Saturday, January 24, 2009

La Bisbal D'Emporda

Spain has been sunny and bright, but today the sky was dramatic and there were intermittent light showers – a good day to set off for a village visit.
La Bisbal d”Emporda is a funky town, known for its ceramics industry. The main avenue is lined with stores selling ceramic wares from giant planters to plates, tiles and souvenirs. Fridays is market day in the old part of the town and here you can find the only organic produce stall for miles, with a large variety of common and uncommon vegetables and fruits. I purchased the sweetest broccoli I have ever tasted, as well as some lovely organic wine, fennel, zucchini, beautiful red peppers, onions, oranges and pears.
On the main street I found an ultramarine blue planter, made in La Bisbal, for 10 euros, a present for my orange tree. I also found a paella pan made in Spain. The Spanish have a thing for Teflon and every frying pan to be found is coated with the stuff. Not being a Teflon fan myself, and owning zero Teflon, I had been desperately searching for a sin-Teflon pan with no luck. Happily I found a rack full of different sizes of stainless Paella pans – large shallow pans with two handles that the famous Spanish dish is cooked in. I had many more recipes in mind for my pan than just paella, and was delighted with the 5 euro price!
I found the Bisbal Natura health food store right behind the Castle Palau on Carrer Cavallers. Bisbal Natura is a small but full service market offering a special treat of organic smoked salmon.
Eduard Casas is the lovely and friendly proprietor of Can Temporada, a store filled with organic and local specialty items including octopus and other local fish delicacies prepared with out additives and chemicals. He does not speak English so we were engaged in a mini charades as he was trying to explain to me each kind of fish. To my delight, he reached for a knife and put it out from his nose when he was trying to convey swordfish (pez espada in Spanish).
Once home and unpacked from the day I took in the magnificent evening sky providing a beautiful backdrop as I transplanted my orange tree before dinner.
For dinner I made local rice, grown within fifteen miles of where I am staying, with an array of organic vegetables from the organic market stand, with exquisite octopus from Eduard, all cooked in my new paella pan to perfection!

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