I just noticed the following comment appear on my previous post and thought it was such an extremely accurate and acute observation that it deserved not to be missed. It speaks volumes of the Spanish attitude to both sincerity and their fine national cuisine:
“Fact: If you cook dinner for Spanish friends, they have no problem giving you a detailed critique of the meal when it is finished.
I remember noticing this on the Spanish cooking show, Hoy Cocinas Tú, in which a person learns how to cook a dish and then makes it for family/friends. The dinner guests always offer suggestions as to how the dish could have been improved. I have grown accustomed to this and now I prefer a fair assessment of my food to an insincere compliment.
I usually only prepare foreign dishes for Spanish friends (American or Mexican fare) so that they don’t really know what the dish is supposed to taste like. And yes, I leave out the hot spices. Something that defeats the purpose of many Mexican dishes.
One more thing, you cannot change a single ingredient when making a standard Spanish dish or you will never hear the end of it. I made a tortilla the other night for my girlfriend and her mother. They both looked on in horror as I made it with cheese and onionsâ€”something that just isn’t done here. It was as if I were mixing two highly volatile chemicals like bleach and ammonia. The only way I could get them to try it was to convince them that it was a French dish.”
For more of the same, check out the author’s blog at www.leftbanker.com