IF you thought they ate odd things in Andalucia, try Madrid.
A colourful mix of innards, guts and offal were on display during a visit to the capital this month.
A bowl of snails, with chorizo, ended up being decidedly ordinary alongside a plate of pigs ears (oreja) and sheep intestines (zarajos) at historic Los Caracoles restaurant, in the La Latina district.
The zarajos, which are typical from Cuenca, come on a wooden skewer and are lightly barbecued.
“You need to eat them slowly and savour them,” explained local teacher Cristina Herrera, 31 (pictured).
Meanwhile, a racion of ‘entresijos’ came out with a round of beers at a restaurant up near Alonso Martinez.
A very unusual dish, reminiscent of wild mushrooms, but slightly chewier, turns out to be lamb ‘mesentery’ or, as defined in English, the ‘piece of peritoneum that joins part of the small intestine to the back wall of the abdomen’.
Another unusual tapa is ‘gallinejas’, or chitterlings, which are the intestines of a suckling pig.
The specialities are particularly popular during the city’s annual San Isidro festival that ended last week.
They are rarely found in the centre, apart from at feria time, and are more likely to be eaten in the working class suburbs, including Carabanchel and Vallecas.