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one of the oldest, most complex, magically surreal places in spain. and one of the most beautiful. grenada is tucked against the sierra nevada mountains of andalucia in southern spain. it's not like barcelona. it's not line san sebastian. it ain't madrid. any reason sentient person who looks at spain, comes to spain, eats in spain, drinks in spain, they're going to fall in love. otherwise, there's something deeply wrong with you. spain is the sort of place that never really made any sense anyway. but in the very best possible way. this is the country that gave us the spanish inquisition. also anarchy. this is where devout catholicism mixes with surrealism, modernist cuisine. with traditional tapas. christianity and islam spared space. the effects of influences of all those things are right here to see.
you can almost look back through time and through the mists of history and see the venetians marching up across the vega. or are those feral hippies? many of them made things interesting. >> when you ask what do you do? and you say we are staging the moon landing. wherever you are on the ideological spectrum, some things are constant, it seems. some stereotypical expectations. it's true, there are free tapas everywhere. flamenco, yes, they do that also. it's a civilized thing to do, i think. but in granada, they do it old school. and oh yeah, bullfighting. they do that here, too. but i digress. i'm here, actually, to answer a question.
what happens if you go over to the other side? say you grew up in the states and like a lot of us, wondered, fantasized about what it would be like living abroad in old europe, surrounded by crusader castles, delicious food, another language, another culture. what would that alternate life, that road not taken be like? my longtime friend and cameraman from maine zack is finding out. so where are we going? >> right here, one of these tables. which maybe we want to do like this with? see? how often can you go out with somebody who can appropriately block the table? >> it's a misery is what it is. >> ay, yes, of course. snails in an almond sauce. about as traditional and delicious as it gets. >> that's a plate full of happiness. >> that's right. tapas come from here. this is still one of the few places in spain where they're free. all you have to do is keep drinking.
>> you can sit here all day. order a couple drinks. >> no rush. i'm glad i'm spending some time here. red wine ordered. tripes to follow. tender, spice, delicious tripe. >> sun, plaza, guts. pretty [ bleep ] good. >> hello. hello. >> not too long ago, before zack basically defected to spain, he met fuen. the next thing you know, he's living here. part of an extended andalucian family. eating the ham, drinking the wine, living the life of the spanish dandy. in freaking granada, no less. >> classically, culturally speaking, do you want a sensitive, nice, caring thoughtful guy? >> well, it depends on the woman, first. but usually we look for this kind of person that we know he will protect us. >> from what? feral hippies? >> for example, you know -- >> i would like to do the vows of your wedding.
do you swear to protect fuen sanchez from any attacks by feral cave-dwelling hippies? who attempt to sell her jewelry or other things of little value. >> i figure now that zack is marrying into a spanish family, i can piggy back along, suck of the lure of the magic, live on what has been my dream, too. >> if we can get weird for a second here, man. >> oh, boy. >> some places, do they have an energy, man, about them? >> what are you saying? >> you know, i don't want to get into metaphysics. or -- you know, some places we go -- >> you are going to end up living in a cave if you keep talking like this. more wine. to see spain, to see it straight, to understand it at all, you should probably peek, if only through spread fingers,
at that most spanish of traditions. bullfighting. meet alfandi, one of spain's most dashing and respected bullfighters. he's invited me to a ranch, a private bull ring where he likes to practice. ♪ >> so what you're going to do now is going to check how brave. >> and if the calf is not brave, stew. >> exactly. >> and fuen's brother alejandro, who like many spaniards, consider bullfighting an art. today a little practice first. don't worry, this guy is too young to fight.
>> you see the red cape, you know this is the most thing. where they make all the art, all the poetry. exactly. >> why the cape? >> because it's moving. >> so that's important? >> that's important. >> you don't want it to be moving at all. >> you don't want to be moving at all. >> it seems they get more attracted to -- >> this guy clearly has spirit. right away he tries to take a poke at zack's femoral artery. promising. >> now's your time. >> i don't think so. >> now's your time. he's going to teach you. >> no. >> sure. >> no one likes to look like a pussy on tv, so when he suggested i join him to wave a pink cape at an aggressive young bull, i said what any idiot would say -- si. it all starts well enough. hey, this is fun.
this is easy. until i get a horn hooked right up next to my nutsack. then it's not so fun. thanks, guys. this youngster shall live, perhaps to gore a future tv host with his mighty horns. now this -- this is what a real bull looks like. this is a whole different thing. 500-freaking-kilos of aggressive charging four-legged killdozer aiming at your meat. it's a lot of muscle. >> yeah, it's a lot of muscle. that's a big bull.
and, yeah, that's it. >> it's time for stew. bull stew. our friend went to a better place after all. like a big pot where he simmered slowly for hours with local herbs, onions and potatoes. nothing like a roaring fire, spanish cheeses, bread, and good olive oil to take the sting out of a near genital mutilation. >> nice. >> looks good, huh? >> it's not a bad place. >> no. >> he started at age 19? [ speaking foreign language ] when you were a little boy growing up, you aspired to be a matador. the matadors were the original rock stars, the very ideal of masculinity, male beautiful and
grace. that runs deep. like it or not, you should probably know this before dating a spanish guy. me, i'm happily see an end to it tomorrow. there is no denying the terrible beauty of the very complex tradition. >> it's not about winning. it's not about killing the bull. and nor is it about being just skillful. you have to look good doing it, too. are there any ugly ass bullfighters? a really out of shape -- a muffin top. how do you call a muffin top? [ speaking foreign language ] >> we have everything. >> well, it was an education today, and a great meal. thank you. >> cheers. >> cheers. ♪
holy week. or semana santa as it's called. observed all over southern spain with a seriousness and fervor you might not see elsewhere. for seven days leading up to easter, nearly every city in andalucia gets taken over by ancient processions. to an outsider, it's an impenetrable montage of confusing, yet deeply evocative images. figures in dark hoods loom up from every direction. spoke pots of incense, candles,
religious imagery, and the crowds. flashes of goya, dimly remembered impressions of the inquisition. [ speaking foreign language ] okay, watch this. these guys got to get their painstakingly crafted massively sized and incredibly heavy and cumbersome float through the door, down the steps, and out into the street. but the woman who escort the virgin wear the light all the way to the cathedral. pedro is another of fuen's brothers, the youngest, and when not working for an i.t. company in ireland, he does this. he carries crushingly heavy religious floats. they're called casteleros. and they devote months of training to this. >> that thing is huge. >> is it huge. this is very, very heavy.
let's face it. i like a procession and all, but who likes a bunch of guys in hoods coming in your general direction? i don't. frankly, it creeps me out. time for a drink, perhaps. this is tabernacle, as best as i can understand it, an eastern jesus and mary themed drinking establishment where between drinks one can ponder the agony of christ. but with some sausages. is it like this all year? >> the whole year. you have incense all year. eastern music all year. >> is this a week for quiet contemplation and worship or is this a party week or both? >> both of them. >> throughout the course of the week, over 40-odd processions will creep slowly from these streets. there are different
brotherhoods, each with their own sacred colors, crests, insignia and so on. it's their medallions of particular christ images that adorn the bar. and frankly, they're kind of bumming me out. maybe it's just me, but when i'm getting a nice late morning buzz, i don't particularly want jesus looking down at me from, like, everywhere. >> how drunk can you get here? don't you feel a little guilty for getting really drunk here? >> of course. >> this is one of my favorite things. >> this is your favorite thing. try it. it's amazing. >> gaze away disapprovingly all you like, jesus. i am happy now. overlooking granada, the hillside of sacramonte is riddled with caves, many older than anyone even remembers. spanish gypsies have lived here in caves turned homes like this for hundreds of years.
our host is a poet, historian, and a patriarch of the community here. an icon of the flamenco world. you see travelers, roma people are more embraced by the culture here than most other places in europe. >> we have our own gypsies. those are ours. i can tell you thee things we -- for sure we do here. we do flamenco. we do tapas. and we do siestas. which -- >> you do them well. >> we know how to live, don't we? >> yeah. ♪ ♪
>> they dig deep for their material here. it means something. they're telling you something about themselves. >> what is -- i've heard it. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> is it an emotional state or a technical -- >> no. [ speaking foreign language ] >> is unhappiness necessary for great art? >> it's necessary, but magnifico. >> you'd have to think about that. [ speaking foreign language ] >> you perform very well after a couple days. >> i may not have one day, duende, but i have valentine's.
♪ nighttime in granada. it's time to pursue that greatest of spanish traditions, tapas. you may think you know what a tapa is. like if you've had small bites at a fusion hipster bar where they do a lot of little plates. yeah, that ain't a tapa. how often do you do this a week? >> i do it five days a week. it's rare not to do this. but, you know, it's like on a weekend, you come out for a bunch. weekday, you come out for one. >> this is latana, a little place run by jesus and louisa, brother and sister, one bartender, one cook, taking care of everything. >> tapas are free. that's the main issue of the tapas. >> so you're just paying for the wine. >> so if i'm a wino, i can still eat well. as long as i can afford my wine, i'd eat. >> that's right. >> cheers.
>> let us put this theory into practice. with our first round of drinks comes this. >> tomato with bread, garlic, olive oil and blended. >> i could pretty much eat that all day. that's right. tapas are free. it shouldn't work, but somehow it does. another drink, another tapa. tomatoes, olive oil, bread. >> yeah. >> awesome. it's amazing. >> so all i've got to do is keep drinking. and i'm going to eat like a king. >> maybe you'd be interested in caviar. >> really? >> yeah. >> that's not included with my -- >> that's not the point of the tapas. usually you have a few tapas. >> you start to get hungry. >> they're just hooking you in with this. >> it's all a scam. >> it is a scam. >> a couple little nibbles and the next thing you know you're ordering 200 grams of caviar. caviar ain't free, my friend. delicious and sustainable farm river sturgeon caviar. >> some high test caviar.
>> oh! >> you guys are going to eat the whole thing in one. >> sorry, is there something wrong with that? not even married yet, it's nag, nag, nag. next place. let's do it. ah tapas. what a novel concept. there's a verb for it. tapayar. meaning to take tapas. as in if we go to tapayar some more we're going to have to elbow past this crowd of catholics here. >> is it extra insane? yes, but it's always busy here, man. >> oh, boy. >> the bar we're going is just on the other side. >> maybe we go around? with parades criss crossing the city in every direction, the steady drum beat warns that your route is about to be cut off entirely for the next 40
minutes. >> we can get across. we can cross. >> we have to go around. >> where? going around, going around, going around. >> we need to walk past. >> pardon. pardon. [ speaking foreign language ] pardon. >> people take their processions very seriously here and aren't exactly accommodating to anyone who threatens to block the view. >> that was amazing, right? >> that music. >> finally, bar number two.
oliver. this place is always packed. beer, please. and with it comes a delightful tapas of mussels steamed in butter and olive oil. >> that's a great tapa. this is what's different. people come in here and they will eat like this perfectly happy. perfectly content to forego the table, come here, stand around and eat like this. >> the glass of wine comes with friday eggplant and honey which sounds to me it's moorish in originen. more wine followed by these delicious little clams. >> oh, yeah. >> and the main event. >> now we are talking. these are not tapas and consequently not free. but worth it at any price. >> that's so totally awesome. we did good work here. >> anything else? should we go on?
>> no, let's move on. >> as this death march of tapas continues, things start to get a little weird. this is the story of my life. he doesn't do this at home? does he? >> no. thank god. now i understand what you feel. every day. >> yes. good. finally. a little empathy. i do like the increasingly meta-aspect of this show. i should really be live streaming. that would really be interesting. finally, just bar gallado. just making it before closing. let's be honest we've had a lot to eat and drink at this point. some restraint needs to be shown. >> little fried fishes? >> dude, little fried fish. little ones. >> then we're talking. >> and cheese. >> but instead, three more beers, three more tapas. cheese. little fried smelts and baby lamb chops.
>> these are super good. >> these are super good. i'm uncomfortable with the idea of something for nothing. >> it's not something for nothing. >> 3 dollars for a glass of wine it's something for nothing. >> if somebody can get the math right in the u.s. this will take off. >> no, never. >> really? >> you will never have tapas culture. you're looking to change the entire day, from the minute you get up in the morning in america, you nap in the afternoon. are you out of your mind? >> i want to walk to my bar, i want to have a little beer. >> i want a golden unicorn. both of those scenarios are equally likely.
every storybook kingdom needs a castle. granada, it's got a good one. one of the most enchanted, inscrutable, maddeningly beautiful structures ever created by man. built on top of ninth century fortifications and added to and added to as history unfolded through wars and tragedy and invasion and conquest. >> on the outside it's very bare. all you see are the tiny windows. and it's projecting impenatrability. but then you come in here. >> zack has gone -- well, let's call it what it is -- a bit mad about the place. the details can obsess a man. zack is a cinematographer, so
you can understand how that might get a grip on a guy whose profession is the intricate play between light and darkness. >> trying to weave nature, calligraphy, symbols. these are all inscriptions, turned into graphics. >> depict words from god. >> yes, but what you can depict, and this is what this entire place is, is geometric systems. >> yes. >> when the nasri dynasty lived here, it was a harmonious space where light, shade, water, the transit of the moon and stars were harnessed and glorified.
>> i think the best assumption is nothing is random. they came here and laid out everything according to -- >> a plan. this was a place for reflection, each element of design presumably intended to have effects both psychological and religious. >> it's really a cinematographer's paradise. everything is about light and man. obviously they weren't cinematographers but everything is frames for them. >> how long did it take them to build this? >> hundreds of years. >> that's why it takes so long for you to get the shot? oh, snap. in the builders' time, astronomies, mathematicians were like priests, possessors of divine knowledge of how the universe worked. did they want to contemplate nature or did they want to conquer it, control it? >> they were certainly trying to emulate it. their mathematics were trying to figure out how nature worked,
particularly the square roots and the repetition of pattern. >> they saw mathematical patterns in the sky and on earth, the way water moved and rippled, the way things grew, the simple pine cone, a fern, a pomegranate, and they thought about the basic truths these things might represent. >> these symmetries can all be shuffled, spun on any point and they align again with themselves. so if you stretched them out, for them they pointed to infinity. >> we will understand all things. >> through contemplating sacred geometry. >> how did nature unfold, pattern itself? could the basic designs of nature, even if divine, be replicated in this magnificent structure? trying to solve the riddle of god here. >> exactly.
an hour's drive from granada, the mediterranean. unlike much of spain's coastline ruined by real estate speculators and overdevelopment, the coast around here is largely unspoiled. i'm on my way to a moraga, a tradition in these parts best described as the local version of a beach barbecue. working the grill, chef juan andres moria. he heads the el claustro in granada. we're joined by fellow chef rafael luca. and some friends. you are killing us with good-looking food here. >> some of that simple salmareho on toast.
one of my favorite things. >> amazing. >> dried tuna flavor packed like tuna prosciutto. >> some olive oil. >> it's spicy. and bitter. >> awesome. ♪ >> spain is a beautiful country. we're not even eating yet and it's good. >> pate. >> oh, sweet. >> want mass. that is like the best thing in the world. >> you want to eat this? the whole thing? >> this? yeah. chocolate. this is the chocolate of the gods. >> some grilled octopus, and sea bream, some nice pork tenderloin and my personal favorite a
particularly delicious morcia, fresh blood sausage. >> i'm telling you. sexual metaphor coming. beautiful. beautiful. looking good. wow. look at that. a lot of fat. >> yeah. it's quite nice. >> those were happy pigs. lazy pigs. >> the ones we breed here. >> yeah, the pigs and the bulls are very happy here. okay. enough with the work. let's eat. nice. [ speaking foreign language ] awesome. great meal. great, great, great.
this is the dream of all the world. the dream is to live in grenada. work in the morning and go out and have that life. go out and see your friends and eat tapa and drink red wine and be in a beautiful place. to have this kind of music and this food and this kind of culture and to look out the window and to see spain. >> one thing. family. family is very, very, very important. >> right, see. he did it right. he's marrying into a spanish family in grenada. it's cheating, man. >> he's very lucky. and a smart guy. >> right. look, no one is going to dare dream of this because this is too much to dream for. this is extraordinary. but an ordinary life in spain looks pretty good to me.
eating and drinking today, and you want to be ready. by 2:00 p.m., he's made his way back up hill to mom's place. >> every day i come here for lunch. [ speaking foreign language ] and i walk in and she says get us two beers. so i'll get two beers from the fridge and watch her cook. >> everybody's home for easter. maria jose, zach's soon to be mother-in-law and dad. plus the soon to be brothers-in-law who you've already met. what this nice family doesn't realize, they're not just gaining a son but an annoying half drunk and extremely hungry uncle tony. >> and i know what happens here. >> yes, so let's -- >> sitting there ready to be carved.
[ speaking foreign language ]. >> he had to prove he was able to cut the ham before he proposed to my sister. >> i think that's a completely reasonable policy. eventually the appropriate hour for lunch approaches. is not to embarrass you publicly, but maine is not exactly the mediterranean of america. let's put it that way. how is he adapting to the spanish lifestyle? >> he's more spanish than me. >> really? >> yeah. in the first week he was like i don't understand how you can take siesta. week after. >> it's interesting to see how you've made the transition. cheers. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> first off, this. bakalou salad. salt cod, egg, black olives, oranges, tomatoes, dressed in
olive oil. remember, this is holy week. maria jose is preparing recipes that go back through the family so far that nobody knows exactly where they even came from. migas, another iconic dish. formally referred to as the shepherd's lunch. born as a way to use old, hard bread and combine all the week's leftovers. i'm told every household in spain has a variation. what changes is what you put on it. today it's sardines, cod, chorizo, melons and peppers. so how often do you eat this well? >> every lunch is like this. every day i'm here. but lunch is big. big lunch, siesta. but you can't -- you know, i used to try to resist siesta. you can't do it here. society will not accept you not taking siesta here. but that's the flow of life here. >> that begs the question, while
i'm busy hating you for your life, how often are you getting a drunk a day? >> twice. one and a half. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> that is so spanish. everybody has a very distinct opinion and it's completely different. like this is a fact. >> whatever. >> when my time comes, i pretty much want to die at a table like this. good work, zamboni. good work. so, zack, you happy with the show? >> hope we don't suck on television. >> dude, i think i'm setting a pretty low bar. i'm going to tell you this relaxed lifestyle, lounging around eating and drinking.
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