[Poet and man of northern climes, Ari Feld, is in the ancient city of Barcelona. He delivers a report. Obviously, the powerful presence lurking in the background: Sara Blaylock.]
WIAF: What's a favorite restaurant in the Barecolna region? How should one dress if they were to attend?
Ari Feld: I think I can do it from memory with a glass of chardonnay and a porro.
"La Frieduria" which means something like The Fryery. It specializes in mariscos, or seafood, for which Catalunya possesses some fame. Order a platter of seafood. This includes, clams and mussels, calamari and navaja, which means knife and looks like a thumb length piece of deliciousness, which it is. Also order the fried artichoke hearts and pan con tomate, another hallmark of Catalan cuisine. Have pretty much whatever kind of wine you deem wonderful. Dine late by some standards. And dress well by any standard. Iron your garment. Do not expect the service to work with you, though our waitress was quite friendly that night.
WIAF: What are some of the central motifs and ingredients of Catalunyian cuisine?
Ari Feld: There are terrific mushrooms here. The vendors expose them on the street, gills up and mottled like scales. There is a thing called "tender garlic." Bacalao, or cod, can represent Catalunya. I enjoyed rabbit in an alioli sauce about a week ago. And all regions of the Iberian peninsula have a great investment in jamon, jamon iberico, the meat of the dark hog. It has aromatic qualities based on the wild grasses, herbs, and most of all, the acorns of the fields and hills through which the beasts roam from the morning of their last suckling. I imagine they must also consume frogs.
WIAF: What's your breakfast? Time, components, etc.?
Ari Feld: For breakfast, I'll have a heel of baguette with jam and the ever-coveted peanut butter, or a slosh of the bargain box rice-flake cereal. Breakfast is served promptly at 7 in the morning. Excellent coffee, even the bargain-bricks. I eat tons of baguettes! At least one a day. Bakeries have a definite street presence.
WIAF: An awe inspiring moment thus far?
Ari Feld: This morning I felt an ill-understood peace direct me down the crosswalk and toward the school gate. Also, another wonder spasm took me while walking back from a Catalan class. I felt like saying "I just wanna' dance", to describe the feeling of faltering at the first foothold of language. I believe I will never comprehend the orthography.
WIAF: Also, have any passages from the sacred literature been speaking to you of late?
Ari Feld: "The scent of these armpits is aroma finer than prayer," quoth Walt.