Friday, 21 October 2016

Berenjenas en vinagre - pickled aubergines - from Ubeda and Baeza

Another favourite tapa in Úbeda and Baeza is berenjenas en vinagre (pickled aubergines). They’re not to be confused with the famous ones from Almagro in La Mancha, as these are a smaller variety and are served in a slightly different sauce.

Pickled aubergines - berenjenas en vinagre

Friday, 23 September 2016

Typical dishes from Ubeda and Baeza

As for typical dishes from Ubeda and Baeza, andrajos are famous as an idiosyncratic local stew, while anything involving cordero segureño is worth trying. This is a breed of lamb that takes its name from the Segura mountain range and is delicious. Alcauciles, meanwhile, are a kind of semi-wild artichoke, and are certainly worth trying if a restaurant serves them fresh and in season, rather than from a jar.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Snails as a tapa in Ubeda and Baeza

From spring to mid summer you’ll also see signs up in many bars in Ubeda and Baeza announcing that “Hay Caracoles”, i.e. snails are available. During their season, they’re perhaps the most popular tapa among the locals, who’ll cross town to find a bar that serves them to their taste. These snails are dinky little things, a far cry from what you’ll encounter in Madrid or France. They’re gently stewed and the art is in the ingredients that the chef adds, orange peel and mint often being put in.

A tapa of snails in Ubeda, Spain

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Ochios from Ubeda, ochios from Baeza

So, what tapas are local specialities in Ubeda and Baeza? Well, mini rolls called ochíos are definitely widespread. They’re made with olive oil and paprika, and are served with various fillings. Here's a photo of a tapa of ochíos for two, served for free with a drink:

Ochios from Ubeda, ochios from Baeza

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Joaquin Sabina from Ubeda, Spain

Joaquín Sabina, meanwhile, is a renowned singer-songwriter and sometime poet who also comes from Úbeda. He was an important cultural figure during the years that followed Spain’s transition to democracy and his songs form something of a soundtrack to social change in the country.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Antonio Muñoz Molina, a novelist from Ubeda, Spain

Ubeda's most famous literary connections are perhaps more contemporary. The well-known novelist, Antonio Muñoz Molina, hails from the town. Much of his work is explicitly or implicitly set there and creates fictional versions of his childhood and early life in Ubeda. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Antonio Machado in Baeza, Spain

Baeza will be forever related with the name of the poet Antonio Machado, who lived there for seven years between 1912 and 1919. The town’s international summer school is named after him and the locals are justly proud that Baeza should figure in some of his most famous poems, as in the following example:

“De la ciudad moruna
Tras las murallas viejas
Yo contemplo la tarde silenciosa
A solas con mi sombra y con mi pena.
El río va corriendo
Entre sombrías huertas
Y grises olivares,
Por los alegres campos de Baeza.”

In reality, his relationship with the town was somewhat tortuous, as is hinted at in this poem. Having moved to Baeza after the death of his wife, he associated its small-town atmosphere and agricultural surroundings with his grief. However, it can also be argued that these very surroundings spurred his creativity on, his literary output in this period being excellent.