Wednesday, 28 August 2013


Part of the fun of going abroad is the food. The deciphering of menu's, the local delicacies, the bizarre dishes and teaching the children not to shout "Urrrrrrrrgggggghhh" when bowls of snails or unrecognisable parts of animals are carried to the next door table. Even better than that however, are the local supermarkets - they provide the most entertainment and are deemed far more superior than any museum, by both myself and the children.

The waft of salt cod hits you strongly as you enter any supermarket in Spain or Portugal, a strong fishy pungency which faintly makes everything we bought stink of fish, or it was in our nostrils for hours afterwards. The rows of familiar, but very foreign, crisps and biscuits. No 'salt and vinegar' flavours here but 'jamon and cheese' or 'paprika'. Same, same but different as was once said to me in India.

The vegetables still have soil and bugs in between the leaves, cheese is to be bought by the kilo, only 8 pints of fresh milk was available while a whole aisle was dedicated to UHT - as well silly-priced booze which made the adults ridiculously excited, and our livers groan in anticipation.

But the highlight of this cavern of surprises was a vacuum packed suckling pig  - a piglet in a packet. Oh, we laughed and how the children screamed!

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