More Ketchup than SalsaMore Ketchup than Salsa by Joe Cawley
Published by Joe Cawley on December 9th 2013
Pages: 253
Goodreads
three-stars

A hilarious insight into the wild and wacky characters of an expat community in a familiar holiday destination, More Ketchup than Salsa is a must-read for anybody who has ever dreamed about jetting off to sunnier climes, finding a job abroad or flirted with the idea of ‘doing a Shirley Valentine’ in these trying economic times.


Joe Crawley’s step father bought a bar on the island of Tenerife and strongly suggested that his two stepsons and their partners run it. They all had dead-end jobs and no experience in the hospitality business but they moved from England to the Canary Islands to give it a go.

They quickly realized that running a bar and restaurant in a resort is very different than being on vacation yourself. They are surrounded by British people who want all the comforts of home – just on the beach.

“…at times it seemed like an imported little Britain full of patrons who thought that abroad was any sunny place bedecked in red, white and blue where the locals couldn’t talk properly.”

There was no call to go getting adventurous with the food either.

“For some stalwarts even our Hawaiian burger, simply chicken breast crowned with a pineapple ring, would prove too exotic for simple palates: “Hawaiian burger? Oooh nooooo. Foreign food doesn’t agree with me. Have you not got anything like curry or bolognaise?”

In between power outages, bureaucratic nightmares, the mafia, and hordes of cockroaches, they manage to make a go of it even if their relationships might not survive intact.

If you’ve ever considered quitting your job and going to live on the beach, read this book first.

You can also read-

A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the CaribbeanA Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean by Melinda Blanchard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the story of a higher class beach restaurant and has the recipe for the world’s best cornbread.

three-stars

8 Replies to “More Ketchup than Salsa”

  1. Haha, this sounds like a really interesting memoir. I love the idea of getting a more realistic perspective on what it would be like to move to an island and run a small business there 🙂

  2. What a fun book! I had to laugh at the Hawaiian burger comment–so “exotic’ compared to curry… (It does make me slightly crazy when things get a pineapple ring on them and they are Hawaiian though!) 😉

  3. The quotes were funny! Nice to know that it isn’t only Americans who sometimes look really stupid when traveling.

  4. My husband and I constantly think about moving away when we retire. The Canary Islands never crossed my mind but I think this book would be an excellent way for me to “travel” right now.

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