|LEMON, WATERMELON, FRESH FIG (AS OPPOSED TO DRIED), PASSION FRUIT...|
The Dowager Duchess would love it here in Sevilla because her favorite food group is well-represented. It's called helado, but The Duchess knows it better as ice cream. (I remember The Duchess dieting when I was a kid. If she did well in the morning, she'd reward herself at noon with a bowl of ice cream. Fortunately, she never really needed to diet.)
Sevilla has "artesan" ice cream makers all over town. They make the ice cream fresh and the flavors are exotic, unusual, and surprising. I've been to some exceptional artesan ice cream shops here, but my favorite is also the first one we found. Villar, on the street named Puerta de la Carne (or Santa Maria la Blanca), is the place we went almost every night after dinner while we were living in the hotel last year. We were always greeted with huge smiles, offered tastes of new flavors and little dollops of specialties topping what we ordered. We walked back to the hotel every night, murmuring over our treasures and imagining what we were going to have next time. Some nights, I would be told to try the flavor that had just come out from the back. Some nights, the flavor sounded god-awful. Cheese and dried figs? Even if it could possibly taste okay, who ever heard of cheese and figs refreshing the palette? Well, when made by magicians, cheese and figs blended together make a delicious ice cream.
|MELON AND MANGO. THE ONE ON THE LEFT IS CALLED SANTA BARBARA.|
I DON'T KNOW ALL THAT'S IN IT, BUT IT WAS AMAZING.
My cousin Al is in town for a break from his business travels around Europe. He heads off on a cruise ship late next week where he'll give some lectures on contemporary art and then, I hope, relax and enjoy the trip. He had been traveling and working non-stop for the previous 11 days. He arrived in town late Friday night and, knowing how tired he must be, I dragged him out Saturday morning for about six hours of sight-seeing. Truthfully, there was no dragging involved. He could have gone for another six hours.
|REFLECTIONS OF YOURS-TRULY AND COUSIN AL IN THE FAR-RIGHT WINDOW.|
We shopped, we strolled the Cathedral, we climbed the Giralda, we walked, we had tapas, we had ice cream, and we toured some more as we walked home. I had a great day. The highlight was spending time with Al. Coming in second was the ice cream. Well, let's just say the highlight was having ice cream with Al. Al had two scoops of two different flavors in a cone. I had three different flavors in a cup. I love the taste of cones and I especially love the chocolate-dipped cones. But I don't like the potential mess. I made a mess with my cup just the same since it was piled so high. I had cheese and dried fig, Santa Barbara (candied fruits in a tangy base), and melon. I don't remember what Al had because I was too absorbed in my own. I know he had a flavor made with goat cheese that sounded awful to me. He said it was exceptionally good.
|SOMETHING TO PUT IT IN. ALL DELICIOUS, BUT I PREFER A CUP.|
Today after breakfast, Al and I went to the Center for Contemporary Arts of Andalcucía. We had a great time, but no ice cream. Tomorrow, I think we'll end up in the charming old Jewish Quarter called the Barrio Santa Crúz. And, as long as we'll be in the neighborhood (Villar is on the street that borders Santa Cruz to the north), it wouldn't be polite to not stop by to say "hola." And, well, as long as we're there, we might want to sample some of the remaining 20-or-so flavors we didn't try yesterday. As I said, just to be polite. Besides, it's supposed to be 108 degrees tomorrow (42C). The ice cream will be required for our survival. (The Dowager Duchess would say it always is.)
|THE OWNERS OF VILLAR, AS SWEET AS WHAT THEY SERVE.|
(PICK A LANGUAGE, SHE'LL HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOU.)