There is wonderful aspect of living in a quasi first world country like Spain in that shopping for food is beautiful. I love the hell out of the market and buy all my fresh meats and vegetables there. Of course the last couple of months aren’t those known for fresh vegetables, so it’s been a lot of potatoes lately. This is changing though with the first strawberries being seen from Huelva.
You develop a relationship with your food stalls at the market. It’s beautiful, even though you never learn each others names. Well, I probably have a name which is something along the lines of, “that tall, foreign boy who speaks Catalan, but is hopefully taking lessons to improve it”. Likewise, E and I, when first moving to the la Ribera area around Born Market, honed in on a stall with organic beef from the Pyrenees. It is without a doubt the best dead cow I have ever had in my life. I went there religiously 2-3 times a week for burgers, ground meat, and the occasional steak, all deftly serve up by a girl who became known simply as “burger lady”.
Time has gone on and burger lady and I had reached a relationship wherein I was a loyal customer and she would put down her 11:00 coffee to serve me. It was beautiful. Then, change happened. Easter week or “setmana santa” or as I like to call it, “week of fucking nothing possible happening” came about and burger lady’s stall was closed. I asked a nearby stall what had happened to her. They told me that they were sure if she took the week off or quit to which I told them they should consider become journalists for being able to state the obvious so well. But, my meat was hanging in the balance at this moment and this last week of subpar chicken and other non-beef meats was unsatisfying on various levels.
Two days ago, I go back to try again and suddenly, burger lady has now become burger guy. Apparently the previous provider of silken cow flesh did indeed quit. As these things go, she left the stall a mess without even a plunger for the meat grinder to be found. Burger guy was doing his best to pick up the pieces and assured me that, like Zeppelin once said, “the meat remains the same“.
Thankfully I’m encountering the new burger guy just as he’s starting so we can establish a relationship early on. Of course now that this change has happened, I will probably move from this neighborhood or do something else idiotic to interrupt my beautiful flow of un-American, non fucked-with beef.