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From Bay Area to Barcelona

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Four days late [ Monday, 30 Nov 09 | 23:56 ]
[Tags|, , ]
[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |fullfull]

A couple of weeks ago I decided to cook a turkey this year for T-day. The previous weekend Ruben and I had walked to the public market in El Masnou to order one. But when we went to pick it up on Thursday morning that didn’t have one.

When we returned back to my piso, I decided to try the on-line Páginas Amarillas (Yellow Pages). There are more than a hundred pollerías (poultry shops) in Barcelona. So we had to find one that we knew the location was easy to reach. We noticed a shop in the Mercat de Sant Josep (often simply referred to as La Boqueria). Ruben called them and sure enough they had turkeys available.

Before we bought the turkey at the market, we had a look around as it has a very diverse selection of goods. La Boqueria is one of Barcelona’s foremost landmarks, but unlike “Fisherman’s Wharf” in San Francisco, it is also popular place for locals to shop. I even found frozen Canadian cranberries there. Ruben decided that we had to go back next weekend to take pictures and also to purchase some food items to try.

Once back home, I made my wild rice stuffing as Ruben readied the bird for roasting. I covered the turkey with some aluminum foil and roasted as directed on the interior of the oven. I used a thermometer to determine when it was cooked. And here it is!

The turkey is done!

I couldn’t resist “talking turkey”. The domesticated turkey is attributed to Aztec agriculture and turkeys were initially imported from México to Spain in 1511. After being introduced to Europe, many distinct turkey breeds were developed (e.g. Spanish Black.) Ironically the turkeys used for the first Thanksgiving of the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were probably European and not native birds.

The turkey turned out to be less fatty than the American birds that I remember. There were barely enough drippings to make gravy. Also, there was very little gelatin than formed on the underside of the bird. And it tasted, well, like turkey. After one day with two meals of turkey, Ruben was bored. I told him that he had to try the various American dishes using leftovers. I am still left with several meals worth.

So the main reason using for cooking turkey was to celebrate the fourth anniversary of our first meeting. Here we are posing in front of the bird.

Ready to “dig in”.

[User Picture]From: cuboz
Monday, 30 Nov 09 | 23:48 (UTC)
It's funny how we cook turkey for Xmas here in Oz.... and have hams, or other roasts too. But it's normally absolutely boiling hot on Xmas day...!

Your stuffing sounds nice. Or was I just thinking of the term itself? LOL

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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Tuesday, 01 Dec 09 | 06:23 (UTC)

Your stuffing sounds nice

Here's the stuffing…

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From: (Anonymous)
Friday, 04 Dec 09 | 14:25 (UTC)

Re: Your stuffing sounds nice

Interesting. I think I see wild rice, onion, walnuts, sage and maybe a little rosemary too. Anything else to keep it together?
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Friday, 04 Dec 09 | 18:55 (UTC)

Anything else to keep it together?

No. The thyme is too small to see as well as the garlic. I used parsley, sage and thyme from the terraza, but no rosemary. In general I don't like bread-based stuffing.

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From: (Anonymous)
Friday, 04 Dec 09 | 21:41 (UTC)

Taste buds

Got it. I like the mixture of herbs, although it could have a more delicate taste skipping the parsley. And with a little cream to blend all the flavors I'm sure it would make a yummy risotto even away from Thanksgiving. I'll give it a try. Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Saturday, 05 Dec 09 | 04:22 (UTC)

Re: Taste buds

I don't think a little cream would go well with wild rice. Remember it's not "rice" (Oryza sativa), it's Zizania palustris and it would not make a good risotto. For that you would need a high-starch (amylopectin), low-amylose round medium grain rice.

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[User Picture]From: maxauburn
Tuesday, 01 Dec 09 | 02:10 (UTC)
That looks wonderful!

I'm certain that it tasted divine!
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Sunday, 06 Dec 09 | 08:17 (UTC)

It's amazing how different a Turkey looks…

Yes, the poultry here looks "scraggly" compared to what is produced in the US. The breasts weren't "plump", but there was plenty of white meat. Also, less fat here. I was barely able to make gravy. (I "had to" make gravy since Ruben didn't know what it was.)

We went to La Boqueria market yesterday to take pictures and to sample some exotic fruit and "artisanal" chocolates. I noticed different types of poultry for sale which I normally only read about in books: doves, capons, quail. They also had "pata negra" (black foot) chickens which had a certificate and one of the claws to prove its authenticity. They were about four times more expensive then the usual whole hens.

Also, they use cane sugar here and much less "corn sweeteners". Recipes typically call for less sugar, sometimes half of what is used in the US. You get used to it.

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