Nick Horne's Monday Morning

Fish and pork on the menu?

RECENT news reports confirmed that pigs outnumber people on the Iberian peninsula by a large margin.

Seems that there are 50 million pigs doing their stuff they even figure as a major export to China of all places.

Of course, the peninsula is also surrounded by the sea; apart that is from the narrow neck of land connected with France and the rest of the Eurasian continent. There was an awful lot of fish in those seas.

The news as regards the sea is not so positive as the pork.

There is also the pollution story, the plastic in the oceans was highlighted by Lewis Pugh the man who on Wednesday, August 29 completed the 330-mile (530 kilometres) endurance swim of the length of the English Channel, a swim that took him from Lands’ End in Cornwall to Shakespeare Beach under the white cliffs at Dover.

His aim, to highlight the positive benefits to us all of protecting and nurturing the seas. As a United Nations Ambassador of the sea he has been performing endurance swims around the world, from the Arctic oceans and now the English channel.

His latest feat took him more than 500,000 strokes to complete. It seems to me that he may have a point. The recent blooms of jellyfish reflect not only on the effects of global warming and a warming climate but also on the decline in numbers of fish who would in the past have fed on the jellyfish but are no longer. The fish are being wiped out.

The pollution and overfishing is not limited to the UK’s seas these issues affect other maritime countries too.  Spain generally and its many provinces have been taking a lead on combating climate change and pollution too. There are many local and national campaigns that reflect the concern of Spaniards as well as many expat residents.

The national dish, well the national dish as far as most holiday visitors to Spain are concerned is paella. I appreciate that I may have just set off a discussion as to what is, in fact, Spain’s National Dish but bear with me.

Paella hosts a large variety of ingredients and the skill of cooks is to blend all of the flavours that these ingredients bring and present a meal that is most often shared with a group be it family, just friends or friends and family. Now we can have a lively discussion as to which of these ingredients is the most significant in the dish. For me, they are the fish and the pork the land and the sea. However, the most crucial ingredients are the people that we share a paella with.

Just as we all share the land and the sea.


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