Y finalmente: Granada

Una semanita de vacaciones por todo lo alto. Salvo tiempo para hacer más cosas y ver a más gente, no ha faltado de nada. Hasta hemos tenido una (especie de) huelga general y todo.

Four more years

Zapatero will be again the President of Spain. We can be happy as a victory of the Popular Party would have been an insult to the intelligence and a pure tragedy for the international reputation of Spain. We’ll manage to get through Rodolfo Chikilicuatre as our contestant for Eurovision, but Mariano Rajoy as the new Prime Minister would have been way too much, neither Rajoy nor his team deserved to win.

On the other hand, it seems that the coward terrorist attack on Friday didn’t get much influence on the results. Unlike 2004, the socialists have no footnotes accompanying their victory; therefore I’d love to see a deep transformation within the conservative party — we do need a decent opposition for a better government. It’d be great as well to see improvements in the next socialist administration. Zapatero, you have a second chance, please, esta vez sí, don’t let us down.

I love the new Spanish national anthem

Probably you have already seen it on the news: the Spanish national anthem got lyrics (at last):

Coat of arms of Vanuatu¡Viva España! / Cantemos todos juntos / con distinta voz / y un solo corazón. [Long live Spain! / Let us all sing together / with different voices / and a single heart.]

¡Viva España! / Desde los verdes valles / al inmenso mar, / un himno de hermandad. [Long live Spain! From the green valleys / to the wide sea, / an anthem of brotherhood.]

Ama a la patria / pues sabe abrazar, / bajo su cielo azul, / pueblos en libertad. [Love the fatherland / as it knows embracing, / under its blue sky, / peoples in freedom.]

Gloria a los hijos / que a la Historia dan / justicia y grandeza / democracia y paz. [Glory to the sons / who give to History / justice and greatness / democracy and peace.]

And it’s so incredibly abstract that it could perfectly fit for the national anthem of, let’s say, Vanuatu. On the other hand, it’s really useful; if in the following years we conquer Portugal and Morocco we don’t need to change it, it’s still perfectly valid. As La Puce says, Belgium has a kind-of government, France has Carla Bruni and Spain has a text for the national anthem.

Update: The Spanish Olympic Committee has just withdrawn the lyrics for the anthem.

The mystery of the sauce andalouse

I’ve lived most of my life in Andalusia but I’ve never heard before of the sauce andalouse. I learned its existence as soon as I arrived to Brussels, the first time I ordered French Belgian fries. The thing is that they have something called Andalusian sauce than can be found everywhere. Not only in the fries, also as a dressing for salads and meat.

Sauce AndalouseBut if you go to Andalusia and you ask in any bar or restaurant anything with salsa andaluza I bet they’ll look at you like an alien. “¿Qué pollas dices?“, I’m afraid they’ll politely answer to your innocent question.

Life is made of this kind of enigmatic challenges, so I have conducted a serious investigation on the topic and the mystery is no longer a mystery. Ladies, gentlemen, it’s my honor to introduce you the recipe of the sauce andalouse:

Ingrédients

  • 1 tasse de mayonnaise.
  • 3 c. à soupe de pâte de tomate.
  • 2 c. à soupe d’oignons.
  • 1 c. à soupe de jus de citron.
  • piment vert ou rouge.

Préparation

  1. Mélanger avec conviction tous les ingrédients.
  2. Mettre au réfrigérateur.

OK, this was easy. Now we know the how, but what about the why?

I have no clue.

I have to admit that after a very dedicated research (approx 10 min in Google) I haven’t found any explication of its origin. All I’ve got is that something cooked à l’andalouse is “a French term describing dishes using tomatoes, pimientos and sometimes rice pilaf or sausage” and, in particular, the Andalusian sauce “refers to mayonnaise mixed with tomato puree and pimiento”. So, all I got is that it seems to have a French origin.

My theory is that the word andalouse actually refers to Al-Andalus, the Arabic name given to the parts of the Iberian Peninsula ruled by Muslims before the Reconquista. As you know, part of these territories became later the current Andalusia. Therefore, Al-Andalus influenced people in closer regions who eventually emigrated to France.

This could have happened for example with Tunisia, a former French protectorate with large Al-Andalus influence. But it can be even simpler. We know that the mayonnaise (necessary ingredient for the Andalusian sauce) comes from Mahón (in Spain), under French control at the end of the XVIII century when they defeated the British troops (who conquered Minorca during the war of the Spanish succession). Mayonnaise from eastern Spain got influenced from the western Al-Andalus heritage and then brought to France. And from France, to Belgium. Voilà.

Or I may be totally wrong, is there anyone in the room with better intel?

Well, with this deep reflection I’d like to close the 2007 blog edition. I wish you all a really fruitful new orbit around the sun! See you soon.