Spain is probably the worst place in western europe to be a vegetarian. When i flew to Argentina last year, it was absolutely impossible to find a vegetarian meal in all of Barachas airport. Of course Iberia had fucked up my request for a vegetarian meal so i had to spend something like 20 hours on snickers and peanuts. Now i do not have to deal with the spaniards complete ignorance when it comes to vegetarianism anymore, but my vegetarian colleagues have had to suffer a lot in the first 3 days of our workshop in Spain. After two days of pasta with a tomato sauce made from watered down ketchup, the cooks finally came up with something else, which they referred to as ‘vegetarian risotto‘:
Because of the color we immediately had the suspicion that the thing might contain squid, but because of the funny taste it was kind of difficult to confirm, so we asked them what the fleshy bits in the thing were. Waiter, smiles makes some fishy hand movements that resemble the tentacles of an octopus and tells the two people who had requested something with neither fish nor meat that it was indeed squid. So i start telling him that this is unacceptable and he runs back to the kitchen come back and declares that it is not squid but asparagus. Meanwhile another waiter arrives tells us that it is neither squid nor asparagus and draws a mushroom and tells us it is mushroom. Closer inspection confirmed our initial hypothesis. Later in the discussion one of the vegetarians, in a desperate attempt to justify the fact that he had eaten the entire risotto, came with the theory that actually there was no difference between eggs and squids because they both miss a brain.