Lisa Abend is a journalist based in Madrid whose work has covered wars, politics and cultural issues. Her latest emphasis has been on the culinary world. The Sorcerer's Apprentices is her first book. Expat Foodie.
"And so, when the bartender in Cuenca set the plate before us and we beheld a huge pig mask — with holes where the eyes and snout used to be, and glistening pockets of fat beneath the cheeks — Leah and I were instantly and irrevocably converted back to what we really were: Americans. We wanted to eat it, or at least wanted to be able to say we had. Yet one tentative bite revealed grease, and gristle, and — ick — a few charred, bristly hairs. We each choked down a mouthful, then pushed the rest away. 'You don’t like it?' asked the bartender, sincerely surprised. Defeated, we admitted that we did not, and slunk out of the bar. Do I have to say it? We stopped for pizza on the way back to the hotel."