Seville & Cordoba

Posted on Saturday, October 17th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

As I headed to Andalusia, I hoped that I was in time for gazpacho and salmorejo, two soups that are only served when the tomatoes are in season.  I was in time to find them both.

Gazpacho by the Glass

Gazpacho is typically made from tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers, green peppers, and olive oil, pureed together to make a very refreshing soup.  Barely thicker than water, it is often served in a glass to be drunk.

Salmorejo Salmorejo

Salmorejo, which originates in Cordoba, includes only tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil.  These ingredients are then pureed with bread.  The bread thickens the soup, making it miraculously creamy.  Some of the salmorejos achieved the consistency and texture of mayonnaise.  (I mean that in a good way.)  Salmorejo is often topped by chunks of chewy, dry jamon.  Leave it to the Spanish to take something easily vegetarian and add pork.

Tapas has its roots in Seville, although it is everywhere in Spain now.  I had heard that there would be free tapas in Seville: that when you ordered a drink, they would bring you a plate.  Perhaps I ordered food too soon or perhaps I was too obviously a tourist, but I was never gifted with tapas in Seville.  I did, however, find a couple of great tapas spots, full of classic character.

El Rinconcillo El Rinconcillo

El Rinconcillo El Rinconcillo

Opened in 1670, El Rinconcillo (Calle Gerona 40) is the oldest bar in Seville.  They keep track of your tab by writing it in chalk on the bar.

Casa Morales Casa Morales

Tortilla Espanola, Casa Morales Casa Morales

Opened in 1850, Casa Morales (Garcia de Vinuesa 11, Seville) is a big, dusty place with all classic tapas selections.  It is very near to the Cathedral.

Bodega Guzman Albondigas at Bodega Guzman

In nearby Cordoba, at 2pm on a Sunday, I could hear the sound of the crowd at Bodega Guzman (Calle de los Judios 7) from half a block away.  The drink of choice there is montilla, which is like a fino sherry.  It is very dry and a little fruity, perfect as an aperitif, but drunk anytime with anything at Bodega Guzman.  The bartenders pour it from huge wooden casks.  I also ordered the albondigas, incredibly moist pork meatballs, served in a sauce fragrant from cumin and pimenton.

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