Mar 18, 2012

sol y sombra

Just after midday I leave the bright sunlight of the street for the darkness of a cerveceria.  This one is just up the road from the bull ring, and correspondingly decorated with murals, photos and caricatures of matadors and bulls.  Over lunch the bar quickly fills up with people, all just for a drink and something small to eat.  And everybody seems to know each other - there is a lot of hand shaking and that familiar petting on shoulders.  The bartender maintains a set of empty glasses, filled with ice.  The ice is then shuffled around to always have a cold glass available for beer.  Sherry comes from a stainless steel kettle, similarly floating in an ice bath.

I have a small beer, which arrives with olives reinforced with garlic.  And then mojama de atún - thin slices of air dried tuna, sprinkled with a peppery olive oil and a few almonds scattered on top.  Bread on the side.  Imagine a leathery, salty ham, with a soft hint of sea.