Paella or food as a universal language

(photo wikipaella.org)

German Palomino runs Toroblanco, a shop of food and wine from Catalonia and Spain.  As so many Mediterranean expats, has a story from memories and meanings of food that come from childhood, family and the very early years, until today, as the foodie cooking paella and more for friends. In his case, he turned into a professional! If you want to try cooking check the shop, get saffron, fishing stock and more, they’ve got even the special flat pan! This is the testimonial of a friend…

“For years food meant no more than calming my rumbling stomach. My mum would never allow me to the kitchen, and later in life I found her recipes impossible to learn. I never got the cooking bug and assumed that for me was an unattainable skill.

“Some years later I am among friends sitting in somebody else’s kitchen, we all are enjoying a summer evening. None of us is speaking, we are breathless, watching our Catalan friend German preparing something to eat. Some minutes later the air smells of freshly cooked food and we all are sitting at the table. A paella is being served, generously.

” ‘Food is a language everybody understands’, says German smiling while watching us savouring what he has cooked. ‘In our family men have always been banned from the kitchen. When I was a kid, at family gatherings my mum and aunties accepted me getting under their feet in the kitchen. Gradually, I learnt all traditional family recipes. I have still been the only man in the family who is allowed to break the kitchen entry ban.’

“German remembers his childhood in Catalonia and serves himself with a second helping of paella. ‘My dad taught me, even when I was a kid, how important quality ingredients were and how little needs to be done for an epicure, such as he was, to enjoy an excellent meal.’

“That was the moment when I realized that cooking and pleasure in food had nothing to do with tedious hours spent in the kitchen on complicated recipes. A tasty and healthy meal can be made in minutes. I would like to share this joy with you, the joy of cooking and I believe that you and your friends will take to the recipes we have prepared for you.”