An Expats View Of Life In Nerja

Near riots were reported to have taken place in and around the Burriana area of Nerja as well as elsewhere along the coast after the publication of an “offending” image on this very website back in August of this year. The picture, taken with the use of a telephoto lens by a photographer whose identity is currently being sought through the courts, depicts an advertising ‘ Board’ placed outside a “Spanish” owned Restaurant, boasting the availability and sale of Cornish Pasties.

Expatriate Pressure groups including, ‘BATAotC’s’ (Brits against the Anglicisation of the Costas), ‘Not On my Back Terrace’, ‘The Home Counties Association of Vegetarians Against Ethnic Food Containing Meat’, as well as fundamentalist religious organisations have placed 24 hour vigils around the Restaurant, some of them burning copies of the Daily Mail and local Restaurant Menus offering traditional Sunday Roasts.

The proprietor of a nearby Chinese Restaurant who spoke both English and flawless Spanish, and who wishes to remain nameless, expressed a fear that the “furore” may spread to his own community. He had already received text messages from “unknown” Chinese expatriates, complaining that, “they were sick to their stomachs that certain streets in Nerja and elsewhere were beginning to resemble London’s China Town”. A comparison wasted on the gentleman concerned, as he himself has never been there.

Frozen "Corniche" Pasties On Sale In The Eroski, Velez-Malaga

Frozen “Corniche” Pasties On Sale In The Eroski, Velez-Malaga

A spokesperson for the Argentinian and Uruguayan community, Senor Edwardo Catz, said “The whole world knows that if you want a steak, The Cow has got to be brought from The Argentine, an Argentinian has to butcher the beast and an Argentinian has to cook it, and woe betide any one who tries to protest against that!” He went on to say, “He could not understand why the British happily flood the Islands of the South Atlantic with their Imperialist Recipes, but were keen to stop the same thing happening in other parts of the world. The Cornish Pasty after all is a poor Imitation of the Argentinian ‘ Empanada’, a meat and vegetable filled savoury, which pre-dates the conquistadors and whose petrified remains have been discovered by archaeologists in such places as Machu Picchu and Chichen Itza”.

Don Benito Zabaglione, the “elected” representative for Nerja’s 56 Pizzeria owners commented, “I don’t get what their problem is. You wanna Pizza?, ya av a Pizza, ya wonna kafilta fish? Ya av a kafilta fish. If you wanna Cornish Pasty, you might want to consider therapy but what the hell. It’s a free country ainit!”

Tubby Isaacs Whelk Stall Walthamstow

Tubby Isaacs Whelk Stall Walthamstow

However the question does beg. Why are some things Anglo acceptable and not others? It’s apparently reasonable for supermarkets and corner shops alike to stock PG tips, John Smith’s Bitter and Aunt Bessie’s frozen Yorkshire Puds. There is more than one establishment in the town that boasts ‘Pukka Pies’on their daily specials board so why can’t a Spanish owned eatery offer up the humble Pasty? When I asked a spokesperson for the protesters whether he could see the hypocrisy in protesting against the sale of a relatively harmless savoury while turning a blind eye to the consumption of imported ales and apple based beverages, he said, “No. There is a fine line which must not be crossed and the introduction of edible West Country eccentricities crosses that line and them some. It’s the thin end of the wedge. Before we know where we are there will be a Pie and Mash shop on Calle Pintada and a whelk Stall on the Balcon. We’ll be ankle deep in discarded Jellied Eel bones making it unsafe for our women folk to walk the streets at night”.

On calling The Cornish Chamber of Commerce for a ‘quote’, the phone was answered by a person purporting to be the office cleaner who informed me that “the entire staff had gone early to celebrate Cornwall’s record quarterly export figures at the new Portuguese place in the high street” she went on to say that “she hadn’t been there yet but her friend Beryl had and thought that the Piri Piri was as nice as the one she’d had in The Algarve last year even though her and her husband wasn’t all that keen on the grub and couldn’t wait to get home for some proper food and requested I call back Monday”.

Copyright Our Savouries Correspondent © Daniel Kruyer

To see the original article comments that sparked this debate click here.

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