Olé, olé y olé

Working at the Library I come across plenty of mouthwatering books on a daily basis. Even so, I like to visit the local bookstores every now and then; you never know what you might come across.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the University Bookshop at the UC Campus and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that what is known as the Spanish gastronomic Bible in many households in Spain (including mine) has been translated into English.

And not only that, it comes with pictures of some dishes and illustrations by Javier Mariscal, both of which the Spanish edition lacks. I also noticed that some of the original recipes have been slightly altered to better match what is expected by English speaking readers.

Guess what? Back at work, I checked the Library Catalogue… we have 5 copies! The title of the book is 1080 Recipes by Simone and Ines Ortega and it has been a bestseller in Spain since it first came out in 1972.

In fact, whenever I have asked my grandma for any of her recipes she has just answered:

“Oh dear, I can’t remember right now, why don’t you look it up in Ortega’s book?”

The funny thing to me is that the main author, Simone Ortega, is French! That hasn’t stopped her from gathering the essence of most of the Spanish everyday dishes although she insists on canned peas for her paella (…!?).

If you are not feeling in the mood for Spanish food, how about Italian? The same publisher, Phaidon, has also translated to English the Italian bestseller for over 50 years, The Silver Spoon .

Ciao e buon appetito!