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    Lisbon, Portugal.
  1. Call me a romantic, but I believe it does exist - we just haven't discovered it yet. Relativizing taste ( I read somewhere, Ferran, that you wisely made a point of never asking your diners whether they'd liked a particular offering) may be more polite, commonsensical and easier to accept by all and sundry, but it's also just a tad lazy and over-consensual - I'd say, in the case of great artists such as yourself, even slightly similar to a cop-out. I'm (and not a little!) reminded of those philistines who, despite their careless attitude to painting, insist on, whenever they fulfill their obl
  2. Ah, dear Robert, stop already with the flooding of cherished memories of those balmy, carefree days when ten pills and minor surgery was all it took and the word omeprazole evoked an unknown Neapolitan knack for making an omelette in a particularly pleasant way; when I took endoscopy to mean some dubious, New Age psychological technique to look into ourselves and get in touch with our inner selves; when I spent more time with my best friends than with my gastro-enterologist. You - and our fellow sufferers - ( don't the things we do for the Culinary Arts, with not an ounce of recognition, m
  3. My guess is as good as anyone's, but, fwiw, I agree with Bux. A truly professional restaurant - apart from certain provisions for friends - will operate on a "first come, first served" basis. When the book is full, the book is full. Open requests have the advantage of being considered for the dates not yet filled in, after definite reservations have been dealt with. Think about it: Luis Garcia carefully reads those who applied in time. Others (applying now, for instance) will necessarily get a standard, honest "sorry, we're full" reply. I don't think it's intelligent to read anything
  4. What a scrumptious blog, Louisa! You must be tired already of so much gratitude and, indeed, whenever you've posted lately, I feel like one of those 18th Century courtiers who, from so much bowing, walk about with a permanent hunchback - and not only that, but backwards. But I'd burst a blood vessel if I didn't thank you again. So *bowing a little lower, not without concern, since only approximately four inches now separate the tip of my nose from the shellfish and rosepetal-littered floor*, obrigado once more! P.S. It may be a telling sign - a warning even - that I'm becoming too attach
  5. Asola: Sure, if you want to calculate the amount of cod per se - whether fresh or salted and dried - according to the FAO 300% overmark. This would be the case if you were FAO and wanted an estimate of the total weight of cod fished before processing - or, in fact any other responsible body quite rightly worried about the depletion of cod stocks in the North Atlantic. However, this wasn't what prompted me to correct Victor's claim that Portugal consumed dried cod to the tune of 50% of its total seafood consumption. The amount of dried cod consumed, according to the Dutch study he bases hims
  6. Victor, you may be as sarcastic as you like but, since this is an interesting discussion, perhaps you could make your case in a more rigorous, even-handed way? Thank you.
  7. That was a good call, Pedro - by splitting the thread, we might better discuss the whole ever-more-important question of salt cod consumption in Spain and Portugal. Since we're number-crunching, I'd like to show how my original rebuttal, based on the figures quoted in the Dutch study, was actually much weaker if the FAO conversion weren't taken into consideration. Let's forget, for a moment, the wide variety of other important fish species - of which I provided a small list of the most obvious examples not taken into consideration by the Dutch study - consumed by the Portuguese and pretend, fo
  8. Victor: let's keep to what you said and the data you presented to back it up, shall we? This way it will be easier for you to understand, as I refuse to believe you're being deliberately dishonest. First, you said 50%(i.e. 1 of every 2 kilos) of fish consumed by Portugal was "dried codfish". Then, after having consulted your data again, you revised it to claim that 2 out of every 3 kilos are "codfish". Please note the discrepancy between the two claims. The first refers to "dried codfish" (i.e. bacalhau). The second to just "codfish". This is important because, in our debate on the matte
  9. Glad to hear it Victor! The figures are from the study you linked to in order to justify your 50% claim. If it's not authoritative, well, you shouldn't have cited it as the basis for your "fact", should you? ;) Anyway, I enjoy your opinions far too much to pursue this any farther. I was a fool once and apologized for it - but I learnt my lesson. Please believe I've evolved since those early hot-headed days. You're a knowledgeable and generous poster and well, to be honest, I actually dislike disagreeing with you nowadays. But, to paraphrase that great gastronome John Wayne, a man's gotta
  10. I'll ignore the personal slights and, since you pride yourself on being such an objective reporter, concentrate on the study you cited, which just happens to mention that they were unable to include Portugal in the general comparison and so made an estimate based on what data they were able to gather. You said that 50% of the fish we eat in Portugal is salt cod. Please note that heavily consumed fish such as pargo (legítimo e mulato), sargo, chocos (cuttlefish), cachucho, raia (skate), cherne, robalo (sea bass), pregado (turbot), linguado (sole), salmão (these last four farmed and very cheap)
  11. Hey, Silly - don't feed the animals! Nah, thanks for the encouragement and the opportunity to ramble on a bit more (the Christmas hamper is in the post and, yes, it does include that kilo of white Alba truffles you insisted on): 8) "People say one doesn't eat badly at X..." ("Dizem que não se come mal no...X") Translation: Though I myself don't believe a word of it, stupid buggers. Solution: Immediately ask "But where do you generally eat?" The answer is bound to be valuable. 9) "It seems that in X they don't serve badly..." ("Parece que não servem mal no X...") Translation: I could kick mys
  12. The whole business of finding good restaurants in unfamiliar country might deserve a thread of its own but, since Bux himself brought it up, I'd be very interested in learning of the techniques used by fellow members. To start the ball rolling, I'll translate a few common replies to the standard "Where would you yourself go, Madam or Sir, if you wanted to eat really, but really, really well?" question, with all its variants: such as "Is it really true that to eat well one has go to [insert rival region]? If it was your birthday/all your best friends were coming/someone else was picking up the
  13. Hey, thanks Bux - but I really am enchanted and informed beyond my best expectations by the kind and knowledgeable replies so far. One thing I love about eGullet is that it somehow manages to reproduce one's actual experience of life and food. First, you get a marvellous recommendation for a hotel. Someone seconds it. A third fellow member suggests the East Wing, as the view is better. A fourth goes further and says the best room in the East Wing is the orange one. Everything seems settled. The reservation is made. Then it starts anew. A fresh voice says the Orange Room is indeed the be
  14. As usual, dear vmilor, you are able to transcend immediate dining experience into a larger issue, the same way a clever political analyst will pick on what seems to be a single incident and read it in a way that allows readers to reflect on the wider significance and, more specifically, as a signpost which, if intelligently interpreted, may indicate the general direction of where we're headed. Thanks for that! In the same spirit - unimpeded by my relative ignorance - I've always thought that Adrià's main concern is transport: in the ways flavours can be carried, as well as the meaning of meta
  15. Done, menton1 - we shan't let you down or be less than grateful (and, I hope, deserving) of your trust! :)
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