Friday, October 31, 2008


Yesterday, I went to Sanlucar with a tour from the base.

Famous for being the place that Magellan set sail from when he went around the tip of South America (only to die in the Philipines), Sanlucar is about 20 minutes from Rota. It is part of the famed Sherry Triangle, which also includes El Puerto de Santa Maria (right next to Rota) and Jerez (obviously, as the word for Sherry in spanish IS Jerez).

View of Sanlucar from the bodega, which is on a *pant huge pant* hill.

The highlight of the short trip was the Museo de Barbadillo (or Barbadillo Museum). Barbadillo is the brand name of the bodega (bodega is what they call a winery). Still with me? OK.

I went to a wine museum. It was very interesting how they have different shaped rooms and buildings for different wines, because the architecture affects the temperature of the wine. This place makes a base wine that is made into different Sherries.

Bodega Patio

Between buildings and rooms are large gardens and patios and open corridors, which bring the all-important sea air in to keep the wine humid. In the gardens were many rose bushes, so the whole place smelled of sherry and roses.

Sherry is an acquired taste- one I have YET to acquire. I keep trying, because I live in THE SHERRY TRIANGLE of the world! But so far no go, and all I bought there was a bottle of vinegar. (All about Sherry.)

The inside of a Sherry Barrel. Notice the yeast at the top.

The most interesting part of the bodega was the Bodega Catedral. No, they did not have an actual cathedral in the winery. It is their largest room for storing wine barrels. It is 40 feet high, has 100 pillars, and houses 4800 barrels! And it does look something like a catedral. Underneath the barrels was special soil from the Sevilla area. When wet, it keeps the wine at the right humidity.

Photos from the Bodega Catedral.

After the bodega, we went to the Farmer's Market! NOW this was my kind of market! The ones in Rota are pretty sad. This place was huge, both indoor and outdoor, and had a variety of veggies, fruits, nuts, seafood, meats, spices, and of course sunglasses, purses, and belts (they are at every market).

I finally got some Spanish Paprika! My favorite cookbook keeps saying to use Spanish Paprika and now I know why! It comes in 2 kinds: spicy and sweet. Of course, I bought spicy. And it smells like very strong chili powder with a lil Cayenne. Nothing like that red stuff you put on deviled eggs just for color!!

Then we had lunch! Ahhhhhhh, lunch! We went to a place famous for its seafood tortilla (not a Mexican tortilla remember!), which was pretty much fried tiny shrimp pancakes. That's a horrible description, but they were very delicious and seriously salty- yes even to me!- and greasy. We also had some octopus in olive oil with that spicy Spanish Paprika- mmmmm! It was so tender, not chewy at all. Then we had small sweet red peppers stuffed with shrimp, tuna, and crumbled egg. About 6 of us shared these tapas. It was a very fun afternoon!

Seafood tortilla. All those lil black dots are shrimp eyes! Mmmmmm, I love shrimp eyes!

Octopus- I forget the spanish name for it.

John did not go, because he had to work that night, and he would not have been able to sleep had he gone.

(See all photos from this trip HERE.)

Spoils from Sanlucar:

Chimichurri sauce for meat. I have only had my own chimichurri, so I am looking forward to trying this one, which has grapefruit in it! Sherry vinegar from the bodega. Pistaccio nuts for the bus ride back. Spanish Paprika, can't wait to use it. Someone told me she uses it mostly in stews and rice. And that it gives it that Spanish Rice yellow color. I thought that was the saffron, oh well. And hazlenuts. Forr cookies I promised John's work.


Laura said...

Gosh, each trip you take is better than the one before - what a beautiful place! And I love that tree on the patio. Happy Halloween!

Marina said...

Omg! IM so excited to do these things!!
1- I LOVE LOVE LOVE farmers markets
2- Im really excited to try the SHerry
3- TAPAS!!

Jenn: said...

Laura- It seems at first you are seeing things for the 1st time. Then you start comparing those things from place to place. Ex: The best tortilla is here, the coolest view there, the scariest cathedral in this place, that kind of thing.

Marina: We will have to go marketing together. I am big on the Farmer Markets too. But you can have all the Sherry- it tastes like when you get perfume in your mouth.

A New England Life said...

Thanks for taking us on a trip Jenn! It's almost like you are on vacation in Spain. : )

Love the trees in the 2nd picture. Really neat they way they grow up like a canopy!

Can't say I would like Sherry either. Of course I don't really like alchohol much anyway, but the process sure is interesting.

The market is really neat! Boston is the closest place for us to go and see something like that.

Shrimp eyes .... ewww! Think I'll pass.

Jenn: said...

Sharon: Boston for the nearest Market? Is it far?

Shrimp eyes are a joke at home. At our fav Sushi place, you get a fried shrimp head (much larger than these), and we toast them like champagne glasses before we eat them. But sometimes their eyes fall out in the frying process, so if you get one with both eyes-wow- awesome good luck!