Some projects need just one edition to become popular and an absolute success, especially when they’ve got something to do with food or drinks. This is the case with Quina barra!, a food proposal by Bar Cortijo, one the last real taverns still alive in Tarragona. Following such old, classic and simple formula of making baguette sandwiches, the owners –the cortijeros Santi and Luis– utterly triumph. So, what is so special about it, then? The lot!
For starters, it’s the bread. Baker Jordi Andreu makes such long baguettes as you wouldn’t believe. Each one is over 9 feet long, way over the current tallest NBA player, Boban Marjanovic, at just over 7 feet. These are such special baguettes that they require a special cooking technique and a very complicated transporting procedure from the Forn-Pastisseria Jordi Andreu bakery to the tavern of the Masegosa brothers. Santi, in fact, has been thinking for weeks to make the baguette’s transportation a true sacramental. See what happens on the 3rd edition… If length wasn’t a big deal, Santi has decided to make it even harder with new colourful baguettes. Yeah, why not?
Of course though, everything the Masegosa plan to make, it’s finally made, and so Jordi Andreu has been making several tests to get these new different-colour baguettes, of course, completely natural. And this is how some other creations were born in the past: eco bread with tonic and beetroot; eco bread with Tarragona carob bean flour, and Tarragona focaccia with Isidre Solé Gispert’s olive oil and André Grego’s herbs. With breads like theses ones, it’s halfway through the story. The other half is due to the tavern masters.
Moving on with the colour games, Santi made 4 different fillings: lacón with curcuma and mustard, for a yellowy baguette; vegetable omelette (artichoke, peas…) and avocado aioli, for a green sandwich; cod, tomato, onion, garlic and herrings, for the reddish one, and handmade pate with figs bread for the purple one.
After the baguettes arrived, Santi and Luis cut them horizontally and spread their delicious creations onto them. The process began at 7am, and one hour later El Cortijo was open, and there was no bread left at midday. It was just the wooden stands on which the baguettes had been transported. The fact is, as the food run out so quickly, they had to improvise some more using some remaining traditional bread. Incredible…
* “Quina barra!” is held once a year, generally in February, some days after Carnival. The thing is, Lent is so long that it’s always good to find a way to keep sinning. Penitenciagite.