Tabla Ibérica

The Tabla Ibérica represents a classic dish from Spain. It features meats and cheeses that are all delicious on their own. Together, they’re a culinary delight. Here’s an example I enjoyed recently:

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Wow, what a feed! Fortunately, this was shared with other people as part of a great meal. If there’s one thing the Spanish have mastered, it is cured meats. Enjoy this with a favorite wine and you’re good to go. Tan bueno!

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La Consistorial, Oviedo, Spain

La Consistorial is one of those great little bars that I’m constantly looking for while traveling.

La Consistorial, Oviedo, Spain.

La Consistorial, Oviedo, Spain.

It’s on the far edge of the plaza in the heart of Oviedo Spain. A few tables outside as you see above, and some more inside, all populated by regulars.

Interior, La Consistorial, Oviedo, Spain.

Interior, La Consistorial, Oviedo, Spain.

There was a little sign that said tapas made to order so please be patient, that type of thing. I thought to myself that’s a good indicator of quality and took a seat. While catching bits of conversation from around the room, I perused the offerings and made my selection. The lady behind the bar slipped away and produced some very fine tapas.

Tapas at La Consistorial, Oviedo, Spain.

Tapas at La Consistorial, Oviedo, Spain.

In the photo above you see a crab salad with an anchovy, a little bocadillo, then a four cheese version with a bit of marmalade. Very tasty stuff here and super fresh. Of course another round had to be enjoyed.

Fresh tapas at La Consistorial, Oviedo, Spain.

Fresh tapas at La Consistorial, Oviedo, Spain.

This time it was the salmon with cream cheese, and a jamón, peppers, and egg. Of course the freshness made all the difference. I chatted with the bartender/cook/operator of this place. We discussed the difference between fast food culture in the USA and Spain. If you’re careful, you can actually find reasonably priced “fast food” in the form of these tapas for a price that isn’t significantly more than a garbage fast food meal typical to the USA. I’d much rather have the tapas in a place as unique as this than some meal out of bag at the drive-thru window. Enjoy every meal and find the good ones!

 

Murray’s Cheese Shop, NYC

If you have a hankering for cheese, any kind of cheese, there is one place in New York City where you’re most likely to find something to scratch the itch: Murray’s on Bleeker Street. Located between 6th and 7th Avenues, where Cornelia Street ends at Bleeker, you’ll find this NYC institution, which is shown below.

The shop used to be located across the street on a corner, so this is technically the “new” location. No matter. The people inside know their cheese. When you pass through the door, your nose is attacked by any number of stomach growling scents. Mice the world over dream of making a pilgrimage to this spot. Take a look at just one of the cases inside and you’ll see why.

There are things in there that I can not even begin to pronounce. My stomach doesn’t really care so long as a sample is to be had. Due to the volume of business Murray’s does, the cheese is always fresh. They are constantly receiving new varieties from all over the world, not to mention more locally produced artisan-types. Just take a look at the wheels shown in this photo:

Wow! If sight of that doesn’t make you think about eating, ask someone to check your pulse. So, even if you’re just passing through NYC, stop in for a slice of this or that to enjoy. Yes, there is a bakery a few doors down. Get some bread, some cheese, maybe some wine… you’re good to go.

What’s your favorite culinary emporium? Mention it here and photos, too, please.

Published in: on July 11, 2008 at 3:20 pm  Comments (1)  
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