Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pool search leads to food

It is another windy day, and cold. We decided to go in search of a local swimming pool but found it is was outdoors, not exactly suited for this weather. We were very close to Gariguella where there is a local agricole, which has huge barrels of local wines, olive oil, cheeses, virtually anything local. We bought some eggs complete with feathers still sticking to them and a local digestive herb liqueur to be drunk after meals. This is made from the rapa or left over grapes from the wine barrel. It is distilled just like grappa. I'm not a big fan of grappa. Once in Italy at a friend's house his ancient father arrived to check the grappa he made every year. We went with him and I took a big sniff of the rapa and nearly passed out. It is strong.

On our way home we passed through Vilajuiga and discovered another agricole that we didn't know about. There were huge oak barrels of vermouth, various red wines, and a lovely granache reserve, which I sampled. Oh my. What a lovely dessert wine. There were also steel barrels of many other local wines and sangria. We toured around and looked at the goat and sheep cheeses. I picked up a sheep cheese ball wrapped in rosemary and some local fig jam. They also sold local mineral water. This was quite funny for us since a while ago I thought I had found the local pool, since we kept passing a gate which said mineral waters. We did go up a long narrow driveway only to discover a bottling plant.

There was a long bar at one end where for 1.50€ you could have a glass of wine and sample some local products. Seamus opted for the anchovies on crusty toasted bread with an olive tapenade. The anchovies weren't too salty so it was quite delicious. I had fois  gras on the same bread topped with a rose petal jam. I liked the jam best. We bought a new blended granache and carignanc wine to take home in time to watch the Italy-England rugby game. We had fantasised about going to Rome to see it but after one look at the snow on the field, I'm glad we're at home in the wind.

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