Boy, we gave it our best, but we didn’t quite get the whole cocido down. The kilo of chickpeas in themselves was a true challenge. It also didn’t help that we held an olive oil tasting contest to open up the eating session and accompanied it with tons of bread. I am not much of an olive expert so the training session was interesting. We tried Picual, Arbequina and Hojiblanca and another whose name escapes me at the moment. Good stuff, all said an done. Then we moved on to the main dish and gorged for another lengthy period.
Like so many dishes, the cocido was a classic working-class, post Civil War cheap nourishment that has become over the years standard Wednesday menu and even fancy fare in some restaurants. I can think of some fine spots to check out, from the oldest and probably priciest version at the L’Hardy restaurant near Puerta de Sol, to La Daniela in the nearby Salamanca district, to the the local Los Porches, in the Plaza del Niño Jesús which makes it own mean version. But I really for my own. There is nothing like getting up at eight in the morning to make lunch. It soothes the soul.
Damn, all this talk has had me rushing to the kitchen for a little cold cocido. Another day or two and I’ll be preparing the pringá! But that is hardcore Spanish gastronomic knowledge.
I’ll tell you about it when I get there.