Spanish Dinner at Freja’s

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It’s my last day today as a temporary, private yoga teacher in CDO, so I’m taking the morning flight back to Manila tomorrow. The yoga sessions I held here for the past couple of days have been fun and fulfilling, and I can’t wait to do it again some other time.

…although maybe in a different city? One that is much more interesting and beautiful? Just (half) kidding. It’s a pleasure teaching yoga to anyone regardless of place, because it’s the students that count and the free trip is just a bonus. 

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For my last dinner today in Freja’s home, she served some of these delicious things she bought in Spain. She bought these two cheeses at one of the markets in Barcelona, and she admits that she doesn’t even know the names of the two because she just picked them after testing out the different cheeses being sold in the market. (I hope I was in Barcelona right now… Or any major cheese place really.) Both of these are hard cheeses that are slightly aged, although the one on the right seems to be older since the taste is stronger. The one on the right tastes quite similar to parmigiano-reggiano, although with a firmer texture; as for the one on the left, I can’t really seem to point a finger on what it tastes like. Forgive me for my lack of cheese knowledge, I’m not a connoisseur (yet).

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We served the cheese with these delicious cold cuts, one from Spain and the other given by our friend, Astrid, who just came back from Austria. The one on the left is jamón ibérico, which is apparently one of the more expensive types of jamón. Freja couldn’t resist buying it due to the price difference as compared to buying it in a supermarket here in the Philippines. Buying it in the market also seems more authentic, and the one she bought was recommended to her by a friend of hers who is based in Barcelona. This certain jamón ibérico that she bought was made from pigs who were only fed acorns throughout their lives which gives the meat a richer flavour. This certain variety of jamón ibérico is called jamón ibérico de bellota which is the highest grade of jamón ibéricoI’m not that into meat generally, but I’m not lying or exaggerating when I say that this jamón is the best I’ve ever tasted. It’s the most flavourful kind that I’ve ever tried, much better than jamón serrano. The one on the right is deer sausage that Astrid also bought in a market. It was also very delicious because it actually tasted authentic, in the sense that it doesn’t have artificial flavours and other chemicals that are put in commercially made sausages. Although it tastes really good, it doesn’t seem like deer meat has a distinctive taste, kind of like horse; you can’t really tell it’s deer unless someone tells you it’s made of deer meat. 

We also had lamb chops which I wasn’t able to photograph sadly. Freja’s *cook makes the best lamb chops and lamb paella ever!

My flight tomorrow is at around 11am with Philippine Airlines, and I’m just hoping the weather will be good and that it won’t be traffic. Good thing Freja offered to drive me to the airport, which is really far away. I’m also hoping that I can get an Uber quickly tomorrow without a surge. Coming here on Friday, the surge on Uber rose by 2.2x due to the crazy traffic! I hope that won’t be the same case for tomorrow…

*Speaking of her cook, she was rushed to the emergency room just a couple of hours ago because of a stomachache, and after some testing, she was diagnosed with appendicitis. She’s going to undergo surgery in a couple of hours, so please pray that it will be a success, and that she will have a speedy recovery once the surgery is over. Thank you. 

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