Spanish cuisine (part 1)
According to popular beliefs, the cuisine of Spain is a “Mediterranean diet” with cooking based on fruits, vegetables, legumes, rice, seafood, cereals and greens. However, in reality, in Spanish cuisine more meat dishes than, for example, fish. The national Spanish dish is ham ham, not just paella. The consumption of fruits and vegetables by the average Spaniard is also far from the five diets prescribed by the Mediterranean diet. Five diets for fruit is about two and a half glasses of juice or two, say, apples a day. For greens-two and a half cups of finely chopped vegetables, that is, two plates of fresh salad a day.
The use of olive oil for cooking is now ubiquitous in Spanish cuisine, but until the early twentieth century, the most common fats in Spanish cuisine were animals.
Spanish cuisine is not a single national cuisine, but 17 different cuisines of its regions.
Spanish cuisine itself is very simple. Its main components are onions, garlic, bell peppers, herbs and olive oil.
Regional culinary traditions
Each region of the country has its own unique culinary traditions. Common attributes of the Spanish meal for all regions of Spain are olive oil, garlic, aromatic herbs and wine. A huge variety of products and recipes of Spanish cuisine is due primarily to the favorable climate, conducive to the growth of many crops. Rice is widely used in cooking, particularly in the famous paella.
The North Atlantic coast of Spain is famous for its sophisticated sauces and soups. Basque cuisine is considered to be the most exquisite in Spain. Cantabrian cuisine is famous for its dishes of shellfish, trout, sardines, as well as a dish of rice with fresh salmon “rice in Santander” (Spanish: arroz santanderino). Asturian cuisine is famous for fabade-a dish of local white beans with lard and various types of sausages. Galicia in Spanish cuisine are boiled octopus, pork legs with rutabaga leaves, Merlin fish, stewed in a clay pot. Meat dishes from Aragon are invariably accompanied by chili sauce of tomatoes, peppers and onions, and in Rioja and Navarre vegetable sauces and side dishes are appreciated. Catalan cuisine has long had close ties with the cuisines of southern France and Italy and is therefore very diverse. The basis of many main dishes of Catalan cuisine consists of four sauces: sofrito (garlic, onions, tomatoes, peppers and herbs), samfaina (tomatoes, peppers and eggplants), picada (garlic, herbs and roasted almonds) and Ali-Oli (garlic with olive oil). In Catalonia, thick and fragrant monkfish soup and fried pork sausages with white beans in boiling lard, as well as stew of pork head and pork legs are popular. In Andalusia, where the best olive oil in Spain is produced, deep-fried dishes are common. Typical of Murcia cuisine are hearty cocido, Murcia meat pie and rice dishes. Castile and Extremadura are considered in Spanish cuisine “zone hot.” Segovia is famous for its roast suckling pig, Soria and Burgos for roast lamb. A delicacy from Salamanca is braised veal tail. Cheeses are an important export in La Mancha. Toledo marzipan is prepared according to old Moorish recipes. Madrid cuisine is famous for its cocido — a thick soup with chickpeas and tripe with black pudding morsilla and pepper sauce.
Main article: Tapas (dish)
Sandwiches with squid
Tapas — Spanish Tapas) – snack served in Spain to beer or wine. In Spain, there are special tapas bars where you can order several types of snacks for a large company. Among the favorite Spanish snacks-olives, olives with lemon, tuna, almonds, a variety of sandwiches, such as popular in Madrid bars sandwiches with squid, as well as fried shrimp and squid, marinated pork, ham, morsilla, potato tortilla, cheese, cheese appetizer with olive oil.
Snacks include pies stuffed with meat, fish and vegetables. Each region of Spain has its own names and recipes for pies. For example, on the Balearic Islands it is Spanish coca [Coca] — an open pie resembling a pizza. As a filling can be used traditional sausage, sardines, tuna. In Galicia prepare a large closed empanada pie stuffed with meat, fish and mushrooms. In Catalonia, prepare a cake (Spanish pastel) stuffed with lobster meat.
As a rule, lunch in Spain begins with a salad of fresh or cooked vegetables, seafood, beans. As a dressing, olive oil or olive oil with vinegar is most often used.
Seafood salad (Spanish ensalada de mar) is very popular. It consists of shrimp, mussels, pieces of boiled squid and other seafood, sometimes — mushrooms and capers. Ingredients vary by region and time of year.
Spaniards love tomatoes and garlic, so one of the most popular salads is called — tomatoes with garlic (Spanish ajotomate). As a rule, this salad is sprinkled with herbs and dressed with olive oil.
Russian salad (ensalada rusa Spanish) the Spanish call a salad. Malaga salad is made from unusual ingredients: dried cod, orange slices, olives and onions. Celery, tomato and orange salad (Spanish ensalada de apio y naranjas) is also popular. It is served with a sauce of red wine, olive oil, vinegar, salt and sugar. Another salad of oranges, which can be both sweet and salty, called Remocon.
The salad is usually followed by soup. It can be dressing soup (Spanish caldo) or thick soup-puree (Spanish crema). The national dish of Spanish cuisine is Olha podrida, thick soup, stewed meat with vegetables.
One of the most famous Spanish soups — Andalusian gazpacho — Spanish gazpacho) – vegetable soup of tomatoes and cucumbers, which is prepared without heat treatment and served cold, sometimes even with ice cubes. Originally from Cordoba, another cold soup — salmorejo. Salmorejo recipe is very simple: bread soaked in cold water, mixed with tomatoes, crushed garlic, olive oil, seasonings and other ingredients. Another famous and also a cold Spanish soup without the addition of tomatoes — ajoblanco — also a native of Andalusia and popular in Malaga and Granada.
The most famous Spanish dish, undoubtedly, can be called paella (Spanish paella). It is a rice dish cooked in a special way. There are many recipes for paella. The Spaniards themselves claim that there are more than three hundred. Classic paella, in addition to rice, includes 6-7 species of fish and seafood, chicken, white wine, herbs and spices. In some regions of Spain is preparing paella beans.
Valencia is the main rice-growing region of the country. Traditional dishes of the region include rice with tomatoes, legumes, artichokes and other vegetables, rice with tuna and vegetables and black rice cooked with cuttlefish ink (Spanish: arroz negro).