The Asociación de la Capa was out in full force this past weekend in Sevilla. Their goal is to keep the custom of wearing capes alive. Gotta admit they look sharp.
The noche de pescaíto (night of the fried fish) is a time-honoured tradition, taking place on Monday evening before the lighting up (the alumbrao) of the April fair grounds at midnight. Until now. When the powers that be decided last year that Feria should be extended to include two weekends – the more money to make, my dears – this meant that the alumbrao would now take place on Saturday night. Along with the pescaíto. Except at one special location in Sevilla that will not give up the traditional Monday evening custom.
The Antigua Abacería de San Lorenzo is host to all manner of weird and wonderful special events that celebrate various Sevillano traditions. And nobody does seasonal window dressing quite like husband & wife owners Ramón and María Carmen. It’s always a bit chaotic there and always a lot of fun.
I actually learned a couple of things tonight. First that THE sherry drink of the Sevilla feria (manzanilla) is a relatively recent thing – 30 years ago it used to be fino. ALSO… this whole noche de pescaíto thing is also only about 30 years old, and nobody seems to know how it started. Other than the evening before the alumbrao there were obviously people still setting up their casetas and having a casual meal before it all got lit up. Why it ended up being a fried fish meal remains a mystery (since you can actually have fried fish all week long at Feria). But whatever. The pescaíto and manzanilla at the Abacería tonight were great!
… though obvs without Jack Frost nipping at your nose.
I love the internets. I snapped this pic and put it up on my Sevilla Tapas FB page. At the time I thought this girl was buying some chestnuts, but then realised she was also working the stand. And THEN someone informed me on FB that this was “El Cochuelo” and his daughter. Who knew?
A very passionate young woman from Chicago called Kirby Barth got in touch with me back in January. She is here doing research towards an honours thesis in anthropology, researching traditional Sevillano food. And on Friday we finally arranged a meeting for an interview, including the fabulous Aldara from We Love Tapas, which then morphed into an impromptu Sevilla Tapas tour. For the next four hours! Afterwards Aldara very kindly took Kirby on an impromptu tour of Sevilla Markets, and the next day I met Kirby at a local food & wine event. She will also be going on a We Love Tapas Tour with the fabulous Delia on Monday. As always, love sharing knowledge and experience with people who genuinely care. And we hope Kirby fulfills her dream of one day being able to live and work in Sevilla.