Sunday, March 16, 2008

Have you seen this can?

Above is a picture of the love child of Just Married and one of a range of the finest tinned product I have ever tried. It knocks spots off most of the rices and pastas served up in most of the restaurants i have eaten in.

I have now tried their Fideua and the above Arros a Banda and they are both sublime. I have yet to try their Sofrito. It comes in a little jar and has been cooked for 5 hours. You have to dig that. That someone else, and a food lover at that, goes to the trouble of sweating onions for five hours for you instead of some motherfucker in a suit telling some boffin in a labcoat to make a powder to taste like onions and give you cancer at the same time, well, its nice isnt it?

The thing about the Arros a Banda is the stock. Its all in the stock. Made from what the Spanish refer to as pescado de roca, rock fish, it is rich. Rock fish are heavy boned, gelatinous fish like monkfish, rascasse, john dory. They take longer than the traditional 20 minutes that most fish stock recipes call for. Simmer it for more like an hour. When cooled it should be jellyfied like a good rich chicken stock.

This line of cannned products cost from €12 - 16 each and feed 2 handsomely. It dont look like much but when is has been simmered, the stock has been absorbed and the finished dish is left for the 5 minutes resting, you are close to heaven. It is sticky. But, you know, in that really good quality stock sticky way. If you click your tongue on the roof of your mouth there is a viscosity there that is hard to beat. 

By many people standards it doesnt look that nice. It is brown. I would say that it looks a healthy brown. I find the bright Simpson yellow that all paellas now appear to be is worrying. That the Spanish have allowed themselves to be hoodwinked into actually preferring food colouring/flavouring to saffron is verging on criminal. In fact, is criminal. Heads should roll. I know this must sound pretty rich coming from a foreigner but I am nothing if not a hypocrit.