Bodegas Lavia,Lavia Origen (2015)20.00. Alicante,Ibérica Bruno Prats,(former Château Cos-d’Estournel, Saint-Estèphe, Médoc France); Alfynal (2012)30.00. Bullas,Bodegas Lavia,Lavia Plus + (2015)14.00. Yecla,Atlan & Artisan,Epistem Nº 3 (2016)17.00. Valencia,Rafael Cambra,Casalabor (2017)14.00.Bullas,Bodegas Lavia,Lavia (2016)10.00.

There you go folks,  another wonderful page for enjoying my Spain, and yours. You know it by now, Spain ,everything under the sun!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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