Spanish cuisine and gastronomy
Spain is considered to be a gastronomic Paradise on Earth. Such delicacies as jamon, seafood paella, tapas are known all over the world. But in fact, the main feature of Iberian cooking – a variety of dishes and ingredients.
Most of all, Spain is like a patchwork quilt, where an hour away by car you get from one world to another. And nothing illustrates this Spanish patchwork as well as cuisine and gastronomy. On the Mediterranean coast eat one thing, on the Atlantic-absolutely another, cuisine of North and South countries differs, as day and night, and both they not have nothing in common with those, than subsist in Central parts of.
Spanish cuisine occupies a very important place in the life of most Spaniards. It is no exaggeration to say that human life here is built around meals. Coming to work after a light Breakfast, an hour later the staff of the Spanish office will go to the nearest bar to drink coffee with a hot sandwich or tapas and at the same time to discuss where they will go for lunch today.
A Spanish family can save on anything — rent an inexpensive apartment on the outskirts, drive an old car or use public transport, buy clothes at sales… only saving on food is considered Impermissible, but this does not occur to anyone.
It is impossible to describe the diversity of Spanish cuisine in one article, so we will touch here only the most important, fundamental ingredients and dishes that can be found in most institutions across the country.
Main dishes and ingredients of Spanish cuisine
Olive oil (Aceite de oliva) is the most important product of Spanish gastronomy and the basis of all Mediterranean cuisine. It stews, it is fried, it is poured into salads, bread and just a plate of food, it serves as the basis for all Spanish sauces. A good olive oil should certainly contain the magic words Virgen Extra-the first cold press.
Jamon — Jamón) – the world famous delicacy, dried pork leg. It is divided into two main categories: ordinary (serrano) and Iberian (ibérico); for the production of the latter, a special breed of black pigs is used. To make the most delicious jamon, pigs are grazed in a meadow, fed acorns, and the leg is flaccid for many months or even years. The cost of this ham can reach 300 euros a kilo, and he adorns the festive table of the Spaniards for special occasions.
Chorizo (Chorizo) — the most famous Spanish sausage. It is made of pork with the addition of a large amount of paprika, which gives choriso a characteristic bright orange hue. There are many varieties. Spicy (picante) and plain (dulce), fresh, dried and smoked, thick and thin, of ordinary pork or Iberian, etc.
Tapas — Tapas) – cold or hot snacks, one of the key concepts of Spanish cuisine. The word tapas can be called absolutely any food that is served on a small plate as a snack to beer/wine or just as a snack between the main meals. Tapas vary greatly depending on the region, but there are several classic ones that can be found throughout Spain: fried potatoes (patatas bravas), peppers (pimientos del padrón), a kind of Olivier salad (ensaladilla rusa), potato omelette (tortilla), olives, sliced ham, chorizo or cheese.
Sandwiches “pintxos” or “montaditos” (Pinchos, montaditos) — the most traditional element of the cuisine of the Basque Country. It is these exposed on the bar pieces of bread with a variety of delicacies on top is usually called the word “tapas” inexperienced tourists. Each pintxos is definitely pierces a wooden stick, a toothpick, and the calculation for the food sandwiches is the number of sticks on your plate.
Spanish cuisine paella (Paella, arroz)
Paella is rice cooked with different ingredients. There are many types: vegetable, seafood, mixed (vegetables + meat + seafood), black (seafood with cuttlefish ink) and classic Valencian — with vegetables and meat (chicken, rabbit, pork). In some regions and institutions is called simply rice (arroz). Along with tapas, it is the main symbol of Spanish cuisine for foreigners. For the Spaniards themselves is associated with a family Sunday lunch with my mother and summer vacation on the coast.
Fried seafood in Andalusian (Calamares a la andaluza, pescadito frito, chipirones fritos) – as it is not difficult to guess from the name, a dish of Andalusian cuisine, a favorite of all Spaniards. Small squid, fish, pieces of cuttlefish crumble in batter or just an egg and fried in olive oil.
Meat, fish or grilled vegetables (Parillada de carne, pescado o verduras) — one of the most common ways of eating meat, fish and vegetables in Spain: cut, put on a barbecue grill or flat grill and pour olive oil. Turn, set, eat. Parillas are especially popular in Catalonia and Aragon.
Tortilla (Tortilla) — Spanish omelette, the most traditional version of which is made from fried potatoes with eggs. In this form is present in bars and restaurants throughout Spain, being one of the most common snacks. There are also more gourmet versions of tortillas – with a variety of vegetables, sausages and even seafood.
Octopus Galician (Pulpo a la gallega, pulpo a feira) – cut into rings tentacles boiled octopus, sprinkled with paprika and salt. Sometimes served on a Mat of boiled potatoes.
About what to eat specifically in Catalonia, read our article 15 of the most typical dishes of Catalan cuisine
Bon appetit! And do not forget that familiarity with Spanish cuisine in its best manifestations is an indispensable attribute of excursions with the Secrets of Barcelona!