Zodi’s Blog

The Butcher of Seville

Most of us don’t really think too much about our meat or where it comes from, and that’s probably good. While I’m far from becoming a vegetarian, I get more and more turned off of pork at least, every day.


In this little village in Spain there are no big mega stores. The local supermarcado is about the size of a US convenience store and not as well stocked. You will not find any prepared food, any microwave dishes, or any Jimmy Dean ‘Death on a Stick Breakfasts.” Here, if you want bread you go to the panderia, if you want drugs you go to the mayor, and if you want meat you go to the butcher.


The butcher shops here are a whole other ballgame from the US. They do have chickens but the ‘big meat’ is pork. The sties are kept really close to the shop. Close enough to hear the fat bastards squealing in vain for their diminishing lives as their throats are cut. “Do you still hear them Clarice?” –Yea, like that bad!


Just about every other day you will find a sow tied spread-eagled on a back table which is plainly visible from where you order. Or you can see them just hanging out, chillin in the freezer, which always seems to be open. The whole thing is a lot like a horror movie, but it’s more of a gross out flick than a psychological thriller.

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Also, hanging from every square foot of ceiling space is a leg of pork. Every few minutes the second butcher will come up and slap a few more chunks of meat and/or flesh on the counter. They display almost every part of the pig including the feet, ears, scalp, and brain. Then they make pudding out of the blood. If I ever see a dick I’m taking my American ass home. Even without swine genitals displayed, I don’t know how much more of any of this I can take. Chick peas have enough protein to live on, don’t they? If not, there is Lovejuice!

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I guess that I really hate blood and guts. I definitely would have become a doctor if I didn’t hate guts so much. Well, there were also the issues of grades, effort, discipline, work ethic, ethics, and lack of desire. But I mostly blame the blood and guts.


It doesn’t help that there are anywhere between 3 and 15 elderly Spanish women in the shop at any given time. Each ordering 40lb’s worth of sliced and diced pig flesh. Then they want their meat prepared a hundred different time consuming ways. This leads to a 45 minute average wait per visit. One of the nice things about old Spanish women is their disagreeable attitude towards personal hygiene. As a matter of fact, brushing of the teeth and washing of the ass were not even ranked in this years top 100 things to do every day by ‘Cosmo’ Spanish Mountain Women over 60 edition. They’ll clean the living shit out of a house but not too much of that water is wasted on skin. –Ah, you gotta love them though!!


What these sweet, smelly old ladies do with the 40 lb’s of raw meat that they purchase every day is beyond me. Maybe they are a breed of vampire that doesn’t have the whole sun allergy issue. It would explain how the men drink from dawn, smoke cartons of cigarettes a day, and still never, ever, ever die. They are like 95 going out till 6am, getting shit faced drunk, maybe even laid. Yea, I’ve seen some strange things here.   


Now throw in the fact that none of the shops have AC. The meat is somehow kept a degree or two cooler than room temp, putting the meat at around 93 most days!  So you are now assaulted by the heavenly odors of old lady feet, breath, and ass, combined with drying salt and fat, slowly decomposing flesh, and fresh, still warm blood.

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I can say that in 14 months of living here I’ve never seen one of the butchers wash or sterilize a knife, cutting board, or counter. I’ve never seen them don a glove, not even one in tribute for the day MJ died. They chop up pork for one blue haired bandit, slice some rabbit for another, then filet my pechuga de pollo, all with the same knife, board, and on the same counter where the swirl of juice and blood is cess-pooling. Then they bag it up, handle the money, make change, and wish you a ‘que tenga buen dia.’

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The first month we lived here my wife and I probably lost 10 lb’s each from a constant state of ‘quivering gripper’ as I call the condition. Then we quickly got used to it. That’s the only good thing I can come up with; nobody ever gets sick over here. Not even a cold. I think the new western hypochondriac nation is going to end up being the death of us all. It’ll create a superbug. Live over here and you either end up with an iron stomach and a bullet proof immune system, or you just die. Good old Darwin!



All that being said it’s still too gross to bear. Every trip ends up getting worse, not better. Even 20 minutes in the tiny, cramped, hot room, listening to the ripping, sawing and hacking of thick, pink flesh, hearing the slap as the scalp and ears are tossed a foot in front of you, is too long. You start to sway in motion with the legs hanging inches from your face and imagine what could happen if you passed out in the midst of such carnage. You imagine the worst. The whole scene is like something from a Jeffrey Dahmer wet dream. There are days that if I can’t get my wife to go, I’ll just go to the fish store, but that’s a whole new blog.


July 10, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,


  1. I am sure it would all be good with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

    sound effect here

    Comment by fundamentaljelly | July 10, 2009 | Reply

    • Ah yes we do covet, do we not? Do your eyes not seek out the things you want?

      The Chianti would have to be imported from Italy; but they do a fantastic Rioja, which would bring out the flavor of the brain perfectly!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | July 10, 2009 | Reply

  2. I was all prepared to say that people who refuse to acknowledge that the meat they eat is animal flesh, who must separate themselves completely from the slaughter/butchering end of the process, disgust me.

    However, this is not dressing a deer on a nice grassy field somewhere, and hanging it in the fresh air of your barn. This is somewhere between…well, I’d prefer not to even think of things to compare it to.

    Old lady ass and rotting pork. Two great tastes that taste great together.

    Comment by barelyknittogether | July 10, 2009 | Reply

    • No, this isn’t at all about people owning up to what they are eating and why it is on their plate. I know what you mean though. But this is only about the very unique experience of buying meat in 1809. That is the year it is here. Right now.

      You can’t blame the old ladies; they didn’t even have deodorant in 1809. Well maybe they did, I have no idea. You can’t blame the butchers for not keeping the meat cold. I know for a fact that ice wasn’t invented until 1979 when Bill Cosby left his pudding out in the cold one night. First the pudding pop then the ice cube. That’s the progression of invention!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | July 10, 2009 | Reply

  3. I was hungry until I read this hilarious post.

    Thanks alot, Scott!

    They use the blood for pudding? Surely you jest??

    Comment by candice | July 10, 2009 | Reply

    • I do not jest! It’s actually called blood pudding. I’ve never had it, but I doubt it what we think of as pudding.
      Go have a nice salad!!
      Or some fish~

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | July 11, 2009 | Reply

  4. I was going to make some remark about how I think about meat and pork all day, but then the picture of the “woodsman axe” laying on the piggy made me blackout. Please send me a case of pork products and that axe.

    Comment by Ramblin' Rooster | July 11, 2009 | Reply

    • I went in and asked if I could take a few pics. I was delighted to find that they had apparently staged a set of a horror movie.

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | July 11, 2009 | Reply

  5. Yes Candice they do use the blood to make sausage pudding – it’s delicious!

    Comment by nursemyra | July 11, 2009 | Reply

    • -Thanks for stopping in. If you’ve had blood pudding, are you British, Spanish, or just brave?

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | July 11, 2009 | Reply

  6. When I was young, I didn’t know there was any other way to get meat than to load up an animal and take it to the butcher. When I was about 12, we moved to a city big enough that the grocery stores sold little packages of meat on a styrofoam platter wrapped in cellophane. I always wondered how people could eat it without knowing where it came from.

    Don’t look Rooster, but every bite of chicken I ate before the age of 12 went from being a feathery bird in the yard to being a plucked bird on the table. And I was the one who plucked it.

    I’ve since outgrown my thoughts on meat. I buy the frozen and styrofoam encased ‘meat’ they sell in the grocery stores and I don’t ask where it came from.

    Comment by Claire Collins | July 11, 2009 | Reply

    • See, I grew up the exact opposite. I don’t think I even realized that meat came from animals until I was 7 or 8. I was a city boy and nobody in my families circle hunted.

      If I would have seen shit like that when I was a little kid (I was sensitive) I probably would have gone vegan. Maybe not though, a great hamburger or steaks are my two favorite meals. Still the carnage, oh my God, the carnage.

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | July 12, 2009 | Reply

      • My kids don’t believe me when I tell them how my life was as a kid. My mother and grandparents still live on farms and the kids have been there and seen the animals. They just don’t realize what they are really for. They know meat comes from animals, but I don’t think they’ve quite put two and two together although my daughter is starting to think about it. She made a comment the other day about eating poor animals. I told her she didn’t have to eat meat if she didn’t want to. She still does, but she may stop at some point.

        Comment by Claire Collins | July 12, 2009 | Reply

      • Funny, my son Ethan has finally figured it out. He said just yesterday, “So, they kill the chickens to make chicken? That we eat?”

        Yes, son. Chickens are harmed in the making of chicken. Sorry to say.

        Comment by barelyknittogether | July 12, 2009 | Reply

  7. This seriously makes me reconsider you as a true evil genius. These sights should inspire delight and a “bwehahahah!” Where did we go wrong?

    As a rabid carnivore I have gone so far as to write a “Meat Manifesto.”

    Parts of it included these thoughts: “Meat is neat, a fleshy treat. Meat on a slab. Meat on a hook. Meat for the kids and meat in the movies. It’s a viable solution and the carcasses of raw red death are a sea of blood to swim in…

    A progression of meat. Meat is born. And shits its pants. Grown up school meat. Boy meat girl. Meat, meat everywhere –and more then a morsel to eat. Dead meat. Packaged meat. Get ready to meat your maker, cow!”

    Comment by alantru | July 11, 2009 | Reply

    • Like I said, I’m not sure evil genius is right for me. I love hatching plans for world domination, but just don’t know if I have the blood lust. It’s pathetic; I’m like Cheney but without the ability to even shoot my friend in the face for telling my wife we were really in Vegas when I’d told her we were just starting wars.

      I love your meat manifesto! The only problem is most of the guys I know of who wrote manifesto’s didn’t um end up doing too good. At least legacy wise. It’s like a manifesto curse. Now you gotta hope PETA doesn’t find you. Could you think about writing me a manicotti manifesto and especially a manipulation manifesto? Manipulation suits me a lot more than blood!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | July 12, 2009 | Reply

  8. Rooster- No, unfortunately it wasn’t, that as real as it gets. If they knew I was going to be taking pics they probably would have recruited a 90 year old woman to mop up all the blood all over the floor.

    Comment by Scott Oglesby | July 12, 2009 | Reply

    • I just can’t understand why no one was wearing a carved out pig’s head as a hat.

      Comment by Ramblin' Rooster | July 13, 2009 | Reply

      • Or a skin helmet, why do they not wear skin helmets?

        Comment by Scott Oglesby | July 13, 2009 | Reply

  9. why do I feel like reading “Lord of the Flies”? I have been reading your blog tonight… way too long! Good stuff! Thanks.

    Comment by timm | July 13, 2009 | Reply

    • Timm- thanks for stopping by! Damn, I hadn’t even thought of the ‘Lord of the Flies’ reference, and I could have used it too. I haven’t read that since high school, I’m gonna have to grab a copy. It’s amazing what a little blood lust will do to adolescents huh?

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | July 13, 2009 | Reply

  10. There are a few rules I live by when in another country.
    1. Never ever eat anything (such as fruit) that’s been cut up and is now in a cup. Chances are the knife used to chop up the watermelon/mango/platano whacked the head off a chicken not five minutes earlier. And no, there is no bleach or Ivory dish soap to be seen. Not even a dirty rag.

    2. Don’t visit a carnecaria unless you’ve been toying with the idea of become a vegetarian or are doing a documentary for PETA. To remind yourself of this rule, take a picture of yourself underneath a recently decapitated and still dripping pig’s head.

    3. Wear deodorant and lots of it. Make liberal use of perfume / cologne. If you smell far too fruity or musky, there’s no way you’ll be able to smell 17 day-old B.O.

    4. If that doesn’t work, breathe through your mouth.

    5. Don’t use public toilets. If in a difficult situation, behind a tree will ALWAYS be more sanitary.

    Comment by Pammy | July 13, 2009 | Reply

    • Wow, a couple more of those bad boys, a little filler and you got yourself a best selling travel book!
      #1- or even some glassware
      #2- did you see all that blood on the floor?
      #3- I was going to see about getting some of the stuff that the crime scene guys smear on their upper lip to cover the odor.
      #4- there are too many flies to do that. If your not careful they will fly in anyway! And you know where they’ve been.
      #5- even though that is not as much of a problem for me, it is a fun pastime!!
      You are spot on as always Pammy!!

      Comment by Scott Oglesby | July 13, 2009 | Reply

  11. […] to play on me. I did a post a couple months back about the gross butcher shops in Spain called The Butcher of Seville, and unfortunately that one post has drawn the freaks more than a meth party on a full moon in the […]

    Pingback by Keywords and Search Terms « Zodi’s Blog | December 6, 2009 | Reply

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