Rocks and Hard Places

Parsley, or perejil, is considered so easy to come by and so indispensable in Spanish kitchens that it is given away. When you buy your fruit and vegetables at the local market a puñado or fist of parsley is usually flourished wordlessly into the shopping bag without your asking. When I first started living here and offered to pay for it, a stallholder admonished, "We don't make a fuss over perejil." Last week, however, the Spanish got both fussy and fisty over a place that got its name from the plant, a tiny island called Perejil — or Leila in Arabic...

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