The best breakfast in the world.
I live in Madrid, as you know. But before, I lived in Sevilla. These two cities are 541 kilometres apart as the car drives, but light years in distance in matters of breakfast.
I´ll defend my home town, Madrid, to the death. I´ll argue that the traffic isn´t so bad, that the fish market is the best in Spain, and that Real Madrid is a team much hated by referees the world over.
But I won´t argue about the breakfast. I´m a breakfast exile. The best breakfast in the world is a thing of the south, and that´s that.
In Madrid, on any given weekday morning, if you go to a café and ask for toast, here´s what will happen : they´ll fling a piece of rectangular plastic bread on the hot-plate, smeared with margarine ( I guess; some kind of yellow fat, anyway), and bring it to you with a little butter and jam. It will be solid, greasy, crispy-soggy and oddly likeable. Or maybe I´m a native, and have built up an inmunity.
In Sevilla, if you ask for toast, you´ll be subjected to a volley of questions, and wonder if perhaps the waiter is a customs officer in disguise.
Will you have half , or a whole piece? Will it be a mollete, boba, pan de pueblo? Will you want it with oil? Will that be garlic oil, or regular? Are you one of those insane people who choose lard for breakfast? Do you want it white or red? Are you perhaps a wimp who favours butter and jam? (If so, I warn you now, it won´t be butter either.)Would you like some ham? Tomatoes?
That may seem like a lot to answer in the morning, but most people know what they want, and just order stacatto-style, like Starbuck´s customers. Mediomolletecontomateyaceiteyuncafeconleche isn´t such a chore to say, after all.
What you get is toast with oil, and maybe ham and sliced tomatoes. It may not sound too exciting, but beleive me, it will be outstanding. The bread is firm and doughy, bland and uninteresting when raw, but it soars above when toasted. It soaks oil, and of course the oil will be good oil, and the ham cut just-so, and in September tomatoes are to die for.
Since this was after the wedding, and I was feeling slightly under the weather (strictly from lack of sleep, of course), I paired it with a Diet-Coke-lots-of-ice-please.
The best breakfast in the world, I´m tellin´ya.
By the way, the drawing was executed on site. It´s a little stark, but you will forgive the blog-verité in view of the circumstances.