Culture and geography played a major role in shaping the Spanish cuisine. This cuisine comprises of dishes that speak of differences in terms of its people’s culinary perspective and ways. The country is also surrounded by bodies of water, therefore influencing the ingredients used in said cuisine. Spain’s rich and long history likewise added to the spectrum of its culinary gems. Many have also recognized the presence of Romans in the early periods, where precious items were traded in lieu of other commodities. It also started the trade between neighboring countries, which in effect did not only emphasize but enhance the food’s local flavor.
The featured dishes in this cuisine are varied and tend to represent Spain’s regions. It also makes use of ingredients including herbs, spices and natural produce. The presence of these valuable ingredients also paved way for the creation of delicious and homemade recipes; most of which are considered distinct and very Spanish.
It basically started with wheat, when the Romans decided to trade this item from Spain to other parts of the world. Legumes, garlic and onions are also essentials that have been traded in the passing of years. Influences have also introduced other ingredients, including potatoes and olives.
It has been said that a multitude of dishes await any Spanish cuisine aficionado. Many of these dishes vary in flavor and texture that it will never fail to satisfy your palate as a dining guest. However, a large number of these recipes are considered common due to its prevalence in certain regions, while some dishes boast of recipes that are essentially of Spanish lineage and roots.
Ingredients Utilized in Spanish Cuisine
Chicken, Beef, Pork, Lamb
Squid, Mussels, Crabs, Shrimps, Prawns, Cod, Tuna, Clams
Potatoes, Olives, Peppers, Tomatoes, Cabbage, Artichokes, Mushrooms
Lentils, Chickpeas, Green Beans
Cherries, Bananas, Pears, Apples, Pomegranates
Considering the large number of Spanish dishes that is merely available, there are several components that make this cuisine truly definable. Many of its recipes rely on ingredients such as beans and bread. Sausages and cheeses are also popular ingredients. More so, the Spanish cuisine takes pride in its desserts and sweets. Typical samples of this are churros, flan, custard and rice pudding.
Famous dishes likewise include Gazpacho, which is a dish comprised of cold bread and tomato soup. There is the Calamares ala Romana or fried squid for seafood lovers and Chuletillas or grilled lamb chops for meat-eaters.
Stews also comprise this rich cuisine. Famous examples are bean stew or Fabada Asturiana and Cocido, which is a stew comprising of meat and chickpeas. The Famous Jamon Serrano is also identifiable with the Spanish, as it clearly represents their affinity to meats.
Spain, being a country with a long history, did not only prove how resilient its people have become. In the long run, this cuisine also showed us the relevance between food and time. Years ago, this cuisine is simply ruled by the Romans but as days pass, the originality and individuality of its people were allowed to shine. History may have taught us ways and innovative ideas. However, we should not forget that food can be a perfect medium of survival. This cuisine is never different as it vindicated its name somehow. For this cuisine showed how food can complement progress, without necessarily losing its sense of taste and innate style.