I stumbled upon pisto manchego by accident.

There were 4 of us. We finished class and were famished. The culture class ended at about 2 PM and Ann, Aicha, Katalina and me thought we should have lunch together.

It was summer. The temperature was about 38 degrees. The color of the season was apple green. Katalina was telling us about her preparation for her wedding. Everything was right. You can’t forget Madrid just like that.


The faculty has 2 cafeterias. One is situated at the entrance of the building and will bring you straight to the ‘aulas‘ (the classroom) and truth be told I only came to realize the existence of the second cafeteria on that particular day itself.

There were a small standing blackboard beside the bar counter scribbling of ‘menu del día‘ and the ‘precio‘ in chalk. I have no idea what is pisto manchego but I told the bartender that I would like that one, please.

Then I prayed hard that it would not be something that I’m not supposed to eat.

3 of them ordered ‘bocadillos‘ or sandwiches. I can’t remember what was the filling but Ann has ‘tortillas españolas‘ almost everyday for breakfast. She loves potatoes and eggs so an omelet with both is heaven sent.

I waited patiently for my pisto.

It came on a hot plate with a ‘baton‘. The oval plate was filled with the most delicious vegetable stew I ever had that I swear I would learn to cook it and choke myself with it all year round. On top of the stew was a freshly cracked egg cooked slowly with the heat of the stew.

That day was legendary. Ann and Aicha decided to order another plate of pisto and from that day onwards we hunted for the recipe and cans of pisto manchego to carry back home.

It’s one of my many connection to happiness.

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