Annie B and Tuna

Thursday, 1 October

Any way, on with the show. It is time for breakfast and we can see its location from our balcony, it is way down at the bottom of the building. So we traipse up and down stairs to reach it. OK, we sit outside in a patio and the weather is great. Our first stop is a town called Barbate. I have extracted the following discussion of Vejer and Barbate from the net.

http://www.villamiramarspain.com/vejer-and-barbate/4533038758

Vejer is a walled village perched high on a mountain top overlooking the wetlands and is one of the so-called “Pueblos Blancos” or “white villages” dating back to the time of the Moors. It is about a 20 minute drive from Miramar and has the remains of a castle, a beautiful square and a network of narrow, cobbled, sloping streets which are best explored by foot. Almost everywhere you will see the Moorish influence.

Barbate is closer to Miramar and is the port in to which the fishing boats bring the bi-annual catch (in the spring and autumn) of the tuna (each tuna weighs upwards of 200 kg) before they are sent all over the world. With the method of catching the tuna unchanged over 3000 years it is certainly not to be missed. Barbate also hosts an excellent daily market. Further round the coast it is possible to visit Cape Trafalgar to see where Admiral Lord Nelson in 1805 won the Battle of Trafalgar.

Our first stop in Barbate is the aforementioned daily market where we are joined by a special friend – a charming expatriate local chef,
Annie B, whom I mentioned in yesterday’s Post, with whom we’ll be cooking tonight at her house. Check out her website which is very good.

http://www.anniebspain.com/

Entering the market

Entering the market

Meeting Annie - she is obscured but is under the Hat in the photo in front of guide Carlos and Kerrie

Meeting Annie – she is obscured but is under the Hat in the photo in front of guide Carlos and Kerrie

Being by the Sea, the market is primarily Fish

Being by the Sea, the market is primarily Fish

But there are Meat and

But there are Meat and

a wide range of Vegetables and Fruit too

a wide range of Vegetables and Fruit too

Lots of varieties of fish

Lots of varieties of fish

One of the fish mongers was a very outgoing lady in a pink top, quite a sales person.

Frank and our heroine

Frank and our heroine

Di and Kerrie learning to be Fish Mongers

Di and Kerrie learning to be Fish Mongers

We bought a fair bit of our fish for tonight at her shop – a great sales pitch.

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As an aside, after a while I found a chair and took a seat, a common theme throughout the trip. The pink Lady went off and came back with her lunch – NOT fish. She came over to me with her Jamon sandwich and told me in Spanish that I really should try Jamon – I did not know how to tell her that we had done that already.

Pig's head anyone?

Pig’s head anyone?

We then leave Annie and go in the bus to a local Tuna factory. We visit one of the last remaining salazon factories in the country where we’ll see how tuna was salted, cured and processed in Roman times.

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Map showing Tuna migration

Map showing Tuna migration

Cuts from a Tuna

Cuts from a Tuna

We are to be given a demonstration of the cutting up of a Blue Fin Tuna. The do Yellow Fin as well, but the Blue Fin is more popular and expensive.

Blue Fin Tuna for the "operation"

Blue Fin Tuna for the “operation”

Sanitary Gear again - no truth to the rumour that JV is pregnant

Sanitary Gear again – no truth to the rumour that JV is pregnant

The First Cut is the Deepest

The First Cut is the Deepest

Cutting off the fillets

Cutting off the fillets

The Fillets

The Fillets

Extracting more good bits

Extracting more good bits

All of the fish is used one way or the other but these are the premier pieces

All of the fish is used one way or the other but these are the premier pieces

We continue our tour.

Cleaning the fat from the tuna - by hand

Cleaning the fat from the tuna – by hand

Cuttiing and packing the Tuna into cans, by hand

Cuttiing and packing the Tuna into cans, by hand

Adding oil - controlled manually

Adding oil – controlled manually

Onto the conveyor belt for machine inserting the lids

Onto the conveyor belt for machine inserting the lids

Salting Tuna fillets for another product

Salting Tuna fillets for another product

Product Range

Product Range

We also went near a room where they smoke some of the Tuna, and Mussels too, but were not allowed in. We are then treated to a tasting of some of the Tuna products.

Very tasty, loved the skewer of Tuna and cheese. Wine was nice too.

Very tasty, loved the skewer of Tuna and cheese. Wine was nice too.

At the end of the tour we are each given a generous present of a Herpac “Lunch pail” which contain several cans and bottles of Tuna products. A very good tour.

https://www.herpac.com/en/

We then get on the bus to head not far away for lunch to a restaurant that specialises in – Tuna.

elcampero

First course, Tuna and Onions

First course, Tuna and Onions

Magnificent platter of mostly raw Tuna and other goodies

Magnificent platter of mostly raw Tuna and other goodies

Tuna Carpaccio

Tuna Carpaccio

Seared Tuna Salad

Seared Tuna Salad

Tuna Steaks

Tuna Steaks

20151001_153110

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As I look back on this meal I am amazed at how good it was, given there was no meat. It clearly was a highlight and I had forgotten about it almost.

El Campero Tuna restaurant

We drive back to Vejer to rest up for our dinner tonight, at least I rested.

The group sets out to walk through the cobblestone lanes of the village to Annie B’s house.

Annie B's business card

Annie B’s business card

Panaoramic view of the horizon

Panaoramic view of the horizon

Entering Casa Alegre

Entering Casa Alegre

Annie’s house is quite large with multiple levels. We start out at a lower level.

Look at those Pomegranates and Figs

Look at those Pomegranates and Figs

We then proceed to the top of the house which is an outdoor patios where the meal will be served.

Looking over the white city from the patio

Looking over the white city from the patio

A singer and guitar player entertainment provided

A singer and guitar player entertainment provided

There is Annie next to the musicians

There is Annie next to the musicians

Cooking lesson in the making of Gazpacho in the background

Cooking lesson in the making of Gazpacho in the background

Some of the girls of the group enjoying refreshing drinks

Some of the girls of the group enjoying refreshing drinks

First snacks

First snacks

The Master, who had gone early to do cooking, and Julie

The Master, who had gone early to do cooking, and Julie

The Gazpacho being served

The Gazpacho being served

Sardines

Sardines

Carrots and pomegranates

Carrots and pomegranates

Prawns in Salt from Frank

Prawns in Salt from Frank

Fish soup being made

Fish soup being made

Fish Soup in the Bowl

Fish Soup in the Bowl

Pomegranates

Pomegranates

Muscatel served with the fruit

Muscatel served with the fruit

Our table near the end of the night

Our table near the end of the night

The other table

The other table

Serving dessert, fruit and Muscatel

Serving dessert, fruit and Muscatel

The cake being served by Annie

The cake being served by Annie

The dessert on the plate

The dessert on the plate

Wow, that was the end of that, quite stunning. Thanks to Annie, her staff and Frank of course.

We walk back to the Hotel. Of course we were not smart enough to go to bed. We joined Frank at the bar for a drink.

Frank in the bar from our balcony

Frank in the bar from our balcony

The bar is only about 10 meters away but we have to walk all the way to the bottom of the building and then all the way up to the top to get there. Of course when we were finished we had to reverse the process. Any way, the end of a monster day!!!

About beauperi

Gourmand & Wine Connoisseur.
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One Response to Annie B and Tuna

  1. Lois says:

    A zip line between Balcony and Bar might be worth investigating…

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