I was at a party the other night which had differed from parties I’d attended in the UK in any number of ways, which I’ll probably blog about later, but one very different aspect was the buffet.

My friends who were throwing the party were Canarian born to parents who were a mix of Peruvian, British and German (okay that doesn’t mean there were three of them). The other party guests were mainly Canarian, but there were mainland Spanish and South Americans as well. This sort of mix typifies the whole melting pot of nationalities which evolved to create the modern Canario. The mix was also reflected in the buffet and there wasn’t a sausage roll or egg sarnie in sight.

The centre piece of the buffet was a giant paella, then there were bowls of ceviche (a delicious Peruvian dish of marinated, uncooked white fish), fish croquettes, slices of sweet potato and boiled potatoes, but after that I struggled to recognise some of the other dishes.

One tray was filled with a series of mounds covered in a white sauce with olives perched on top (now that I think of it, there was a certain breast-like appearance to it.). At first I thought it was ensaladilla rusa, but it turned out to be potatoes covered in a mayonnaise type sauce. The weirdest dish though was a large bowl which looked as though it was filled with butter. I reached this one at the same time as my neighbour, Jesús who was spooning dollops of the stuff on to his plate.

“What is that?”
I asked him expecting a full explanation as he’s Basque and therefore knows everything about food.
“I don’t know,” he shrugged his shoulders then shoved a spoonful in his mouth.
His face contorted and he looked like he was going to barf.
“Are you alright?”
“What?” he looked at me and I could see he was confused. “Yes, why?”
“I thought you were going to be sick.”
“No, I was just rolling it around in my mouth to get the full flavour.”
“Ahhh,” he definitely did look as though he was going to puke. “So what is it?”
Jesús thought for a moment.
“I don’t know,” he concluded. Then added. “Maybe it has goat’s cheese in it.”

There was only one thing for it. I spooned a dollop into my mouth. Jesús was right. It tasted and had the consistency of cheesy butter. I can’t say it was the tastiest dish I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating and I suspected a couple more spoonfuls and one of us really would barf.

Last night Jesús appeared at our door with some of the leftovers from the buffet which had been handed on to him. We swapped him a jar of our peach jam and a jar of peachy chutney (the Spanish don’t really do chutneys, so we had to advise him on its uses) for some potatoes, ceviche and a great slice of lemon cake.

He also had brought the large bowl of ‘goat’s cheese butter’; the bowl was virtually untouched from when we had tried it on Saturday night. Clearly nobody else knew what it was either and hadn’t bothered to try to find out.

Needless to say we didn’t relieve Jesús of anymore of the stuff.


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