Tapas or Fabada?

November 12, 2008

The Spanish Care Package from Pedro by you.

The Spanish Care Package from Pedro Espinosa Silva. Click to enlarge.

Today, I received a curious package via international mail — addressed to me from Gastrovin Principano, in the town of  Gijón in the Principality of Asturias, Spain.

It turned out my friend and food writer Pedro Espinosa Silva, who was formerly the Spain host and manager at eGullet, had sent me a generous present thanking me for sending him some wireless computer equipment that he had paid for in the US but needed to have sent abroad last spring.

Like Daniel Jackson, the archeologist and linguistics expert on Stargate SG-1, I tried to figure out what all of these contents meant. I could identify most of it — Extra Virgin Single Estate Olive Oil, Spicy and Sweet Spanish Paprika, White Asparagus, Sea Urchin Pate, and Mancha-grade Spanish Saffron. But sealed meats and the beans I couldn’t figure out what they were for, until I sprung this by fellow foodie Sam Kinsey, who immediately identified its contents,  and I did some reading on Wikipedia. Yes, these things could be used to make Tapas, but specifically, Pedro was sending me a message… he wants me to make Fabada Asturiana.

The beans, it turns out, are Fabes de Granja, Asturian White Beans, and the sausages are Chorizo and Morcilla (blood sausage). The long pork meat is bacon, to be simmered in the dish. I’m guessing the other type of ham is a bonus, to be eaten as tapas.

Well I guess I know what I’m making this thanksgiving to go with the turkey! Fabada and tapas!