The food in Valencia is great! People here are little too obsessed with rice, and I was very disappointed when I discovered that the most revered local drink ‘Orxata’ doesn’t contain alcohol, but in general Valencianos eat and drink well. People here love debating all things related to Paella; Should it have snails in? Did the original recipe include rat meat? Is it traditionally cooked by men or women? Does it taste better if cooked on a wood stove? Should that wood be from orange trees?
There’s so much to think about! This exercise below doesn’t answer any of these questions, but you should do it anyway because it’s funny and you might even learn some English…
ENGLISH EXERCISE (Advanced): Fill in the spaces and change the words!
Spanish cuisine is ………(deny) tasty, but for some reason the national dishes are ruined when cooked abroad. Growing ……..(1) in England, I’m ……..(2) stranger to horrible food, but the few times I went to Spanish restaurants I was disappointed about how ……….(satisfy), insipid and ………. (taste) the food was; there was no flavour whatsoever! Small “tapas” consisting of about 5 old olives and a few potatoes cost the same amount as a full meal at the local pub. What a rip-off!
When I moved to the Basque Country the first thing I noticed was that “Tapas” did …….(3) exist. Instead, they had an incredible ………..(vary) of “pintxos” which normally included meat, seafood or vegetables, all cooked to ………..(perfect). They also had some ………..(ordinary) local delicacies, such ………(4) ‘Bacalao al Pil-Pil’ and ‘Txipirones en su Tinta’. Even ……….(5) I was always a ………..(fuss) eater, I gratefully devoured everything that was put in ……..(6) of me.
Then I went to Valencia, home of the ever-popular Paella. I remember the first time I ordered it in a restaurant: “Oye, camarero, where is the puto chorizo?” I shouted. “And my pollo has far ……..(7) many bones in it!”. He dismissed me with a flick of his hand. “Guiri, you are not in England ….(8) more. Chorizo is eaten with lentils, and that meat is conejo – “………….” in English.”
“Conejo! No lo puedo creer” I thought to myself. “No lo puedo creer.”
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