Yes, Yes, Pionono / Sí, sí, Pionono

We have very close to home a great casual restaurant and bar called Meson Salvador, for tapas and other Spanish delights. The owner and waiters are warm and friendly, and we’ve been there several times for lunch and dinner. Our first meal there (and every time since), they’ve bought us after-dinner drinks (chupitos — click for a reminder of our problems with the word).

Tenemos muy cerca de casa un gran restaurante y bar informal llamado Mesón Salvador, para tapas y otras delicias españolas. El propietario y los camareros son cálidos y amables, y hemos estado allí varias veces para el almuerzo y la cena. Nuestra primera comida allí (y todas las veces desde entonces), nos han comprado bebidas para después de la cena.


So, now I have another new favorite after-dinner drink. For me, it ranks right up there with vino dulce (sweet Sherry), vino naranja (orange wine), and caramel vodka (caramel vodka). It’s called Pionono and it’s apparently not easy to find (possibly downright impossible) in stores, but I found a website that sells it. It’s a lot like Bailey’s Irish Cream… only better (in my opinion).

Entonces, ahora tengo otra nueva bebida favorita para después de la cena. Para mí, está a la altura del vino dulce (jerez dulce), el vino naranja (vino de naranja) y el vodka de caramelo (vodka de caramelo). Se llama Pionono y aparentemente no es fácil de encontrar (posiblemente imposible) en las tiendas, pero encontré un sitio web que lo vende. Se parece mucho a la crema irlandesa de Bailey… solo que mejor (en mi opinión).

The Pope
Pionono is traditionally a pastry and not an after-dinner drink. Whenever I’ve told one of our friends in Sevilla about my new favorite chupito, they tell me they’ve never heard of it, although they’ve all heard of the pastry, which has been around since Andalucía was under Muslim rule and still called Al-Andalus. There are many different versions of pionono in Latin America, but in Spain it’s typically a thin layer of pastry rolled into a cylinder, fermented with different kinds of syrup, and then crowned with toasted cream (and eaten in one or two bites). The recipe evolved over 9 or 10 centuries until it became known in the 1900s by its current name in honor of Pope Pius IX (Pio Nono). In Italian, Pio for “Pius” and Nono for “Ninth.” (He was lampooned at the time as “Pio No No.”)

El Papa
Pionono es tradicionalmente un pastel y no una bebida después de la cena. Siempre que le he contado a uno de nuestros amigos en Sevilla sobre mi nuevo chupito favorito, me dicen que nunca han oído hablar de él, aunque todos han oído hablar de la repostería, que existe desde que Andalucía estaba bajo el dominio musulmán y todavía llamado Al-Andalus. Hay muchas versiones diferentes de pionono en América Latina, pero en España es típicamente una fina capa de masa enrollada en un cilindro, fermentada con diferentes tipos de almíbar y luego coronada con crema tostada (y comido en uno o dos bocados). La receta evolucionó a lo largo de 9 o 10 siglos hasta que se hizo conocida en la década de 1900 con su nombre actual en honor al Papa Pío IX (Pio Nono). En italiano, Pio para “Pius” y Nono para “Novena”. (Fue satirizado en ese momento como “Pio No No.”)


The Problem
The only problem with Pionono (the drink) is that San Geraldo really, really likes it, as well. And that means I don’t get to drink both our complementary glasses. And — although the Dowager Duchess will not approve, I’ll say it anyway — that really, really pisses me off.

El problema
El único problema con Pionono (la bebida) es que a San Geraldo también le gusta mucho. Y eso significa que no puedo beber nuestras dos copas complementarias. Y, aunque la duquesa viuda no lo aprobará, lo diré de todos modos, eso realmente me molesta.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

24 thoughts on “Yes, Yes, Pionono / Sí, sí, Pionono”

    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      The small one is all he can handle! And if I ordered another for me, it would no longer be complementary… and where's the fun in that? Well, on second thought… even more fun. It is SO good.

  1. Oh goodness!! Piononos and Pionono flavored chupitos are amaaazing! The last time we were in la Alpujarra, I tried both! Antonio says the best piononos are in Santa Fe, close to Granada. Every time I walk by Catalina, I think about you guys! That´s where you dined often, right?

    1. Brittany:
      Yep, apparently Santa Fe is thought to be the home of piononos (the postre). Amazingly, I so far have met no one (other than Meson Salvador folks) who have ever heard of the drink. More for us!

      You and Antonio have got to have a meal at Catalina (Casa de Comidas y Más); it's the one across for Plaza Ponce de León and next to Hotel Doña Blanca. We fell in love with the place and the people, and they all became really good friends. If you get there, tell them Mitchell & Jerry send abrazos!

    2. Yes! Ponce de León. When I walk to/from the center, I walk right past Catalina. I'll definitely send along your well wishes and abrazos if we ever make it there to eat! 🙂

      You guys should check out la Alpujarra one day! It's really a lovely place. Mm… piononos.

  2. Hmmmm… maybe I can find some of that before we leave next week. Sounds pretty good to me. But wait… we still have a half bottle of sherry (we think that's what it is) to finish first. By the way… rain again this evening… no processions.

    1. Sharon:
      Apparently, a big procession in Málaga was rained out this morning… although it never ended up raining I think! We lucked out last night, but I don't know if the luck will continue to hold. I think I mentioned that quite a number of Sevilla's processions were rained out last year.

  3. Good to see that you both are getting comfortable with your new surroundings. Those pastries look very tasty indeed. How dare San Geraldo like that drink! The nerve!

  4. even casual dining looks wonderful and beats by a country mile the mundane and near tolitarian cuisine here in the States.

    1. Spo:
      I've definitely got a Spanish bias, so I won't argue the point. But, I'm sure just the fact that it's different from what we (you and I) have been used to, makes it wonderful… well, that and the fact that is IS wonderful.

  5. A pity I can't send you a bottle of elderflower champagne….not Pionono I realise but the Great Scot produces a lovely vintage and perhaps San Geraldo wouldn't fancy it. Just a thought.

    1. Jacquielineand….
      It's a pretty safe bet that San Geraldo wouldn't like elderflower champagne. Unfortunately, he also likes vanilla vodka. Fortunately, he doesn't like orange wine (but that's never complementary)!

  6. First off: " it ranks right up there with vino dulce (sweet Sherry), vino naranja (orange wine), and caramel vodka (caramel vodka)."
    I did a double take … oh, caramel vodka.
    Secondly, sounds like San Geraldo is a Pionon-ho.

    1. Ron:
      Have got to find the pastries. As for the liquor, I can't even find it here! If you don't have any luck there, try that link I provided. Maybe they ship to Nova Scotia. If not, I guess a trip to Fuengirola will have to planned.

  7. How do you manage to stay so svelte when you have all that gorgeous food and drink? Hugs to San Geraldo and the kitties. xox

    1. Nubian:
      Exercise, walking miles a day, a genetic predisposition to look undernourished, and good genes. I've just given hugs to all. (Moose told me to stop annoying him; Dudo and San Geraldo send hugs back… Oh, Moose says he sends hugs to YOU, too.)

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