If you are a regular reader then you’ll know that Himself and I are not what you’d call ” typical” tourists.
Yes, admittedly we do sometimes visit tourist traps but in general we avoid them as much as possible.
And you might have figured out by now that I’m a Foodie….
So if you are me and you are looking at a map of the northern tip of Portugal where it meets up with the north western section of Spain, and your sweet Other Half says to you, ” I’d love to drive up there into Spain and wander around for the day, any suggestions as to where you might like to go?” and your eye spies two place names close together on the map, then you have a very quick and logical answer.
Now that was easy wasn’t it? You know instantly where were are going.
(sigh) What do you mean you need clues??? Do I deduce that you have failed Stage one of Sherlock’s Course of Elementary Deduction? Ok. ok… I will help you then: the Two place names you are looking for are: Hebron and Padron.
Has the penny dropped yet? Ok, ok, before I see you posting photos of burst brain cells in the comments section, here’s your final Clue: http://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/?s=padron
Hebron is the area of Spain where Padron Peppers come from.
We arrive there before lunch and drive around observing rows of pepper plants everywhere, some in poly-tunnels, many in open fields but also a lot under a tent-like structures of netting to keep the birds out.
The ” main street” though Hebron consists of houses, warehouses and a lone cafe/pub, where we ask first for lunch and then for directions using the address taken from the Padron Peppers packet I photographed in the earlier blog post.
Lunch isn’t an option as they are now only a bar, but the address we want is almost next door… well almost.
We wanted the address of J.J.Conde and got C.C. Conde, local Padron Pepper businesses, same family but JJ is the sister’s family enterprise and CC is her brother’s. That’s close enough for us, … we start walking down the street to the building that’s been pointed out to us.
Outside it’s topping 36 C so the cool of the thick walls and inside is a welcome relief. Himself’s Spanish talents are very helpfully dragged out once again as we get an emphatic “No” head shake to the ” do you maybe speak a little English?” question.
Yes, they have peppers and Yes, we may buy some.. How many bags? Well, at Euro 1.25 per bag, Five bags please. Five? Ok we will have to bag some for you.
We wait whilst the two friendly but not very chatty guys stand and sort out peppers. At first I assume they are weeding out peppers that might be damaged or past their best, or not up to scratch for some reason. These “rejects” are added to a large bowl nearby on the table.
Observation after ten minutes has me completely and totally confused… the peppers they are deftly removing from the pile look identical to the ones the are putting aside for the bags. No blemishes, no damage, they look perfectly fine. What’s going on here? Why bother?
We wait patiently until they have finished and have sealed up our five bags full of peppers, finally as we are are about to pay I ask Himself to ask roughly how many hot peppers we could expect to stumble upon in the mix. To be fair it was a very tricky question for Himself to translate and pose but they got there in the end.. the answer ? None.
What??? What’s happened to the “one in 30 has a kick!” Come on guys, Where’s the fun of playing Pardon Pepper Roulette when there’s no fire in any of the peppers anywhere in the pile?
More halted Spanish and a great deal of effort from Himself leads to us stumbling on the truth… they have removed the hot ones for us. Huh? How on earth could they tell which were which? We certainly looked closely but could see no difference between the two piles at all. Laughs all round when Himself asks if we could also buy a bag of just hot peppers please… so we leave with five bags of sweet Padron Peppers and a large plastic bag of hot ones.
The guys give Himself and I one of the hot peppers to try as we go…
Himself handles the heat well.. Me, well, the kids delight in telling me that my face is very very very red, I finish it completely as we walk back to the car but now my mouth is on fire and my lips are about to explode.
Beer or milk are the obvious answers but the only thing I love about beer is the smell and we have no milk.
Flat Cola Light is my only relief much to the pure delight of the kids for whom my suffering is suddenly brilliant entertainment.
Man… these hot ones pack a punch.
Testing your culinary boundaries can be painful sometimes. But what’s a Foodie adventure without a little risk?
Laughing, smarting and pleased with our purchases we head towards nearby Padron for lunch.