Thursday, 14 July 2016

Zafra: Dodging Cuttlefish Like a Pro

Zafra, Spain (Zafra, España)
November 2015
Smack bang between Mérida and Seville is a town called Zafra. Our reasoning is usually that if it's on the way, why not take a look? If we don't like it, we can leave. No harm done.
When we arrived, it was just about breakfast time. But for us, breakfast was a little later than most people's breakfasts, and that includes Spaniards who never wake before 10:00. Spotting a bakery, Yannick acquired a chocolate-covered dougnut, but then I was like woah hold up, wait a minute! Isn't that a churreria over there?! It was! But they were just closing for the day because no one has breakfast churros at that late hour. He busied himself with the chocolate-covered doughnut and had to be happy without sugar-covered doughnut sticks that are customarily dipped in chocolate. Hard life, huh?
The air inside our car was nice and toasty, but as soon as we opened the doors a crisp breeze rolled in that reminded me of being back in Wellington. We hustled through a lush park and gazed up at the alcazar. When the Christians seized Zafra from the Moors during the Reconquista, a nobleman set about constructing walls and a big mansion-casle for himself. Interestingly, the town's name derives from the Arabic word for yellow, where we also take the word "saffron".

Now, you may be thinking that we had had breakfast not that long ago, so lunch would be far off. Not so! Tapas are needed frequently to keep our bodies and minds at peak nutrition. Doughnuts also. On our way to find fodder, we passed through a square with lively striped banners strung between the trees and dangling from balconies. There was no indication of what purpose they held, so I'll assume they were to show support for a local sports team. Football seems like a safe guess.

Though not by the seaside, many of the tapas bars specialised in various seafoods which did not appeal to us. We used our iPhone's translate app to furiously type in every word, trying to find something that sounded even plausibly like something we would eat. Every time it would pop up with "tuna", "anchovies", or worse (namely cuttlefish, and marinated dogfish - which is a type of shark).
But eventually we found a bar with several non-seafood dishes on the menu! Handily, every tapas bar will provide you with a basket of bread, and some other snack like olives and fava beans. The first tapa that arrived was a tasty melange of spinach, garlic and chickpeas. With a vino tinto on the side, lunch was a success! Praise be for Google Translate.

Almost as soon as we sat down to eat, a small furry sausage dog waddled up and sat at our feet. His puppydog eyes were on point, but he wasn't getting any of our food, no sir! He persisted, staying for the entire duration of our meal, and was even joined by a twin at one point. Sorry, boys. Hey, you probably wouldn't like garlicky spinach anyway.

True to our nature, we returned to the car and siesta'd for an hour. What a charmed life we live. Though, the ambient air temperature could have been warmer. Seville's forecast was for much higher. WHY YOU NO, Zafra?

Today's post was almost called: The Curious Case of the Donut Nutcase (Or: Yannick Has Breakfast)