I want to open my account here with you lovely people by talking about a Spanish dish which encapsulates everything I love about Spanish food and the approach we take to our tapas here at Vida Comida. My “amorio” with Spanish food started in the mid1990s when I moved to Madrid to teach. Madrid at this time was vibrant and fast developing, the metro was  burrowing like a mole on speed and buildings seemed to grow overnight like some architectural beanstalks. The first post-Franco generation were coming of age; Madrid was well on its way to becoming a vibrant, modern international metropolis. It was a crazy and exciting time. Iberian Culture, and food especially, in Madrid was unaffected by the international demands
of the Costas. People (Madrileños) would delight in saying that Madrid is true Spain. Of course they would! There was a
fantastically vibrant, varied and authentic food scene that is fearlessly proud of local products and that remains true of Madrid today. Visit – you will not be disappointed. Papas a lo Pobre – Poor People’s Potatoes – is, on the face of it, a ridiculously simple dish. Potatoes and onions cooked slowly, for at least 90 minutes, in good olive oil, and then reheated with
a range of other tasty treats such as Piquillo or Padron peppers, sometimes Chorizo, sometimes with a runny egg;
always with plenty of salt and pepper. Essentially a cheap staple when there is not much else around. The thing is Papas a lo Pobre tastes so good. I don’t mean casual, “Oh yes that is nice good”. I am talking full on “lickthe-plate-clean-and-askfor-more” tasty. There is an honesty and comfort in this dish that comes from cooking fantastic ingredients simply, respectfully and slowly. At Vida Comida we use delicious, local Mids or Gemson potatoes – these are super tasty and waxy enough to hold nicely over a long cook – and locally grown mild white onions. We cook our Papas a lo Pobre daily and use it in a range of dishes. Our tortillas are so good because we use these papas as the key ingredient. Our Pulpo (Octopus) and Caballa (Mackerel) both come served on a bed of delicious but differently flavoured versions of this dish: flavoured with smoked
Pimienton for the Pulpo and rosemary for the mackerel. You may remember we served roasted chicken thighs on a tower of Papas a lo Pobre back a couple of years ago with some Pimientos de Padron chopped in… Why did that come off the menu? That was just lush! Patatas a lo Pobre is simple honest tapas. Great ingredients, cooked with care and passion, presented humbly without shards, or foams, or gels. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating food cooked by inventive,
inspired chefs… But here at Vida Comida we love to keep it simple and tasty. We are the Wolfie Smith of the foodie world – Papas for Lo Pobre!!!

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