How long does it take for us to forget a holiday - a day, a week? Why do we let this happen so easily?
As soon as our daily routine returns we are back to earth with a bang and the holiday becomes a distant memory. Returning home to the cold, after a spell in the sun, is always slightly depressing and a lack of motivation sets in. But this time, I'm determined to prolong the memory of the holiday and be inspired by the food and wine I enjoyed whilst away. I have to admit I got quite a taste for champagne, slightly classier than 'Beach Sunset' (named by the good looking Spanish waiter, so I'll forgive him) which was a mix of Amaretto and fizzy orange - surprisingly good!
The week away in Fuerteventura was the perfect opportunity for me to switch off, relax and give my taste buds free reign. And I did just that.
Cuisine from the Canary Islands combines European (mainly Spanish and Portuguese) flavours with Latin American and African influences creating its own unique identity. Everywhere you look you see Papas and Mojo. Papas are an essential part of their diet; potatoes with their wrinkly skins on, eaten with tasty sauces called mojos.
The watery pantry surrounding the Islands is full of tasty, fresh fish and seafood, so it's a common site to see chefs in their whites and extra tall hats cook paella in what I can only describe as UFOs - Unbelievably-whopping Frying Objects!
To accompany dishes there is the ubiquitous pimientos de padron (fried whole green peppers) with sea salt - stunning and so simple.
Dessert menus always include a gorgeous range of cheeses and figs - unfortunately the bad side of staying in an 'All Inclusive' is that you've already had copious platefuls of main meals and left no room for something sweet! It becomes almost a competition how many times you can get away with walking round the buffet areas and returning to the table with a new meal before feeling embarrassed.
When check out time comes, our daily obligations continue as usual and our palette often suffers as a result. To rectify this my family have a 'holiday photo' date in the diary, an evening for us to review and load the best photos onto the laptop and settle down to a Canary Island buffet. Being of a certain age, I remember when I was little getting the slides and projector screen out after a holiday, my job was to put the slides into the carousel - happy times.
So what will I pick from the shelves of Whitmore & White? Well I obviously have to get some Mojo sauces (both the verde and picon), padron peppers, paella sachets and rice (I just love the cute paella rice cotton bags), large luxury prawns, manchego cheese and a fig & almond wedge.
And to wash it all down I'm spoilt for choice for Riojas so I'll go with one from our new range - the Orben. This Rioja is fantastically full-bodied with lovely toasty oak. I'll leave the Beach Sunset as I'm sure it only tasted good when the sun was shining and served by Mario.
So go on, let Whitmore & White seduce your taste buds with new flavours and great wines you wouldn't usually choose.
Que tenga un buen dia!