rice eater

Wenceslao Fernández Flórez was already a well-known writer and historian when he was invited by some journalist friends to eat rice in Alicante in 1928. This worried him a little, because, as the asthenic body is fastidious about food and somewhat neurotic in character, he could get sick if he ate too much rice, or worse, make a fool of himself into account that the politician had made a fool of himself the previous year. Madrid lawyer Ossorio y Gallardo was talking about a red, fat man and what he could do with just rice, with dishes like rice pyramids instead of second courses and desserts.

But when he arrived in Alicante, the warmth was the first thing that comforted him. In mid-December, he was sitting on the casino’s terrace overlooking the sea, and his friends told him what a cold day it had been. What if we’re fifteen degrees? It is known that the people of Alicante never wear coats. Well, they answered, it’s raining. It was only a few drops, but they were careful to look for an umbrella that no one could find or know where it was sold. Maybe at a fabric store, she offered one. I saw it in a pharmacy once, I recommended another one. And finally, one of the attendees told him that he was going to run home to pick up his seven-year-old son, who had never seen it rain in Alicante. All this was reflected in a travel book, and one of them named it: the home of spring, because as we entered Alicante, winter stopped.

Back to the rice dishes, over the course of a week they invited him to more than a dozen rice dishes, he knew many of the styles, one from Alicante or “arrós en pollostre”, sailor from Dénia and Calpe, cauldron from Santa Pola, Huerto del Cura’ In-shell rice from Elche or rice with rabbit and snails from Pinoso.

Manuel Pérez Mirete, dean of the association of journalists, told his invitees that he had only tasted dry rice until now and that he knew of a pilaf with soup. Don Manuel, a good lawyer who, like a Roman nobleman, was the dean of his college, taught Roman Law at an academy to students who were well-known lawyers from Alicante, such as Pedro Soriano, Isidro Serna, Francisco Mira and the writer. This. I still remember his sarcastic lectures and his knowledge of Latin, and he even told us love stories between law class and class. Well, the overcrowded took Fernández Flórez to a chalet on the outskirts of Alicante, where he was greeted by an oddly dressed group from the time of María Estuardo or Empress Catalina. The meal, which was taken to the dining room with great pomp, began by serving the aforementioned “arrós caldoset”, which, although very well digested, he ate with some trepidation because it had pieces of pork in it. What caught his attention the most was that shortly after the meal started, the host stood up with a glass of wine and asked the participants, “Is there a reason?” was to ask. And all the attendees of the gala answered: yes, there is a reason. I’m drinking it all down. Since this has happened several times, the author asked why he said it, they said it was drinking, because they promised not to drink serious food, they devoted themselves to simply enjoying the food or else they would just try to enjoy the food. extraordinary reason to justify what they might owe. – And what was this reason? – Actually not, but we say this as a justification formula.

He was so happy with what he saw as a gastronomic adventure that when he returned to Madrid, he wrote an article on ABC with the headline “rice eater”, and because of the statement that the weather was nice in Alicante, Alicante’s slogan was: “Spring house” taken as the advertising slogan, At the first official bonfires of 1929 there was a ninot who was chosen as the favorite son and dedicated to the adventure of rice. And you know which rice you like best? Like a good rice eater, a banda arroz, the less decorative things, the better, everything is broth and a picturesque way of cooking in a flat pan or paella.

Source: Informacion


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