What in the name of Don Juan is that? Why is it that alien-yellow colour? And what terrible things did I do in a previous life to deserve another plate of these with my beer? These are the kind of thoughts that pass through my head when a waiter is cruel enough to push a dish of Mejillones a la vinagreta across the counter at me with my drink.
This is when an important Spanish bar etiquette question arises: can you ask to change free tapas that you would no sooner eat than fly to a distant planet that shares their same radioactive colour? Well, it’s always worth a try, a polite ‘puedo cambiar la tapa por otra cosa, es que no me gusta…‘ usually yields something slightly more comestible… unless you’re with someone that actually appreciates these things, in which case you’re stuffed – Marina always eats mine and claims to love them. Apparently the mussels are boiled, one half of the shell is removed, then a vinaigrette including chopped up onion, green pepper, and tomato is poured on top.
Well, first the sardines and tomato, now this. Spanish waiters have really got it in for me these days. I promise to find something I can rave about for next week’s tapas!