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More Ketchup Than Salsa

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  2,348 ratings  ·  219 reviews
Have you ever thought about making a new life abroad?
It was while holding aloft a not altogether pleasant-smelling mackerel that the decision was made. The March rain hammered on the rotting tin roof high above the market stall, where I had spent the last six months pushing out dubious trays of marine life at three for a fiver. After a two-week holiday in Tenerife, one of
Kindle Edition, 374 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Joe Cawley (first published June 12th 2006)
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Average rating 3.38  · 
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 ·  2,348 ratings  ·  219 reviews

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Joe Cawley
Nov 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Marvellous... but then I am a bit biased ; )Joe Cawley
Karl Wiggins

Having lived on The Algarve for fours years myself, where most of our friends were bar owners, I can totally relate to the issues faced by Joe and Joy in the Canary Islands.

This is a MUST READ for anyone who's contemplating flying out to the Costa Brava, Malta, Cyprus, Tenerife or Portugal to buy a bar and become a millionaire. These Johnny-come-latelies, as we used to call them, haven't a clue what they letting themselves in for. They honestly believe all they have to do is sit at the end
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book should come with a warning! It's one of those books you can't put down until you finish reading. I was sitting in a cafe when I first opened this book. Breakfast patrons came and left, the lunchtime crowd disappeared and late afternoon I ordered another coffee to justify occupying a table for most of the day!

Joe's descriptions of moments in time and sense of place does what only great travel writing can do. Such observed writing gives us colours,flavours, imagery, customs - as if
Elizabeth Ducie
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Joe Cawley doesn't pull any punches in this well-written account, funny and heart-breaking by turns, of the first six months of a new life for Joe and Joy: exchanging a fish stall in Bolton for running a bar in Tenerife. The list of characters will be familiar to anyone who has ever spent time in an ex-pat community and the description of driving conditions will ring bells with anyone who has ever experienced the white-knuckle ride of a southern European motorway. The fact that I was reading it ...more
George Mahood
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVED this book! Reading it felt like I was peering through the window on the soap opera (and, more often than not, sitcom) that is Joe and Joy's life. Despite the trials and tribulations and all of the pitfalls that beset them, you still get an underlying sense - through Joe's clever, witty writing - that moving to Tenerife was the best thing he ever did. Fantastic book - would highly recommend it. Looking forward to the sequel.
Sarah Clement
If I had to summarise my review in one word it would be "meh". I expected this book to make me laugh based on the many positive reviews, but to be honest I barely managed a chuckle through the entire thing. Perhaps it's because I don't 'get' the British ex-pat thing (my experience as an American ex-pat is that Americans avoid each other like the plague and try very hard to create a new identity...but that just might be the Americans I have met whilst living abroad). But I'm not sure that's it. ...more
Tony Slater
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book really brought it home, just how hard it can be to achieve your dreams. Living in paradise is never as easy as it seems, and for some people – like Joe Cawley and his semi-dysfunctional family group – it is really, REALLY hard!
I loved this book. It made me laugh, there were tense moments, nerve-wracking ones, and some that would have made me tear up if I was less of a man. Ahem. In fact this book really involved me in the lives of its characters, to such a degree that I found
P. Christopher Colter
If you've ever thought about ditching your blah, everyday job in a cold climate and starting all over on a sunny tropical island, read this book first! It's the story of Joe, his girlfriend, his brother, and his brother's wife, as they uproot from working in a damp fish market in England and restart life as bar owners in the Canary Islands. The four meet with their fair share of struggles, crises, adventures, and a parade of interesting characters. Cawley balances everything very well here. The ...more
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe and Joy abandon their jobs in Bolton Fish Market and buy The Smugglers Tavern in El Beril, Tenerife along with Joes brother David and his wife Faith. They quickly find out that running a bar/restaurant is physically and emotionally hard work 18 hour days, 7 days a week; especially when confronted with the relentless heat, red tape, a catalogue of disasters, infernal cockroaches and the Eternal Brit Abroad mentality of their customers. Joe Crawley his unique style of humour into even the most ...more
Nicole* Nicole*
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must for anyone who has moved abroad or is thinking about doing so. It is easy to read, highly amusing and scarily true.
Ronald Mackay
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
More Ketchup than Salsa by Joe Cawley
With wit and consummate skill, Joe Cawley tells how he and his wife Faye left one job in Bolton food market for another running a restaurant-bar in a largely English tourist enclave on a beach in the sun. That it happens to be on the Canary island of Tenerife is less significant than the mind-boggling array of characters that their bar attracts: wanna-bees, hangers-on, spongers, free-loaders, leeches, felons, hoodlums, crooks, mobsters and hit-men. There’s
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun, light reading.

Four under-employed young Brits are offered the opportunity to buy a bar/restaurant in Tenerife. The out-going owner has promised to work with them for 4 days, but he gleefully takes off after day one, leaving the inexperienced new owners to quickly learn how to cook, prepare drinks, and face all sorts of unexpected obstacles. They soon find that fun in sun is not an option for pub owners who have to work long hours in the extreme heat. They also learn how inefficient Canary
Phil Altimas
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a very fun insite to the lives of joe and joy as they buy a bar in tenerife and then how the first year of running it planned out

well written and very funny
Pat Ellis
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable read - Witty, well written memoir - I am a sucker for the 'moving abroad' genre - this one didn't disappoint.
Julie Haigh
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of memoirs/travel memoirs/expat tales
Recommended to Julie by: Found in the amazon 100 free kindle bestseller lists
I really enjoyed this!

This was one of the first books I downloaded in Kindle format. At that time I had the kindle app on my phone and it was a novel experience getting all these free books from the top 100 free kindle bestseller lists on amazon. I whizzed through Joe Cawley’s memoir and really enjoyed it but all this time later I realise I hadn’t left a review. I have the follow up book, which I’m currently reading and loving, and I thought I’d re-read the first book to experience the whole
It was a quite entertaining book. I did not know where Tenerife is until I looked on the Internet. It is the largest island of Canary Island, which belongs to Spain, but its location is closer to Morocco than to Spain. By the way, I had lived in Hawaii and Key West for a few years. Before I started reading the book, I expected to read the similar wackiness of people in Key West. I soon found I was wrong. British are much more shy than American, and other Europeans are also different from ...more
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First, let me tell you that More Ketchup than Salsa has no recipes for either ~ I was in search for something new to make for dinner the day I downloaded this book. Now that I have read it, it is a very funny story written with dry British humor.

The variety of characters that visited the bar as Joe, Joy, David and Faith until she gave it all up was quite funny. They adjusted to the responsibilities of owning and operating a bar in a resort area with ever changing customers. It is written from
Linda Parkinson-Hardman
I would defy anyone who has ever lived in the UK, or anywhere else that is often cold, wet and rainy, not to say that they have had a secret yearning to change their life by heading for a life abroad. Every years, millions of us make the cattle class journey to European resorts and we watch the Brit’s who have made it, those who live permanently in our holiday destinations, with envy, thinking ‘what if‘. But, is the grass always greener in the sun? Of course not, it’s usually non-existent, the ...more
If you ever dreamed about owning a bar on a gorgeous island this book will probably bring you back to reality. Cawley gets real about being a business owner on a popular vacation spot for the Brits. On Tenerife life seems great unless you have to work 14 hour days. It isn't until he and his girlfriend Joy have been on the island six months that they even go to the beach.

This book started out really strong. Cawley humorously recounted their transition from fish market workers to bar owners.
Feb 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If your looking for a light hearted read to get you in the mood for your summer holiday this year then this could well be exactly what your looking for. Anyone who has ever been to a spanish holiday resort will relate to almost very page of this rib tickling tale, even as tourists and not bar owners, the way joe tells his story brings you in buys you a beer and welcomes you to the sun. Personally i have lived in various resorts in spain and experienced the highs and lows of working in the ...more
Isobel Blackthorn
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A punchy, upbeat tale of two couples buying and running a bar in Tenerife, More Ketchup than Salsa is written with oodles of lighthearted humour. The story set-up is swift, from a fish market in Bolton, the reader is soon on a plane with the narrator, en route to the Canary Islands.

Cawley portrays the British tourists and migrants he encounters with sharp observation, capturing perfectly the various types who choose to visit or live in Spain. The memoir exemplifies the struggles that beset
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
A really enjoyable and entertaining read. Joe and Joy his brother David and his wife Faith swap the grey skies of Bolton to run a bar in El Beril, Tenerife. If anyone ever thinks it must be marvellous to run a bar on a sunshine holiday island – think again! They quickly find that it is fraught with difficulties not the least being the Spanish Banks and other authorities. Joe has a marvellous eye for detail and his descriptions of the expat community and British holiday makers is brutally ...more
Nikki Bywater
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Confessions of a Tenerife Barman

When Joe and girlfriend Joy decide to swap their lives living in Bolton and working at the local market on a seafood stall, for a life of sunshine and sand running a British themed pub restaurant in Tenerife, they soon find out that living and working in a busy holiday resort and amongst ex-pats is full of mishaps and their dreams become a reality and reality bites.

This is a really funny and entertaining book. Joe gives an honest and humorous account shared in
Linda Fode
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was the most entertaining book I've read in years. Having come from British stock & having lived for a season as a Canadian expat in the UK , I resonated with the adventures of the Cawleys. We may speak the same language but the interpretation varies wildly. I can't wait to download the next adventure.

Joe has given me permission to resurrect my understated wit & humour . I'll be using it in my writing. Let's have a virtual cuppa soon!
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A laugh on every page!

I thoroughly enjoyed every chapter! Even though I have never been to the Canary Islands I could "see" the bar and all the "locals". That to me is the sign of a good book. I read for my satisfaction. A FIVE STAR must eat.I hope that the rest of the series is s good.
Jay Artale
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: expat-novels
Enjoyable read. Joe's a good storyteller. I pulled up a high stool at the bar and engrossed myself in the surrounding and characters of this Bar in Spain. Any thoughts of running my own bar in sunny lands has flown out the window. But it was great to live vicariously by Joe for a couple of months.

Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
amusing and engaging

Lots of funny moments in this memoir relating the move from cold Britain to tropical Tenerife. Well written, amusing and uplifting. If you like Bill Bryson, you'll enjoy this. Worth the read!
Judy Mccartney
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting ebook on life for expats from England, moving to Tenerife and buying a bar and running it. Not knowing the language, having no experience in running a bar or restaurant, dealing with people from several countries speaking different languages. Easy read.
Linda Austin
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this down. From the freezing town of Bolton, where my family are from and I lived for a while, to sunny Tenerife and the people visiting The Smugglers every mad character that Joe and Joy met had me chuckling to myself. I can vouch that Bolton if cold and miserabe!!
May 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frankly, I wasn't too optimistic at the outset: another Brit expat in sunny climes - yawn .... But, Cawley s quite a good writer! There's a vague promise of a sequel, and I'm hoping he gets such a contract.
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Joe Cawley is a travel writer and award-winning author published in many international newspapers and magazines such as The Times, New York Post and Taipei Times.
His first book, More Ketchup than Salsa was voted 'Best Travel Narrative' by the British Guild of Travel Writers and follows the disasters of a young couple seeking greener pastures abroad.
Joe currently lives in the hills of Tenerife with
“water plunged onto the shuffling shoppers below. Their faces were drawn and bleak like a funeral cortege following the last remains of hope. From life they expected nothing – save a nice piece” 1 likes
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