As Bill implied,
Hath not a gypsy eyes? Hath not a gypsy hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.
I have heard various theories as to the origin of the name. One has it that is the severed arm of an Egyptian robbing through the pantry window. Another that the gypsies covered their arms to avoid becoming brown and wrinkly like the Iberians, rather as they are said to have always worn gloves in harvests in order to preserve their exquisite hands.
Brazo de gitano is by weight one of the cheapest of pastries, and one wonders whether factory editions contain the 3 eggs and 8 yolks recommended in Penelope Casas’ Spanish cookbook. Her recipe works perfectly, although on the lightning journey of the mixture from slop to biscuit our somewhat eccentric oven produced a rollable after only 6 minutes, rather than the suggested 10. If anyone else has made one by hand, perhaps they can explain extreme rolling – this simple profile was hard enough.
For anyone still in a state of innocence, The foods and wines of Spain is a superb compendium of the best of regional bar and restaurant cuisine from the 60s and 70s, before Spanish cooks fell in love with chemicals and the Chinese peasants who rented their bars gave up and bought a microwave. It is much better than for example Simone Ortega, which contains far too many recipes, poorly explained.
I used to eat out a lot, but as restaurants have declined and my cooking has improved I find I’m spending more and more time cloistered with Ms Casas. There’s probably still time for you to order a copy for Christmas at no extra cost via the link on the right.
- Run like a gypsy
With Imanol Arias as El Lute, retired generaliser George Borrow, and walking and running style as social differentiators.
- The green of the louse/Lo verde del piojo
An etymological hop from kite-flying with Juan Marsé back to Concha Piquer’s greatest hit.
- Finches for sale
I’m beginning to suspect that some people come out walking principally for the bizarre drinking opportunities encountered on the way. This
- Birthday pics
Thanks all for kind wishes. Cake under attack from fish: Afterwards I got to go walkies, and chose one of the old
- Sausage sourcing as an index of international cultural and political orientation
The cases of Spain and Holland.