Tag Archives: Olives

The mamas and the Papas

Potatoes are called Patatas in most of Spain, but in southern spain they’re called Papas. Papa, to the discontent of many Romance-language-speaking fathers, is the Inka word for potatoes. Papas aliñás, literally “Seasoned potatoes”, is served as a starter or as side dish. It is popular as a summer dish in Cádiz. There is a large variety of summer dishes in the Cádizian kitchen, as well as in Spain in general – like the Gazpacho in the previous post. In the wintertime, Tino told me, the cold dishes would give way to the traditional stews.

Engridiants for Papas Alinias in a busket

Participants: 1 Kg. potatoes, 2 small onions, 2 eggs, 100 gr. Olives, 2 cans of tuna, 1 cup Olive oil, 2 tablespoon wine vinegar, 5 Parsley branches. Out of frame: 2 tablespoons Salt.

I’ve never heard of this dish before. But as I received the ingredient list from Tino, I realized it really resembled that of… Niçoise salad. Except that the Niçoise – at least as far as I know – is served fresh and usually in big pieces serenely laying together on one big plate, and in Cádiz they mix all the ingredients together and let them all sleep on it, to see what they’d say tomorrow. Tino had a problem deciding if we should use an egg or not: the traditional way would indeed include an egg but – well – the Mamas leave it out. His own mother would not use it. After much debate, we did use one.

Egg being peeled

One of the funnier things about meeting people from different culture, is how the same words are sometimes used to describe different things. Tino mentioned to me that he has some friends who are Sefaradi. Sefaradi being the Hebrew word for Spaniard, I was not surprised; But it turns out that in Spanish, this word is used to describe Jewish Spaniards. So Tino certainly got a kick of it when he realized that I would use this word to describe any Spaniard, including him.

Tino and I speaking in the kitchen

So, it was finally time to eat! Both dishes are better served after a few hours, to let the tastes merge together, but they were also wonderful like this.. Lucky for me, Tino made enough of everything to feed a hungry football team after a world cup final, so I could enjoy it the rest of the week, after the two dishes had a long time in the fridge. Hurray!

Here’s a link to the recipe.

Tino, Elas and I eating on the balkony



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Papas aliñás – Recipe

This is a recipe given following my post the mamas and the Papas.

Papas alinias being mixed in bowl

(10 servings)


1 Kg. Potatoes

2 small onions

2 eggs

100 gr. Olives (no pits, unless you feel like pitting)

2 cans of tuna

1 cup Olive oil

2 tablespoon wine vinegar

5 Parsley branches

2 tablespoons Salt

Method of preparation:

  1. Boil potatoes for about 40 minutes, till they’re very soft. Throw in the egg for the last 10 minutes.
  2. Cut onion into stripes and olives to quarters. Chop parsley.
  3. Peel the potatoes, and slice them to bite-size chunks. The way to do this is to cut each potato in half (lengthwise), then slice off a piece diagonally and the next piece on the opposite diagonal, so that you’d end up with evenly sized but roughly cut short stripes. Put everything together in a bowl.The method of cutting potatoes for papas alians
  4. With a fork, separate the tuna into chunks. Then put the tuna in the bowl.
  5. To make the sauce, shake together (in a jar) olive oil, vinegar and salt.A lot of salt being spilled to a jar
  6. Pour sauce onto bowl and mix everything together.
  7. The dish is best served after a day in the fridge, or a few hours at the very least.

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