The old Pombo botillería was a discreet space, known in its beginnings for dispensing meringue milk. This lack of solemnity in relation to other cafes of the time was what persuaded Ramón Gómez de la Serna to choose it as the venue for his literary gathering. “If there is any independent institution, it is coffee,” he said. It was the first quarter of the twentieth century in a Spain where 90% of the municipalities had a population of less than 5,000 inhabitants, two of which were dedicated to field work and fishing. When you read about Gómez de la Serna, you can see a balanced biography between the carefree life of the privileged writer thanks to his father’s royalties and the social discontent and permanent political instability during the so-called century of the avant-garde.
Precisely that iconoclastic spirit, together with the desire to freely express an independent and creative thought, in conflict with a stagnant society, led him to experiment with letters, radio broadcasting or the live audience through lectures tinged with improvisation. Occurring, productive and charismatic, he knew how to encapsulate the spirit of modernity in various formats. It is said that he made his debut as an emigrant in 1936, getting off the ship in the port of Buenos Aires with one arm raised with his fist raised and the other extended in a fascist salute. Pure surrealism. Part of his brilliance languished with that self-exile that changed the curiosity of his first trips for the reluctance of exile. “I stay in a state of arrival,” he said. Still, he continued to write and write down thoughts that expanded his compilation of short stories, succinct narratives, treats, trompe l’oeils, nonsense, and variations.
I treasure at home a copy given by a friend of his work Pombo by Ramón signed by the author himself and a volume of Do you want to eat well ?, by the also writer and women’s rights activist Carmen de Burgos, with whom Ramón had a long relationship. Apparently one book has little to do with the other, but I feel like they ask me to put them together on the shelf. After all, in one of his greguerías Ramón affirms: “Love is born from the sudden desire to make the temporary thing eternal”, and books can become so. I suspect that when you experience a life contiguous to verisimilitude, living lodged in fiction, a parallel, lyrical truth is guessed, stitched together with aphorisms. He fantasizes about chocolates of ideas conceived to save the world from its superficiality with small chocolates filled with literary concepts such as the flavor of an almanac leaf, a minty and poetic casida Moorish or that expression of the Japanese literary tradition known as haikai. Why not? Perhaps full of artistic ideas, fantasy, dreams and philosophical fragrances. Erudite bites full of jam with musical notes and piano keys that when savored, recreate in the imagination an unexpected and lucid version of humanity.
Gómez de la Serna, without realizing it, prophesied many decades before what would be one of the functions of the kitchen in the future. Not only matter and technique or hedonic resource, but, above all, a way of conducting portions of culture, history and territory. Better yet, an ingenious resource for creativity to spread through humor, love and the mouth. Like Ramón, I declare myself a senator for life in all of this.
Beet and black garlic ‘brownie’
Ingredients for four people).
For the brownie:
420 grams of beets.
60 grams of butter.
80 grams of chocolate.
160 grams of sugar.
180 grams of flour.
20 grams of black garlic.
For the cream:
100 grams of cream.
25 grams of kefir.
40 grams of sugar.
Beets provide about 43 calories per 100 grams of edible portion. The carbohydrates present are mostly sugars. It is low in fat and has no cholesterol.
Among the vitamins, B9 and minerals such as potassium stand out.
Its color is due to betalain, a pigment that provides the characteristic coloration of beets.
Peel the beets and mash them in a food processor, it does not need to be highly processed. On the other hand, melt the butter together with the chocolate in a bain-marie. Beat the eggs with the sugar and add the black garlic. Add the beet with the flour and integrate the rest of the ingredients with the help of a spatula.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place the mixture on a buttered baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes. After that time, remove and let it rest.
The cream cream:
Semi-assemble all the ingredients and reserve.
Finishing and presentation
Cut the brownie and serve with the cream.
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