The last few years have seen a rise in fast food all over Spain. Burger franchises have appeared in most towns and cities, and many restaurants have started serving frozen chips. This process reminds me very much of my youth in the U.K., when the search for proper chips became key, when approval of a meal out hinged on whether potatoes had been peeled on the premises. What's the point of a terrific steak if it's served alongside something that resembles damp cardboard?
These days in Extremadura, our conversations about the relative merits of different tapas bars often end up in a similar vein. The following poem, taken from Inventing Truth (my first HappenStance pamphlet), explores just why those chips are so crucial:
Creamy dripping's polished
by constant, lilac gas
and spuds are chunked skew-wiff.
They reach a flour-stuffed crunch,
ready to tell my tongue
how childhood once tasted.
There's a myth I've grown up with that the black notes are harder. "They're not," says my son, categorically, this evening. He realises that I am a pupil ...