Today we have one of those glorious cookbooks that are disguised as a travel book. Or is it the other way round? No matter, I love the format.
Today we are are off to Spain, with Restauranteur Extraordinaire Frank Camorra and food writer Richard Cornish. The sun came out for a day last week, oh-miracle, but today we are looking at snow on the mountains outside Melbourne where I live.
I could do with a dose of sunny Spain and her warming foods: seafood, smoked cod, smoked paprika, jamon and roasted/ pickled veg.
I'm gorging on the photos of stunning women and children in colourful flamenco costumes swirling and stomping up a storm in local Andalusian spring festivals, rows of jamon left to dry in hillsides, salt mines, markets and wild, green mountainsides.
Then there is the sunshine. Lots and lots of solera. Getting my vitamin D dose just looking at the pics!
Finally: the food. It's fair to say that I will not be whipping up Revuelto de Hinojo Martino y Erizos (eggs with samphire and sea urchin) for a midweek meal but I adore the recipe and the history woven on the page. I will, however, add a simple capsicum salad, grilled baby cuttlefish and grilled calamari in olive oil and Ajo Labrao (pounded egg and garlic mayo) into my warm weather entertaining repertoire.
This book is perfect for those who love food, entertaining and travel. Many of the recipes are super-simple and many ingredients can be swapped for local ingredients if you like. The other magical part of this book is that author Frank Camorra takes us through both his personal history, and the villages. There are interviews with local artisan food producers (foragers, bakers, chefs, fishmongers etc) and a lovely list of producers, restaurants, bars and places to visit throughout Andalusia.
If you are planning a visit to Spain, don't leave before reading this book. The only problem is that it is way too heavy for a travel guide on the road.
Backpack version next please fellas! Please excuse me ... I'm off to peruse earlybird fares to Europe!
The Blurb from Penguin/Lantern
Journey with Frank Camorra as he searches for the traditional recipes of Andalusia in the south of Spain – a land of ancient cities, whitewashed villages, and plains planted with olive groves and vineyards. The largest and southernmost of Spain's regions, this is a place where cultures and cuisines have always collided and mingled.
Frank meets the food and wine producers, farmers, fishermen, chefs and cooks who share the recipes they have cooked in their kitchens for generations. Along the way, he takes in riotous spring festivals, lively markets and peaceful sherry bodegas, and reveals his favourite places to eat, drink and stay. From an olive picker's breakfast to cuttlefish in saffron sauce and the smoky lamb skewers called pinchitos morunos, MoVida Solera is a celebration of Andalusian food and culture.