Some news from Spain LXXXIII

And I am back at you with my latest tidbits of my beloved Spain. I am counting the days to my visit this year there and just can’t wait! For now the weather there is sunny and 91F ! or 33C while in my current neck of the woods is rainy cloudy cool and 67F! or 19C! I take Madrid weather anytime!!! Oh well just need to wait….

Some of the latest that have been determine worth to post by yours truly is to follow; enjoy it

«Fra Angelico and the beginnings of the Renaissance in Florence»  Prado Museum.; Paseo del Prado, s / n.  Until September 15 2019

Of course, Fra Angelico (1390-1455) was not from Florence, but from Fiésole, an old city of Etruscan origin located eight kilometers away, which began to become a residential neighborhood. There he worked first as a miniaturist and then making altar blades until 1436, date in which the Dominicans, order in which he entered eighteen years earlier, moved to the convent of San Marcos in Florence, recently renovated thanks to the donations of Cosme de Medici. In the convent in Florence Fra Angelico contributed to make his spiritually more suitable by painting the chapter room, the cloister gallery, the altarpiece of the church and the monks’ cells. The set of frescoes that he left there, his Sistine chapel, prove not only that he was a great artist, but a man of faith fully committed to the mystery of Christ. More info here:

Rosalia, the Spanish muse of the Pirelli calendar. The singer appears in the prestigious almanac . Rosalia is back in the spotlight for her presence in the prestigious Pirelli 2020 calendar, where she shares the spotlight with other great female celebrities today. Kristen Stewart, Emma Watson, Indya Moore, Chris Lee, Claire Foy, Yara Shahidi, Mia Goth and Stella Roversi are some of their companions in the calendar pages, made by Paolo Roversi under the legend of “Looking for Juliet”. Always a classy calendar indeed. More info here:

Only a few days ago, the Kings of Spain and the Netherlands, Felipe and Willhem Alexander, were invested by queen Elizabeth II as Knights of the Order of the Garter in Windsor Castle. Today the relations between both countries are excellent. Gone are the revolts led by another Wilhem of Orange  against another Felipe II, which gave rise to the Eighty Years War (1568-1648) and the independence of the Netherlands. This will end up with a show of painters from both countries in a presentation in the Prado Museum going on until September 29 2019. More info here:

The wines of Navarra blends keeps growing with Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and  Merlot that along the last 25 years have define the región before the coming back of the Garnacha grape. Some of my favorites for this blend of reds are:

Bodegas Ochoa  Ochoa Finca Montijo (2007);  Bodegas Azul y Garanza Desierto de Azul y Garanza (2016)            ; Grupo Chivite : Chivite Colección 125 (2012); Bodega de Sarría, Señorío de Sarría Reserva Especial (2013);Bodega Inurrieta  Laderas de Inurrieta (2015): Grupo Chivite Legardeta Syrah (2015); Pago de Larrainzar  Pago de Larrainzar Reserva Especial (2011);           Bodega Castillo de Monjardín  Castillo de Monjardín Deyo (2015); Bodegas Ochoa  Ochoa Finca Montijo (2014). Enjoy the Navarrese wines up and coming in my beloved Spain.

And the story of the chufa (tigernut) and the wonderful drink of Horchata.One memorable spot for me from visting my late Aunt at El Saler near Valencia in younger days . We drink it but wait to be in Spain to do so and from Valencia even better. I will look forward to my visit end of this month to Madrid to visit Horchateria Arboraya, Calle de Alcalà, 125. From Valencians! More info here:

And now a bit of history and how it is made the traditional way, look for it in Madrid from Valencians or Valencia area, simply the best.

The land is sown with chufa. This is in the Spring, when a process begins that will culminate in the elaboration of the sweetest ,and healthiest! drink we can imagine. In places like the village of Almássera, in the Horta Nord. Horta= the garden ,nord=north is already a multicolored landscape of cabbage, onions, lettuce, artichokes,  delimited by a network of ditches and roads. In June, after a few months of irrigation, the fields begin to be covered with a green tapestry. Somewhere between Alboraia, Meliana and Almássera, a thick smoke rises. And like here, many other fields are set on fire in a controlled way to burn the dried bush of the tigernut for later collection.

The orchard of Valencia is a strip of between 10-15 km that surrounds (less by the sea) the city. An area of ​​approximately 10,500 hectares irrigated by ditches, nine in total, from the Turia river and built during the Muslim period (between the 8-13C). In December, after the burning of the fields, it is proceed by the collect of this small tuber that is underground and that is one of the treasures, hidden underground, of the land. After a washing process in one of the three washrooms of l’Horta , the tuber will pass to the dryers. In the dryers, spread on the ground in airy spaces with large windows, the chufas will be removed periodically so that the tuber is losing all moisture. With the arrival of spring, horchaterías (horchata makers and call also the restaurant where it is serve) are preparing to receive the chufa. In the image, the triad process with state-of-the-art optical technology, at a rate of one thousand kilos of chufa per hour and finished off the old one, by hand and under the precise look of the careful hands. Already in the horchatería, the elaboration of the drink will take place with  a crushing process and the subsequent rehydration of the chufa based on a maceration of water, two sieves and sugar, a lot of sugar. All mixed and cooled quickly to temperatures around 0ºC. The road between Valencia and Alboraya, epicenter of the horchata, is the so call Avenida de la Horchata. Nothing better than tasting the drink accompanied by good fartons where the earth smells like chufa. Indeed try it! Horchata!

Enjoy Spain, everything under the sun; and do come to Madrid, from Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!

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




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