Food for thought … (1)

You all know by now that my interest in food is very strong, and my upper-intermediate class and I spent most of the three-hour lesson tonight discussing food! Great! I was absolutely starving when I got home! Anyway, I thought I would start a new series of short posts remembering some of my many foodie experiences. Look out for the useful vocabulary and expressions, as always, which I have made bold! 🙂

“My old friend, Jose, a proud Andalucian, had a bar right at the bottom of the Calle de la Pez (Fish Street), just behind Gran Via, in the centre of Madrid. I always knew if Jose’s bar was open as soon as I turned the corner at the top of the street: a simple, naked, little light would glow in the darkness. I often used to hang out there until the early morning, practising my Spanish, playing cards and arguing with Jose, and talking to the locals – a collections of real characters, only brought together through their friendship with Jose, the fact that they lived locally, or sheer bad luck!

One night, as the people in the bar were typically arguing about football, and the fortunes of Jose’s beloved Real Betis, the working man’s team from Sevilla, Alberto, a Columbian dentist, arrived carrying a large plastic bag. He asked Jose for some small dishes, which he put at intervals along the bar. Reaching inside his plastic bag, Alberto started to fill each of the dishes with what looked like a variety of nut. We all continued talking and drinking, the atmosphere becoming more animated with each glass of beer. As we spoke, we ate handfulls of Alberto’s salty nuts, not stopping to ask where the nuts were from, or what kind of nut they were. The dentist refilled the dishes as we talked, and eventually after an hour or so, he turned to me and he said, “Tony, so, you like my Columbian snack?”

I looked at him and smiled, “Yeah, what are they? They are great with beer!”

“Ants,” he said, “Columbian giant ants! Only, in Columbia we eat them when they are alive … so juicy!”

I looked at the ‘nuts’ between my fingers and decided that maybe sometimes it is better not to know the truth.

What is the strangest thing you have eaten? On your travels or in Japan? We’d love to know!

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