Anyone who has seen the series will not be surprised by anything Tony says or does, in this episode, which seems all too familiar, at least, IMHO, except, perhaps, for the seemingly, inexorably long time he spent at a chocolatier, at one point, quite literally, watching a chocolate sculpture melt with purposeful intent in the Spanish sun.
Now, I love chocolate as much as, if not more than, anyone, and, I'll be the first to admit that I found the process somewhat interesting, if not fascinating, but I was genuinely surprised not to see or hear Tony poke some fun of his experience there! This was a frou-frou artist making a frou-frou design; it was perfect for the curmudgeonly barbs of Bourdain, but never, not once, not even as an aside, did we hear nary a disaparaging word! I would have settled for a roll-of-the-eyes look at the camera! We never even got to see Tony eat any of the result! (did his doctor say that it's okay to smoke and drink, but to stay away from chocolate???)
Is this the Tony I've learned to appreciate for his unflagging, sharper-than-a-shark's-tooth, wit? Was he on a mega-dose of Valium while at this establishment? Was he getting kickbacks from the chocolatier? Are we in a parallel universe where an angelic Mr Hyde takes over for an infamously evil Dr Jekyll?
The rest of the show was as unremarkable as this part was astonishing for its acceptance of a silly, though probably trend-setting, confectionary production. As disappointed as I was by this episode, I have to say that it didn't affect me at all! Now, where did I put that bag of Hershey's Kisses?
I have watched Anthony Bourdain in many different countries. In the northern part of Spain, he could barely hide his enthusiasm. To see why he was so excited intrigued me to watch the rest of the show with more interest than usual.
Tony was in love with the natural ingredients and geography, as well as the innovation that is occurring in the region. Seeing him with Ferran Adrià Acosta reminded me that how No Reservations and Bourdain's affiliation with the Travel Channel began. It was like old times, yet always new.
I can say that there will be foodies sojourning to Northern Spain to have the experiences that Tony had. They will not be sorry.