Monday, October 19, 2015

Calamari 'A la romana' recipe

The other day we were talking about the Calamari Food Festival and our Seafood Tour in Barcelona during October and I have been thinking since then about having some for lunch! So I did. Today I want to share with you a receipe that can be part of a tapas lunch or dinner or you can also prepare it as a main course: Calamari 'A la romana' .


This is a very easy recipe to prepare but delicious at the same time.

Ingredients:

Calamari (I bought three medium sized)
4 cups flour
2 eggs
Olive oil
Salt
A lemon

Directions:


  • Clean the calamari. In the fishmarket in Spain you buy fresh calamari but they can clean it for you if you ask for it. Clean it without opening it or cutting it! Rinse it with cold water.

  • Once it is clean, cut the head in rings. Don't cut the legs. 
  • Mix the calamari with the flour. 

  • Prepare a sausepan and add olive oil. Be generous! Let the oil get hot. 
  • Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and soak them.

  • Add the calamari rings in the hot oil and let them cook both sides. 
  • Serve still hot and add lemon juice on top!



Bon profit!



Toll free (US): 1-888-480-0013
Spanish office phone: (+34) 616-103-536

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saffron Tour in Spain and the Saffron Rose Festival



Today I want to give you three different reasons why you have to go to Castilla-la Mancha during October:

  1. Until October 25th you have the chance to enjoy the annual Saffron Rose Festival in the town of Consuegra. 
  2. The saffron flowering period has started! Wide violet fields inundate the plains of Toledo, Cuenca, Ciudad Real and Albacete. 
  3. Right now you have the perfect weather to visit Castilla-la Mancha!
Castilla-la Mancha has a very distinctive landscape and character from the rest of Spain. Don't miss out on the opportunity to visit this incredible region just an hour outside of Madrid city. 


You can also check out more information about our Saffron Tour or you can contact us for more information!


1580 E. Butler Pike
Ambler, PA 19002
Toll free: 1-888-480-0013
E-mail: info@thespanishtouch.com

Friday, October 16, 2015

Cervantes Week: a plan to enjoy Madrid in October


From October 3 to October 24 the city of Alcalá de Henares, in Madrid, pays tribute to its most illustrious figure: Miguel de Cervantes, the author of "The Ingenious Gentlemen Don Quixote of La Mancha". Two of the highlight events are the 'Cervantes Gastronomic Festival' and the 'Quixote Market'. Contact us for more information!

1580 E. Butler Pike
Ambler, PA 19002
Toll free: 1-888-480-0013
E-mail: info@thespanishtouch.com

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Seafood tour in Barcelona during October

Galicia is famous for its seafood and fish, but if you are around Barcelona or Girona during October, you can also enjoy the fruits of the sea. Here are a couple of great ideas for you to do:

  • Enjoy the Calamari Food Festival ('Jornades Gastronòmiques del Calamarenys'). Enjoy various ways to prepare this classic Mediterranean dish, including: a la romana (breaded and fried), a l'Andalusa (lightly fried), stuffed, or simply grilled. The calamar (squid) is the star of this festival, where restaurants from 10 different towns in the Maresme area, just a half hour north of Barcelona, are participating from October 2nd to October 31st. 
  • Visit a Fish Market (Llotja). All along the Catalan coast the fish markets welcome the boats from their daily fishing trips. The catch is auctioned off as it arrives. It's a show unto itself, and a great way to track the freshest fish!
  • Visit the Boqueria Market in Barcelona and sign up for a tapas workshop where you will learn how to prepare a paella



 

1580 E. Butler Pike
Ambler, PA 19002
Toll free: 1-888-480-0013
E-mail: info@thespanishtouch.com

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Modernista Route in Barcelona: the Güell Colony

The Crypt, part of the colony's church

Modernism is an art and literature movement that took place in Europe during the end of the 20th century but in Catalonia had it's own personality with architects like Antoni Gaudí, Josep Puig i Cadafalch or Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Thanks to these phenomenal artists we can now enjoy masterpieces like Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Amatller, Casa Milà, Palau de la Música Catalana, Sant Pau Hospital or Casa Vicens, all of them in Barcelona city. But just about 30 minutes outside of Barcelona you can visit another Catalan Modernism jewel: the Güell Colony. 

Eusebi Güell is best remembered as Gaudi's benefactor and the owner of many modernista buildings and sites as the Park Güell, the Güell Palace (check out our Pedralbes tour) or the Güell wine cellar. 

Güell wanted to create a place for his employees to live and work that was protected and isolated from the social conflicts going on in Barcelona at the time. To do so he ordered the construction of a new factory and housing for all his workers to be built on the same land in a town outside of Barcelona: Santa Coloma de Cervelló. The industrial colonies were originally designed as a socioeconomic organization with the primary focus on the industrial process. The factory work took up most of the time for the men and women of the Colony, as it was their guarantee of a regular salary in precarious economic times. Unlike other industrial colonies of Catalonia at the time, Güell provided the Güell Colony with various cultural and religious spaces as well as work and sleep arrangements. 

The Spanish Touch offers you the possibility of taking a guided tour in which you can:
  • Walk through the industrial colony and see where the workers lived, as well as various administrative buildings, the school, the teather, doctor's office and even where the Güells themselves lived. 
  • Visit the Crypt, an unfinished work of Antoni Gaudi and part of the colony's church. Gaudi himself talked of the crypt as a model for his masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia.
  • Visit the old textile factory. Nowadays you can only visit the outside of the building as the interior has been converted into a business center. 
  • And if you come on Saturday, you can enjoy the 'Mercat de Pagès' (farmer's market), where local farmers sell their products directly .
1580 E. Butler Pike
Ambler, PA 19002
Toll free: 1-888-480-0013
E-mail: info@thespanishtouch.com

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Zaragoza during its Pilar Festivities


Last week I was in Zaragoza visiting my family. From Barcelona it is a really nice drive specially because you go through the Monegros Desert. Next week it is a big week for them. From October 10th to October 18th, they are going to celebrate the Pilar Festivities. These are the main annual fiestas in the capital of Aragon characterised by a broad range of activities: theatre performances, concerts, dance, bullfights, craft exhibitions, different activities for children (clowns, magic ...) ... There are also fireworks and the traditional giants and big-heads parade.

The most important day is October 12th, the feast of La Virgen del Pilar, patron saint of the city. A mass floral offering takes place from early that morning: thousands of people from all over the world, dressed in traditional costumes, come to Plaza del Pilar to leave flowers before the Virgin. And on October 13th, the Rosario de Cristal takes place. It is a procession of carriages and glass lanterns that runs through the streets of Zaragoza.

If you are going to be in Spain during those dates, don't hesitate to visit Zaragoza during its fiestas!

Contact us for more information:
1580 E. Butler Pike
Ambler, PA 19002
Toll free: 1-888-480-0013
E-mail: info@thespanishtouch.com

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Seafood Festival in O Grove (Galicia) 2015


From October 1st to October 12th, O Grove, on the coast of Galicia, celebrates its Fiesta in Honour of Seafood. During the celebrations, fish and shellfish go on sale at special prices, prepared and served by town locals. The excellent regional produce attracts thousands of people every year, making this event a point of reference, and earning O Grove its nickname of "seafood paradise". There is also music, traditional dance, competitions and sporting events, as well as seminars and exhibitions.

Come to Galicia with us and enjoy our seafood tour!

Contact us for more information:
1580 E. Butler Pike
Ambler, PA 19002
Toll free: 1-888-480-0013
E-mail: info@thespanishtouch.com

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

It's mushroom picking time again!


Every year the advent of autumn ushers us into the strange and wonderful season of "mushroom-hunting". The brisk air and chilly nights make for the perfect breeding ground for the best mushrooms you can eat. And it seems like everyone, whether a city dweller, suburban homeowner or farmer living in the plains of the region, heads up to the hills and forest in search of these highly-prized treats.

A true "Boletaire", or mushroom-hunter, is usually out at the crack of dawn on the weekend, on the lookout for new growths, and especially the prized Rovellons, a particularly delicious variety of milk-cap mushroom. But there are at least 40 different varieties of mushrooms that grow in the fertile woods in the shadow of the Pyrenees mountains. So even if you don't find any Rovellons, you can always find Gírgoles (oyster mushrooms), Camagrocs (yellow foot) and meadow mushrooms. And even in our modern age of plastic reusable bags, you will find that most people still use wicker baskets. The chances of finding the best mushrooms goes down with each passing hour, so make sure you get out early!

Naturally, not everyone who goes looking for mushrooms is a micologist. In fact, most of us aren't. So what's the problem? Well, the problem is in the dozen or so varieties of poisonous mushrooms, some of which bear striking resemblance to the non-offensive and often delectable ones. How do we get around this problem? Well, firstly, it is highly recommended that you use a guide, someone with years of experience who is willing to show you what you are looking for. Secondly, when it doubt, leave it alone. Some of these mushrooms are extremely toxic, best not to take the chance. And there's a third option. Many of the areas where you can search for mushrooms offer restaurants that will cook your day's haul for you, selecting from the mushrooms you bring in and offering you a hearty meal, carefully weeding out the dangerous ones before serving you with a traditional Catalan meal.

In sum, spending a day, or a weekend, searching for wild mushrooms is a great recommendation for someone who's just visiting, or staying for a short time, during the first half of the autumn months. Just remember to bring a guide, or make sure you talk to the restaurant ahead of time. And don't forget your picnic basket!

Check out our Mushroom Hunting Tours in Spain!

Contact us for more information:
1580 E. Butler Pike
Ambler, PA 19002
Toll free: 1-888-480-0013
E-mail: info@thespanishtouch.com

Monday, October 05, 2015

Guided tour of Collbató Caves: special Halloween tour of Barcelona


Autumn is a transitional period between the hot summer and the winter which is just around the corner. It is a season where the leaves of the trees, and all of nature in fact, seem to be in a state of lethargy, a sinking in to the winter rest. It is precisely at this moment, at the beginning of November, when the border between the world of the living and the world of the dead collide, a time to remember our ancestors and relatives who are no longer with us. And why not let them visit us or even go to visit them?

The Caves of Collbato, in the Montserrat mountains outside of Barcelona, holds more than a few stories about the dark, unknown underworld, and legends of the the creatures from the depths. That's why we are inviting anyone who wants to discover a new way to experience Halloween to come with us on a trip to the depths, going into the deep passages of the cave on a route that takes us from the underworld of the Greeks to the modern celebrations of Halloween.
  • DATES: October 30 and 31st, 2015. 
  • TOUR LENGTH: 1 hour and 15 minutes plus private transportation from your hotel, port or airport. 
  • INCLUSIONS: entrance tickets to the caves, guided tour and private transportation. 
  • OPTIONALS: You could add to this tour a guided tour of Montserrat Mountain, a guided tour of Barcelona or a Cava and Wine Tour or a Tapas Tour in Barcelona for lunch or dinner!

Contact us for more information and to book your tour: 

Contact us for more information:
1580 E. Butler Pike
Ambler, PA 19002
Toll free: 1-888-480-0013
E-mail: info@thespanishtouch.com