all that remains.

Another glorious trip to my favorite little corner of the world, Gipuzkoa and Navarra, España, and I'm left with just memories and a slowly disappearing hunk of generic (and incredibly flavorful) sheep's milk cheese.

Hauled through customs and multiple airports, the cheese is still every bit as delicious as it was when the man behind the counter at Spar Todo Todo cut it from the wheel. So I'm savoring it slowly, whittling away one sliver at a time, and marveling how it can taste so much better than American cheese.

Reason #5,602 to not live here: our default cheese is technically not even food, but a food product.

Okay, so I lied. It's not all I'm left with. I have notes from an amazing dinner at Akelarre, which I hope to post for whoever cares (probably sans photo) soon. I also have all THIS which I stowed away in my Chinese store suitcase:

marti's spain essentials:

*bottle of Ribera del Duero (Cepa Gavilán 2006)
*Bela Untza, a basque homemade herb liquor
*pimientos del piquillo
*Principe chocolate filled cookies
*instant decaf coffee
*spanish ketchup
*special pastas from Sandro Desii (flavors: spaghettini with chives and lemon shells)
*guindilla peppers in vinegar
*salsa roquefort
*galletas marias
*dried piment d'espelette and piment d'espelette mustard

sigh. Spain, if you are reading this, I miss you!