BEANS

If you mention gastronomía asturiana, la fabada [understood to be asturiana] will pop up. The basics required to cook a fabada follow.

Ingredients for 4 people: 400 g of fabes (French beans) 200 g of Asturian spicy sausage 200 g of Asturian black puddings (dry, smoked) 200 g of shoulder of pork 100 g of bacon or streaky bacon 6 sprigs of saffron salt.

Put the beans to soak overnight in cold water. Also place the shoulder of pork and the bacon in another container with warm water. Next day, wash the black pudding and the spicy sausage. Then place the beans in a wide-based earthenware dish with enough water to cover them by a couple of fingers. Boil uncovered on a high flame, removing any scum with a skimming spoon. Add the shoulder of pork and the bacon and simmer with the lid on for 2 hours, moving the dish around from time to time. Season and add the saffron, spicy sausage and the black pudding, leaving it all to cook together for approximately quarter of an hour.Taste the beans to check they are tender and leave to stand for half an hour before serving

Serve in the same earthenware dish. Offer with ‘compango’ (blood pudding, spicy sausage, shoulder of pork and bacon) cut into pieces in a separate dish.

It is a slow-cooking, simmering stew made from fine quality ingredients at home.  The beans need to get soft but should not break. Recipes vary from family to family, but as the Spanish proverb goes, beans cook in every household. It does sound better in the original below.

En todas partes cuecen habas.

You might see faba or fava in haba.  There is a family resemblance.

Nowadays, this expression means that something negative, perhaps an injustice is occurring. We don’t think of ourselves only but the fact that it can happen anywhere!

Another popular dish, related to the regional cider, is chorizo sliced and sautéed with a touch of  loal cider. Excellent tapa! BUEN PROVECHO.

As for expressions, a chorizo in Spanish slang is a small time crook or thief. Just like Francisco (aka Calif/Paco) in One Dress, One Day.  

“Francisco bore the name of the patron saint of his mother’s village, but he related more to the US West Coast city and tried to get everyone to use his alias California.  It never stuck. A few people called him by the nickname Paco, though. His parents, a Moroccan mechanic and a pure-blood Spanish cleaning lady, teased him as a toddler calling him feo, or ugly. He never truly outgrew that one. Skinny with acne-pocked skin, Francisco possessed wit, charm and street smarts.  His overly gummy smile somehow endeared him to policemen and older women. They all saw something salvageable in him.  Perhaps even a hint of honor.  In fact, by squealing on lowlife acquaintances and pleasantly providing small knock-off luxe items, he had earned the trust of undercover cops and other players in the barrio. His universe was the inner core of Barcelona…”

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