One of the problems I faced when I got the first cookbook was the availability of some of the ingredients. Fortunately, soon afterwards I paid a trip to Phil and Lola and stocked up on Spanish goodies hard to find in the UK. Since then, either I’ve got a lot better at sniffing out Spanish food, or it has become a lot more widely available in the UK. I think Brindisa are to thank for much of this (damn, they’re expensive though). Now even my local health food shop has a stock of
ñora driehd peppers. Decent ham is still pretty hard to come by though (and prohibitively expensive). I’ve only managed to find lomo in Brindisa’s own shop, where it cost me about ten times as much as in Spain (although, to be fair, it was about ten times as good). And I don’t know where I’d go for caper berries (alcaperrones). Still, I can get enough Spanish food to keep me very happy.
When I flicked through the new book, I noticed one new ingredient in particular which seemed to have crept into a great many of the recipes: pomegranate molasses. I had no idea where I’d begin looking for this, and even less desire to start de-seeding and boiling down pomegranates to make my own. So I was ecstatic when, only four days after receiving the book, I was walking through Upperthorpe, past the spot where the much-missed (by me at least) Red Sea Continental Food Market used to stand, and I noticed that it had re-opened as the Al Sultan Continental Food Market. I took a look inside and, guess what the first thing my eye landed on was? Pomegranate molasses (well, the bottle says concentrated pomegranate juice, but that’s the same thing). I bought it with a big grin on my face, and stocked up on a few other non-essential essentials as well, like rose water and pickled chillis.