Undiscovered Spain

November 20, 2021 4:42 pm By Marcia Martin Pilgeram

Savor the 80-degree weather of southern Spain, eat warm, ripe, sun-kissed tomatoes, straight off the vines, with abandon.

 
A must-see destination is the village of Carmona, a half-hour’s drive from Seville. This village is the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe (over 5000 years). It will soon become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is possible to visit an abbey of nuns at the Convento de Santa Clara, who support their order (Order of Saint Clare) and convent by baking and selling cookies, Dulces de Santa Clara. The ancient convent was founded in the fifteenth century and is full of beautiful artifacts and art. There is a small courtyard for visitors and an impressive bell tower that serves as a village landmark. Perched at the very top of the bell tower is an enormous stork’s nest. The cookies can be sampled at the convent, “yemas de Santa Clara,” and are available for purchase throughout this delightful village.

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Another beautiful destination is Frigiliana, a charming, ancient white-washed village that sits high atop a ridge, overlooking the sparkling, aqua-blue Mediterranean Sea, about an hour’s bus ride from Málaga. Autumn is a perfect time to visit; the terraced hillsides are bursting with ripe pomegranate, olive, and avocado orchards, and the scent of the citrus harvest fills the air. Dine al fresco, taking in the spectacular views, sitting amidst a bougainvillea-covered veranda, sipping local wine.

 

Food specialties abound in every region. The best pastries in Barcelona come from the district of Sarrià (as evidenced by the long lines encountered at every pasty shop). Ceviche is another dish that uses different ingredients by region. While many people say ceviche originated in Peru, the Spanish declare it originated in Spain, made by the Moorish women from Granada, who took the first recipe to Peru.

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Another Andalusian favorite is Sopa de Salmorejo.  Unlike its chunkier and red-colored cousin, gazpacho, salmorejo is creamy, orange-hued, and void of seeds. It often comes with a garnish of chopped hard-cooked eggs, croutons, olive oil, finely chopped green pepper, and even Ibérico ham, the local delicacy.


Written by Independent Travel Advisor: Marcia Martin


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