Trips to rural Spain has inspired new dishes on our Menu A La Carta and Menu Del Dia. After learning about the Iberian Peninsula (where most spices were brought to from distant countries), the thirteenth century crusaders and that spices have ultimately been around for centuries.
The Islamic Moors conquered the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) in 711, bringing with them culture, art, language and of course cuisine. Whilst being infatuated with spices, the Moors experimented with spices such as cumin, cinnamon, anise, nutmeg and mint. They are also responsible for the word ‘rice’ and grew it in the lakes of Valencia. The growing of saffron took place after to compliment the rice, which has created a timeless Spanish dish – paella.
Using the Moors spices in cooking infuses food with a history of taste, culture and history. A new tapas on the menu, Cordero is spiced braised lamb ‘Moor style’ which is homage to the historical spices brought to Spain cooked with the lamb to enhance the spices and season the meat. The Empanada which is a traditional homemade pastry was introduced to Spain during the Moorish invasions and is a new additional to the menu. Estofado de Garbanzos is a stew of chickpeas and roast vegetables enhanced with these authentic spices, combining rustic and traditional flavours. These tapas are new on the menus along with others waiting for you to discover.
The Spanish Halloween is celebrated in 3 days. Starting with el Dia de las Brujas (Day of the Witches). Then, Dia de Todos los Santos (All Saints Day) and finally Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the dead) on November 2nd. In Spain these days are about honouring deceased loved ones and celebrating life. Whilst children dress up, there are exciting events in restaurants, bars and clubs for the adults.
In Barcelona you can spend your time visiting the extraordinary cemeteries (Montjuïc, Poblenou, and Les Corts) to experience night tours and special classical music concerts to get you right into the spirit of Halloween. To experience an authentic Catalan tradition, the village, Sant Feliu Sassera holds a two day event which is a Witch Festival – in commemoration of the 23 women who were accused of witch craft and sentenced to death. The festival is known as Fira de les Bruixes in the Plaça de l’Església which begins on the night of the 31st of October with a parade (you can also soak up some knowledge by exploring the witch museum in the village).
Around other parts of Spain including Madrid, Malaga and San Sebastián there are also fascinating themed parties and celebrations honouring the dead by decorating graves with colourful flowers. Spaniards typically dress up in zombies, ghouls, werewolves, witch and vampire costumes.
Create this easy, effective and freaky looking shot for your Halloween night and guests will be left wondering…what did I just drink? Fun and creepy, this shot creates a distinct texture and taste in your mouth however perfectly delicious to contribute to your night.
12.5 oz. Peach Schnapps
12.5 oz. Bailey’s
Few drops of grenadine
Pour the Peach Schnapps into the bottom of your shot glass and layer with the Baileys. Add a few drops of grenadine, which will allow the Bailey’s to sink into the Peach Schnapps. This creates the blood curdling brain effect. Happy Halloween!
We have been touring Spain to source the freshest ingredients, mouthwatering tastes and to stretch your Spanish food and drink palates even further. We were at Fernando de Castilla en Jerez, tasting multiple brandy and sherry options. We shared a lunch with the owner of the Sherry Bodega, tasting authentic and local jamón, manchego cheese and veal.
This trip has expanded our knowledge and sparked inspiration for a new Menu Del Dia, and changes to the A La Carta menu. These will be finalised in the next couple of weeks along with the release of our Festive menus.
Pictured here with Jan Petersen (owner and great host) at the Fernando de Castilla Sherry Bodega.