Pig's Ear for the Weary Traveller

Pig's Ear Stew at a Motorway Service Station

I'm now back from a very nice trip to Spain to attend a wedding. You know we were talking about motorway service stations in Britain? I normally travel to Asturias by train from Madrid — the Spanish train network is excellent — but this time I wanted to try the motorways to see how the service stations compared. For one thing, you won't see many American fast-food chains (yet). Servicios in Spain tend to be intergenerational family-run affairs with restaurants serving proper three-course meals or tapas. I chose the pig's ear stew (in the spirit of Fergus Henderson of St John's philosophy of nose to tail eating) at a Servicios near to Benavente.

Thankfully, I didn't make a pig's ear of the trip to Oviedo and the wedding was perfecto. The Santamaria shirt went down well, as expected. The barman at the reception after the ceremony made incredible gin and tonics, with twisted dried citrus pieces and some little purple flowers. They were so good I dread to think what the photographer caught on the dancefloor later on in the evening.


I don't think there's a song specifically about the Spanish road system, but the light and breezy L'Autoroute by Mary Roos [Amazon] sums up the mood of the drive to Asturias nicely.


  1. Tweedy our Man in Madrid - a great post that's left me wanting to try pig's ear stew. Although I am wondering: is it crunchy or gelatinous?

    1. Gelatinous for the main part, dear Benedict. Not for the squeamish. Involves some sucking and separating, as I believe etiquette permits. El Tweedy.


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