Eat, drink and count

Today, almost no one remembers past famines, not only in Spain but also in Europe, in not so remote times.

21 May 2022 Saturday 16:21
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Eat, drink and count

Today, almost no one remembers past famines, not only in Spain but also in Europe, in not so remote times. It is even claimed that cannibalism was practiced at some point. Be that as it may, the subject of hunger dominates in the picaresque novel, a great reference in the Castilian literature of the golden century, and in the post-war novel. Just look at Barcelona’s Nada and go with Andrea, who is always hungry, to the crumbling kitchen on the floor of Carrer Aribau, where she sniffs the rest of an anemic broth. Or to accompany, in his infinite comings and goings, in order to appease a no less infinite hunger, Carpanta, the name which the character's creator, the great José Escobar, took, with exquisite linguistic precision, from the RAE Dictionary, since carpanta is defined as “violent hunger”.

Today this violent famine - which the character of the TBO, or rather the comic, as we now call the comics of yesteryear, embodies perfectly because there were many post-war famines - seems only a matter of third world countries or those to whom , like some places in Ukraine, supplies do not arrive due to the war. In our country, oenagés and social canteens alleviate the hunger that a part of the population also suffers, which we often forget. The successive crises of 2008 and those caused by the pandemic have left many, the weakest, especially women and immigrants, in poverty.

Despite these exceptions, the need to fill the pope is not a top priority on the European continent for the vast majority of citizens who fill it every day and also make sure that the food is of good quality and good. seasoned. Maybe that's why we no longer refer to hunger, but to hunger. A word more common today and that surely seems more considered. Being hungry sounds better than being hungry. In the menus of some restaurants, we are offered snacks or starters "to open your mouth", in Spanish, "open your appetite", not to mention hunger. In Catalan, any reference to hunger would also sound inaccurate. Hunger connotes misery or at least precariousness and assimilates us to the other beasts of the earth, which we kill only for hunger and not like humans, which we do for much more miserable causes.

Not surprisingly, MasterChef TV has been around for ten seasons and has even produced MasterChef Junior and still has excellent acceptance rates. It should come as no surprise that the sixtieth birthday of a chef, the great Ferran Adrià, creator of the exquisite El Bulli, was front page news in La Vanguardia on Sunday 8 May and that his photo in the Magazine occupied the cover and part of the inside pages, with a great interview, “Ferran Adrià, the look of genius” by Cristina Jolonch, accompanied by some magnificent photos by Pedro Madueño, to which, on the other hand, we are used. Today great chefs are much better known, applauded, and famous than writers, who, as Auden said, no longer have a place in the city. Nowadays, feeding your stomach seems more important than feeding your brain.

As I write this article, I come across a book that I can't stop recommending. Its author is the poet Ramón García Mateos and its title, Comer, beber y conto. Collects recipes and stories. They both marry in their plains for the pleasure of the stomach and the brain.




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