On this trip, I’ve discovered some things about myself; I like Cognac, morcilla and rallies. The last one surprises me even more than the blood pudding.
The Burgos 2011 event is organized by an Italian company called 2 FAST 4 YOU. It took me a few days to understand that, I thought that “2 FAST 4 YOU” had been thought up specifically for this rally, which struck me as ironic, since most of the participants are around 70 years old.
They may not be that young but they are an interesting bunch of people. They have really lived and don’t seem to be the least jaded by it. Instead they are speeding down windy country roads, with hot oil spewing around their ankles (quite typical in these old cars), wind-swept and cramped but having the time of their lives. They never tire of talking about their passion. I’ve learned the difference between a T35 and a T37 (the first one has 8 cylinders versus 4 cylinders, although, I am still not sure what a cylinder is…)
It’s given me a glimpse of what other people must feel like when I start to warble on about food like a dizzy lark.We have eaten at some great restaurants and I was surprised to discover that the majority of the kitchens are staffed by short and stout, middle-aged women, wearing hairnets. When I asked where all the men are they told me “Men are good for nothing, no men in our kitchens!”Of all the places we visited, Landa Palace left the biggest impression on me visually. It used to be an old castle in the 1300’s, more has been added since there and the interior seems like something out of an elaborate set design. The dinning rooms are many, each with a different design, some hyper modern while others are rustic.They serve Spanish food. With our cocktails, we nibbled on battered deep-fried quail legs, croquettes, tiny tomato pizzas and of course there was someone carving off slivers of jámon. We were served suckling pig for our main course. It was so young that each animal was quartered and served only 4. I am not normally squeamish when it comes to food but in this instance I didn’t think the taste was worth the psychological guilt of eating such a young animal. In fact, it lacks taste, the flesh and fat is almost undistinguishable in its softness and the much touted mildness, well why bother eating pig at all?
I loved the rustic nature and food they served us at La Posada Ducal in Peñaranda de Duero, especially the goat, which was delicious. This was one of the kitchens that was made up exclusively of women. When they saw me peeking through into their kitchen, they immediately ushered me in and started feeding me more food, even though I had been solely responsible for finishing off all the goat at our table (the rest of the guests found the taste too strong).
We have a 3 pm flight to Paris tomorrow and from there we are going to a friend’s wedding in Normandy but I am going to see if I still get in an early lunch before I leave Spain. But we’ve had a blast and Spain is just lovely, although like so much of Europe, it is clearly struggling through this recession.
Carretera MADRID-IRUN, KM 235
09001 Burgos, Spain
947 257 777
La Posada Ducal
Plaza Mayor, 1