Monday, 16 December 2013
Christmas Treat - The Best Percebes in Madrid
Christmas has taken me a bit unawares this year. I'll try and rattle off a few Chrismas-themed articles before the onslaught begins and I'm half-drowned in tinsel.
First up, a Christmas treat Spanish-style. Percebes are a seafood delicacy, but you may need to go to Spain for these beauties, as I doubt your local fish and chip shop stocks them. They're actually pretty ugly, as you can see from the photo above — impossible to make them look any 'sexier'.
They're worth making the trip to Spain to try, because, frankly, they're the best seafood there is. Lobster? Percebes would have them for breakfast, idiomatically speaking.
Percebes, a tube-shaped crustacean, are gathered at great peril by percebeiros from the stormy waters off the coast of Galicia in northern Spain. They are boiled and served hot on a napkin. The taste is of sweetness and the sea, the texture like a juicy marshmallow of the deep. Beauty is really only skin deep.
Where to Eat Them? O'Caldiño, Madrid
In Madrid, I'd send you to Taberna O'Caldiño to eat percebes. A traditional tavern and eating house, O'Caldiño is the sort of timeless and unchanging place you and I always seek out when travelling. (Although it has only been around since 1973.) Dress up, put on a shirt and tie (and a napkin to protect it), to show some respect to the dear percebes, and enjoy the ambiance with a nice glass of Albariño.
Merry Christmas, Tweedy.