May 09 from 2021 - 07: 50
Dénia today is one of the most famous cities in Spain for its great and varied cuisine. Not for less is it possible to be a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. Its Mediterranean diet has been known to combine and adapt to other trends, but always championing our very popular products such as the famous red prawn. Now, this was not always the case, and on one occasion the city became known for another unusual product. A product that meowed before ending up on the plate of one of the biggest stars in Hollywood history.
It has been more than 60 years since the Hollywood blockbuster was filmed with which Dénia was projected on the big screens around the world. Is about Captain Jones, a work that made a deep impression on Dianense society, to which even a nice statue of questionable taste has been dedicated.
The film, a Russian-American co-production, was directed by John Farrow, and its cast consisted of names like Robert Stack, Marisa Pavan and Charles Coburn. However, among them Ruth Elizabeth Davis stood out, although she became famous throughout the world under the pseudonym Bette Davis.
The actress was never another name in the casts in which she participated. Throughout her career she was nominated up to 10 times for the Oscars, becoming the first interpreter to reach that figure and which only four people have surpassed to date. Of those nominations he won the statuette twice, for Dangerous in 1936 and by Jezebel in 1939. In addition, a few years before landing in Dénia she starred in what was surely her most important film and with which she won the Best Actress award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival: Naked eva.
However, in the filming she was also well known for two great peculiarities, her exquisite - and carnivorous - palate and her harsh character, which became a big headache for both the filming team and a Dénia merchant.
In 1958, during the filming of the film, the Marina Alta suffered from a great shortage of food products, as was the case throughout the country. Among these foods that were in short supply was beef. However, the actress, who played Tsarina Catherine the Great, demanded that the film crew wanted to eat first-class steaks during filming. The discussion reached a point where the artist threatened the producer with abandoning the shoot if they could not satisfy their hunger for quality meat.
"In 1958, Bette Davis ate at least twenty cats alone in Dénia"
According to the books of Manuel Vicent No one dies the eve y Ava at night, a cattle dealer in the area was in charge of supplying the food. The latter, scared seeing that he could lose his job, had no choice but to pull his imagination and get the meat from wherever it was. That "wherever" was the cat community of Dénia.
The trafficker hired a gang of young people who hunted the animals that ended up passing through the grill, straightened, yes, in a sauce that was intended to disguise their flavor. And it worked! According to the anecdote collected by Vicent, the actress exclaimed, "It's exquisite!" after the first bite of the unfortunate cat.
The smile returned to Bette Davis' face and the team was able to breathe easy. Manuel Vicent assured that "in 1958, Bette Davis ate at least twenty cats alone in Dénia", according to the newspaper ABC. Something anecdotal and that luckily is no longer in any menu of what is now the Creative City of Gastronomy of UNESCO.