Rick Stein’s Spain

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Tues­day, 8.30pm, ABC1 Rick sticks the script in this se­ries fi­nal, chat­ting to in­ter­est­ing lo­cals and rhap­so­dis­ing over the lo­cal food. There is is noth­ing as ex­trav­a­gant as the episode where fine sliced pork was com­pared to com­mu­nion on a visit to the ‘‘ Vat­i­can of hams’’ but he does lay it on thick while vis­it­ing a paella fes­ti­val in Va­len­cia. There is more of the same in La Mancha, where he en­joys a gar­lic soup to tilt for. Jour­neys end is at Seville, ‘‘ where the old world met the new’’, giv­ing him a chance to talk about how food brought back from Amer­ica changed the way Europe ate. This is a food and travel mag­a­zine in TV form, de­signed for trav­ellers keen to strike out on their own, but not too far off the beaten track. It is all lovely im­ages and de­li­cious but un­de­mand­ing recipes with ami­able lo­cals ex­plain­ing why we should come to visit. You’re not go­ing to learn a lot about Spain and how peo­ple are cop­ing in these hard times, but the food does look fab­u­lous and Stein’s good-na­tured style makes this ami­able es­capism.

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