Author Archives: Eleena

Pan de Vino?! – Guest blogger – Eleena de Lisser

Guest blogger Eleena de Lisser discovers a new culinary curiosity…

“Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used; exclaim no more against it.” – Shakespeare, Othello

A Spanish winery has taken the old Spanish proverb “con pan y vino se anda al camino” to heart and is developing a product called Pan de Vino (“wine bread,” in English). The purple-colored bread will reportedly have all of red wine’s health benefits with none of its side effects. In other words, it won’t make you tipsy. That means you can eat as much of it as you like and not have to worry about it going to your head. What it will do to your hips and waistline, if eaten in excess, however, is another matter.

The research unit of Grupo Matarromera, a large winery based in Valladolid, Spain, is creating the bread in conjunction with Spain’s Centro Tecnológico del Cereal. Its researchers claim that one slice of the bread will equal two glasses of wine, in terms of health benefits.

Red wine contains a large amount of polyphenols, naturally occuring chemicals that help reduce the negative health impact of fatty foods. These polyphenols, located in the skin of red wine grapes, have antioxidant qualities. In plain English, drinking red wine in moderation is good for your body because it lowers bad cholesterol and can help keep your heart healthy.

Pan de Vino gets its purple color from the skin of wine grapes. Because the wine bread doesn’t contain actual alcohol, Matarromera says it will be safe for pregnant women and children to eat. But perhaps the biggest plus of Pan de Vino, apart from its heart healthy benefits, is the fact that it will stay fresher longer than conventional bread, according to the company.

Pan de Vino is currently still in the research and development phase, although Matarromera has said it expects to bring the hybrid comestible to market sometime next year.

If Matarromera tiene éxito with this venture, perhaps other Spanish food and beverage companies will follow suit creating their own unique twist on classic Spanish foods. Chorizo-flavored churros, anyone?

Actually, it wouldn’t be surprising if someone were already in a laboratory somewhere right now trying to invent such a concotion. After all there are a lot of wildly creative chefs and food scientists in Spain.

Can you guess which of the following menu items do NOT currently exist in Spanish cuisine? Leave your guesses in the comments below. We’ll update this post later on with the correct answers once we get at least 20 responses!

1. Skate wing (a type of fish) with pig trotters (pig’s feet) and tabouleh
2. A “popcorn” made out of tomato water and olive oil
3. Manchego Cheese ice cream
4. Cow stomach lining and cow intestines with garlic
5. Bacalao butterscotch cookies
6. Dried octopus chips in soup
7. Vegetables with jelly
8. Peanut butter and jamón serrano bocadillo
9. Scallops in coffee cream, cinnamon and curry

Check out Eleena de Lisser’s latest project ReVerb Spanish

9 Famous Living Spaniards that Every Guiri Should Know

Guest blogger Eleena (better known as Beckett in the NFS forum) is a New Yorker who has lived 1079 days in Madrid, just not consecutively. When she’s not teaching English to Spaniards, she updates her bilingual blog “Voices en Español” and posts fairy tales in Spanish over at Cody’s Cuentos.

You’ve packed your bags, said your good-byes and bought your one-way ticket to Spain. But before you board that flight to Barajas, have you brushed up on your knowledge of modern-day Spain? Besides Pedro Almodóvar, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, what other famous living Spaniards do you know? Well, in no particular order of preference, here are some names to get you started. The 9 Famous Living Spaniards That Every Guiri Should Know list. Don’t leave home without it:

1. Esperanza Aguirre – The president of the autonomous community of Madrid, this Spanish politician is a force to be reckoned with. Spaniards either love her or hate her, which means she must be doing something right! She plays politics like a Russian chess master, always one move ahead, and if she stays on the path she is currently on, she will probably become Spain’s first female prime minister in the next decade.

2. King Juan Carlos – ¿Por qué no te callas? ‘nuf said.

3. Santiago Calatrava – This architect, whose distinctive, soaring designs have brought modern flair to Barcelona and Valencia, is one of Spain’s hottest exports.

4. Ana Obregón – This 58-year-old actress puts the coo in cougar. Once known for her films, her current claim to fame these days is her Dorian Grey-like appearance – she was once called the "geriatric Barbie" by Victoria "Posh" Beckham — and her dating a male model by the name of Darek. Obregón is a frequent staple of the Spanish tabloids and Spanish gossip media. She’s kind of like an old Paris Hilton.

5. Almudena Grandes – A Spanish writer who has written several books and short stories that depict modern Spanish life.

6. Iñaki Gabilondo – This broadcaster has been in the journalism biz for four decades and makes no secret of his political views but he is well-respected because he asks tough questions. When Iñaki Gabilondo talks, people listen.

7. Fernando Alonso – Three years ago nobody in Spain cared about Formula 1 auto racing. Now everybody loves Fernando, well, almost everyone. And this Asturiano, who at the tender age of 24 became the youngest Formula 1 champion in the 2005 season, is now a national sports hero with his mug appearing everywhere.

8. Santiago "Torrente" Segura – This comic actor is Spain’s answer to Ben Stiller and the Farrelly Brothers. If it’s funny and crude, Segura is the guy. Never heard of him? Well, Segura’s movie "Torrente 2: Misión en Marbella" is reportedly the highest-grossing Made-in-Spain movie of all time. Take that, Almódovar!

9. Rodolfo Chikilicuatre – Spain’s entry to the 2008 Eurovision music contest. Chikilicuatre sang and breiki danced his way into the hearts of Spanish fans with his "El Baile del Chiki Chiki." He’s got a pompadour that the original Elvis would love.

10. And for No. 10? We’ll turn that over to you. Who would be on your list of Living Spanish Famosos?

Photo King Juan Carlos courtesy wikipedia