A last evening of tapas from the menu at Txapela Euskal Taberna . . .

     We've posted several photos and notes about the food here in Spain, virtually all of which is very different than ours in North America, and almost all of which is delicious. We are not fans of rice dishes that are "wet" and following several tries we never did find a paella to that end.

     Fish and bread are at the top of the food groups here. By far. All kinds of fish and bread in and with all kinds of presentations. Beef, pork and chicken are available in all grocery stores and every inch of each is consumed. There is no waste. Every organ, the bones, the skin, the feet, all of it.

     Beer is the staple drink. Beer stands all along the streets, many filled before noon. It is very, very common to see elderly women enjoying a beer in an outdoor cafe at 10:30 a.m., their portable shopping cart beside their chair, going to and coming from the market.

     Vegetables seem almost secondary and fruit is past secondary, maybe in 6th place.

     Top of the food list for us has been the tapas bars. Tapas in Malaga and Madrid, Pinchos and Pinchxos in San Sebastian. The Basque versions (San Sebastian, the original to most authorities) is by far and wide the very best. In fact, Basque food all over the north of the country is easily as enjoyable as the top places we've been in Italy and France. If not better . . .

     The best tapas we've eaten in Madrid are at a small eatery named Lerado. Very new, very flashy, very neuvo-cuisine tapas. The slide show below shows the tapas selections we chose here in Madrid on Wednesday evening, with text to say how they are composed.