Nightingales – London’s Loss is Spain’s Gain!

Nightingale photo courtesy Yuri Timofeyaz

Nightingale                                                                                    photo courtesy Yuri Timofeyaz

We are all used to the notion that nightingales used to sing in Berkley Square, and now can add Periana as another location, as Restaurante Cantueso has played host for the last six years to a couple of songsters and hope they will appear once again this month. They can already be heard out in the countryside and a favourite spot is behind one of the town’s rubbish tips. Not the most salubrious of places but we are sure real “birders” won’t mind a bit.

These tiny birds migrate to and from Guinea-Bissau, the former Portuguese colony which is one of Africa’s smallest and least-known states. They return to Europe in April and start making their amazing music not only at night but also during the daytime too. Nesting in dense bushes alongside our restaurant terrace the male nightingale (ruiseñor in Spanish) protects his patch from intruders occupying the same song post every year.

We have been so impressed with the complicated repertoire of the bird that we are hoping to capture the sound on tape and will add to this blog as soon as we are successful. Meanwhile we have added a lovely recording here made in England.

A PS:

Today, 28th June, we heard the little beauties near Cantueso early in the morning.Maybe a late comer?

Confused by Coffee in Spain?

photaki979231_0.5mb Coffee drinking in Spain is very ritualised and Spaniards vary consumption according to the time of day; maybe a solo to kick start the morning or a carajillo at the end of a celebratory meal, but no matter what you need there is bound to be a caffeine solution to suit you.
There are many different types of coffee in Spain and many vary according to region so here we give an overview of the types you are most likely to encounter in Andalucia and are typical of what we serve at Restaurante Cantueso in Periana.

Café Solo
Small black coffee usually served in small cup or glass. Also called Espresso which is really the base for all types of coffee in Spain (made by forcing nearly boiling water under pressure through the ground coffee) and should not be confused with Espresso coffee known to Brits from the sixties when Espresso coffee bars served frothy white coffee, in Spain it is black.

Café con leche
Large cup, half coffee and half steamed milk. Also called a Mitad.

Café Americano
Baiscally a Café Solo in a large cup with added water.

Café Cortado
Small black coffee with a dash of steamed milk.

Café Sombra (shade)
As con leche but with less coffee. Also called Café Manchada (stained) One wag descibed this as a drink for those who don’t like coffee!

Café Nube (cloud)
A vaiation on Sombra and Manchada and dependant on where you are may contain even less coffee.

Café Carajillo
A Solo but with a splash of brandy.

Café Cappucino
Like a con leche but more froth and cocoa powder sprinkled on top.

Café Hielo (iced)
Normally you are served a glass full with ice cubes onto which you pour a café solo. Good for a summers day when you need a shot of caffeine but nothing hot.

Café Bombon
A café solo with condensed milk.

Café Latte
A con leche served in a large glass with extra steamed milk.

Café Descafeinado
Decaff coffee normally requested as “de maquina” so as not to get instant from a jar!

All types of coffee vary not just by name or region but also by bar or restaurant. The following terms may also be encountered.
Largo (extra strong), Semi Largo (strong), Solo Corto (espresso).

Whatever you do don’t be confused, just try something different, and you may get a pleasant suprise! At Cantueso we are always willing to let you experiment so just ask.

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