An organic buffet and some carrot cake

The other day a friend and I were searching for a place to eat. (In Spanish the way you talk about the midday meal (la comida–“the meal”) is not “to have lunch,” but rather just “to eat” (comer)). So if I say we were looking for a place to eat, in my Spanish-ized way of thinking I mean we were looking for a place to eat lunch.

Well, it was a little late for lunch (though Spanish lunches are relatively late there’s a short window: 2-4 p.m.), so we’d already gotten turned down at one place. But lo and behold, across from the failed attempt on Calle Huertas, we discovered a fabulous organic market and buffet where we salivated and debated over how best to ration the chickpeas, seitan, and veggie lasagna to keep our plates down to a reasonable price (it was 1.80 euros per 100 grams). The food was delicious–flavorful and filling without being meat or fried–and a welcome change from typical Spanish restaurant fare. One of the best things about the place was that there was also a tiny dessert buffet with some yummy-looking carrot cake–not exactly the most popular dessert in España. We shared a piece and were completely inspired to make our own.

So we spent Sunday afternoon grating carrots, chopping walnuts, beating the cream cheese icing by hand, and trying to fit two layers of cake into my tiny oven. At the end of it all we had assembled a beautiful (and really tasty) carrot cake. The recipe is from the Frog Commissary and loved by my mother. We found it online and modified it slightly.

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