(This drawing has nothing to do with the subject, but I rather like it, and there´s no chance I´m ever going to post a recipe for yemas de santa teresa, so there you go. And on another off-subject note, here´s a blog I´m totally loving at the moment).
Eat local, seasonal. Buy from people who look like they have spent the past few decades buried in loam. Make a point of choosing the specimens that look more dubious, for they will be the most flavoursome and un-supermarkety.
City dwellers fall for it every time. We´re such suckers.
Take me. I was in La Granja last May. La Granja is beautiful, a small town in the mountains, built around an XVIII century royal palace, with the most gorgeous forests and gardens.
Now, you´d think it would have been enough to walk around and take in the beauty of the flowering chestnuts, but I was heavily pregnant at the time, and so rather lazier than usual. So we walked around the town, and browsed the one shop that was open, a little grocery store.
I love that kind of shop. Time seems to have stopped in many of them, and you find all sorts of fascinating packages of stuff you´d have sworn had stopped production before Franco´s death.
The one famous specialty of La Granja are beans, called judiones, which might be translated as mammoth-beans. So I bought a packet, even though I think cooking your own beans is a waste of fuel. This was all in the "support the yokel" patronizing townie thing. And in the way of such exchanges, I was made to pay through the nose. I staggered out of that shop clutching my wallet, and the beans sat on my counter for a while.
And now, finally, when I´m cooking them, I realize that ye olde merchantman has evidently sold me some very ancient, Franco-era beans. They are still rocky after a couple of hours on the hob, and a good overnight soak.
I don´t know if they´ll ever get to any reasonable softness, but in the meantime, I am bored, and more than ever confirmed in my rule: buy beans in jars, and only ever cook lentils.
And don´t knock supermarkets, they´re not all that evil.