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A Royal Treat

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April 23, 2014 / Spanish / By
Paul

One of the deep joys of being an expat is learning about the character, culture and traditions of my adoptive home.  After six years of living in the south of Spain, this native Londoner is still making discoveries.  My mind has been enriched by watching centuries-old customs and taking part in traditional fiestas.  I have also let my taste buds go on exhilarating journeys of discovery.  I have developed a taste for olives, regularly dip churros into vats of warm, melted chocolate and smother crusty bread with lashings of sobrasada, a chorizo-like spread.

Touring the local Spanish restaurants is always a pleasure.  One of my favourites is inside the Hotel Terraza Carmona in the town of Vera for its wonderful mix of tapas dishes.  For only a few euros I can enjoy a portion of paella, potatas a lo pobre, some curried chicken and anchovies with garlic.  The range is extensive, the tastes are exquisite and the variety is unbeatable.

However, I struck flavour-packed gold during the most recent New Year festivities when I was invited to a friend's place for some Rosca de Reyes.  This is the Three Kings cake that is traditionally eaten on the day of the Epiphany.  The Catholic celebration is held on January 6th and commemorates the presentation of the baby Jesus to the three wise men.

The sweat treat is a wonderful slice of paradise.  The oval or ring-shaped cake is decorated with sweets, dried fruits, figs and cherries, and filled with cream or cream cheese and more pieces of fruit or walnuts. It can be bought from a cake shop, supermarket or made at home.

There is a lovely tradition that goes with eating the cake.  Hidden inside is a bean and a figurine of the baby Jesus.  Accordingly, the person who finds the bean in their slice has to pay for next year’s cake.  Whoever discovers the figure is crowned king or queen of the day’s celebrations.

Just my luck.  During my first mouthful of my first slice I hit upon the bean.  However, things improved with my second slice (I was hungry) as it contained the figure of the baby Jesus.  Therefore, my first act as king for a day was to repeal the ‘law’ that said I have to pay for the cake.  Result!

Hotel Terraza Carmona

Country: Spain

Province/State: Andalucia

City: Vera

Address: c/Del Mar, 1

Zip/Post Code: 04621

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: 0034 950 390 760

Website:http://www.terrazacarmona...

Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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