- The Plate
A Spanish-American Food Connection, Forged by Boat and Battlefield
The first time I saw America, I was serving as a crew member on a Spanish Navy ship–a 1920s tall ship called the Juan Sebastían de Elcano, named after the great 16th century explorer. I was 8 or 9 years old when I first saw her with my father in the port of Barcelona. I was hooked. I wanted to see the world, and I believed that the navy was how I was going to do it. But my father told me I had to joint the military to get on a ship like that.
And of course I did, because in Spain at that time, every boy had to do a year of military service. I was 18
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