Brindisa is a much-loved brand among Londoners who enjoy Spanish food. With five restaurants across the city, a shop and a thriving business importing Spanish products, it has made an enormous contribution to Spanish cuisine in the UK capital over the past 30 years. In her book Brindisa: The True Food of Spain, the owner of the company, Monika Linton, shares her encyclopaedic knowledge and recipes. Linton, 54, describes her journey from a childhood in Africa to university studies in Spanish, culminating in a teaching post outside Barcelona. She evokes memories of home-cooked meals prepared by Spanish mothers who "adopted" her into their families. Her life story is so interesting, and Linton is such a skilled storyteller, that one wishes the book could metamorphose into an autobiographical novel. History is a fascinating ingredient in Brindisa’s success. Following Franco’s death in 1975, the industrialised and standardised food production enforced during the fascist decades gave way ...

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