Anything But Paella

Puente La Reina and its Roasted Red Peppers

Puente La Reina (The Queen’s Bridge) is a small medieval town lying just a short drive South West of Pamplona, beyond the windfarm on El Perdon. It seems strange to be writing about a place some nine years afte visiting, but every time I eat roasted red peppers, I feel I should tell you about the fabulous day we had there.

The town lies on the Arga river and is on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. You can’t help but notice the tell-tale shells marking The Way as you walk through the narrow streets. The path goes straight over the seven-arch Roman bridge which dominates the river scene. There are more modern bridges for vehicular traffic, of course. There is some beautiful architecture around too, and you can’t really get lost so just wander around at your leisure.

Thanks to just wandering around at our leisure we found something amazing. As the summer fades away to autumn, it is time for families to harvest their red peppers and bring them to a special place. Huge industrial sized roasters were being well utilised in a car park. Family groups gathered with their buckets of red peppers and it was a communal effort to remove the seedy core and stalk before huge quantities were poured into the roasters. The skin turned black very quickly and the smell was incredible. Luckily for us, there were some stalls where we could sample the goods. We have been huge fans of roasted red peppers ever since!

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