Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cocas (Catalonian Flatbread)

Most of my photography depends upon natural light. Yeah, I know that to some extent that's true for everybody -- it's hard to capture sun-dappled beauty without it. But the window is a little narrower for me. My house is particularly dark, as is my city of Portland. Every now and then I flirt with purchasing some sort of light setup to extend my photograph-able hours, but laziness and thrift have kept me from it. For the most part, I time my wintertime cooking around the last of the natural light, or nudge the leftovers back into a semblance of deliciousness the next time the sun rises. But that all falls to pieces when it comes to drinks.

See, it's hard for me to mix up a cocktail without drinking it. And it's hard for me to drink a cocktail during daylight hours, since they end around 4:45 pm these days (well, to be fair, it's actually kind of easy for me to drink a cocktail then -- it just tends to wreak havoc on the rest of my day). For the record, I have been drinking, and fairly deliciously at that (there's a gin-pomegranate-mint cocktail that I promise I'll photograph and post one of these days). But since the drink photography is lagging behind, I'll leave you with pictures of the next best thing: drinking snacks.

I make no secret of my fondness for cocktail party nibbles, nor of my position that they make a perfectly respectable (and awesome) dinner choice. And my current favorite in this genre is the coca. Cocas are Catalonia's answer to pizza, a flatbread (usually cheese-free) topped with all manner of Iberian delicacies. I pulled together a few of the most delicious examples for a recent story -- you can find recipes and a bit of backstory over at NPR's Kitchen Window. They're great, whether or not you've got a glass of vino in hand. Salud!


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