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In timp ce explorezi o alta tara care iti satisface cu siguranta curiozitatea, va

trebui in cele din urma sa iei o pauza si sa-ti satisfaci si apetitul, de asemenea.
Din fericire pentru tine, gastronomia unica a Spaniei ofera o gama variata de feluri de
mancaruri care iti vor lasa pofta de si mai mult, chiar si dupa ce esti plin! Asadar,
mergi la bar pentru a incerca niste tapas, apoi opreste-te intr-o dimineata devreme
pentru a servi Churros.
Istoria mancarurilor spaniole
Succesiunea de culturi din Peninsula Iberica au lasat fiecare un semn de durata pe
fiecare fateta a culturii spaniole: limba, muzica, arta, arhitectura si bineinteles,
mancarea. De fapt, multi oameni sunt surprinsi sa afle cat de delicioasa este in
esenta bucataria spaniola.
Influente geografice ale mancarurilot spaniole
Temeiul istoriei alimentare spaniole are de-a face, desigur, cu situatia sa geografica.
Inainte de toate, tara este situata in peninsula Iberica si, prin urmare, este aproape in
intregime inconjurata de ape. Fireste, datorita aceastei locatii norocoase, fructele de
mare ocupa unul din pilonii principali ai Gastronomiei din Spania si clasifica tara ca
avand o dieta mediteraneana. Restul Spaniei este un teren divers format din lanturi
muntoase, pasuni bogate, linii de coasta extinse, care furnizeaza impreuna destul de
mare varietate de produse proaspete.
Culturile de-a lungul istoriei alimentare spaniole
Culturile nesfarsite, ce au trecut prin Spania sau stabilit in Spania, au influentat
istoria culinara spaniola. Fenicienii au lasat sosurile, grecii au introdus minunile de
ulei de masline, romanii, cartaginenii si evreii au integrat elemente din propria
bucatarie si au alipit-o Spaniei. Cu toate acestea, maurii au fost cei care, pe
parcursul secolelor lor de domnie, au avut un impact major asupra gastronomiei
spaniolilor. Ei au introdus fructele si asezonarea condimentelor in dieta Iberica,
precum si combinatii de fructe si fructe cu coaja cu carne si peste. Orezul, fibra
autentica in gastronomia spaniola face ca Spania sa aiba o gama larga de mancaruri
din orez care vin direct de la mauri, la fel ca si utilizarea de sofran, scortisoara,
nucsoara si miez de nuca. In timp ce mananci gazpacho pe o zi fierbinte de vara, le
multumesti culturii gastronomice maure, deoarece tot de la ei vine. Concluzia? Destul
de ironic, alimentele pe care le consideram a fi "tipic spaniole" nici macar nu ar fi
existat sau ar fi extrem de diferite, fara interventia atat de multor culturi in istoria
gastronomica spaniola.
Impactul Americii in istoria culinara a Spaniei
Impreuna cu impactul sau istoric evident, descoperirea Americilor de catre celebrul
Cristofor Columb, din 1492 a dus la adaugarea mai multor elemente importante
pentru istoria culinara spaniola. Incepand cu 1520, alimente din noi terenuri au ajuns
in Spania si a inceput astfel o integrare imediata a acestora in dieta spaniola. Printre
numeroasele produse care au traversat Atlanticul si au ajuns pe gazonul spaniol se
numara: rosiile, vanilie, ciocolata, diverse feluri de fasole, cartofi care, surprinzator au
sosit in Spania inainte de a ajunge in Irlanda, toate acestea sunt elemente
constituente a bucatariei spaniole de astazi.
Obiceiuri in alimentatia spaniola: Mesele

Micul dejun al unei zile normale consta intr-o ceasca de cafea, desi este banal, de
asemenea, cafeaua aburinda cu leche se serveste cu un croissant sau alte produse
de patiserie. In timp ce un mic dejun american are clatite, sunca, oua iar
traditionalul mic dejun spaniol este compus din popularul Churros, servit presarat
cu zahar sau dunked in ciocolata calda.
Spaniolii servesc masa de pranz sau comida, intre orele 2 si 4 dupa-amiaza. Servind
ca masa principala a zilei, aceasta este destul de traditionala, fiind ceva mai mare
decat cina, sau Cena. Un pranz tipic va avea mai multe cicluri. Primul ciclu consta in
partea mai usoara a mesei, de obicei consta dintr-o salata sau supa, al doilea ciclu
este format din peste sau o portie cu carne. Desertul poate fi format dintr-o bucata de
fruct, o tarta cu fructe tipic spaniola, un produs de patiserie dulce sau tort.
In timp ce exista, desigur, multe persoane care mananca mese complete, cina
spaniola (cena) este in mod traditional mult mai mica decat Comida (amiaza).
Deseori sunt compuse din ceva mai usor, gen o salata, un sandwich sau gustari
tapas.
Gustarile Tapas
O traditie a inceput cu mult timp in urma, in orasul sudic din Sevilla, spaniolii
perfectionand arta gustarilor (snack-urilor).
Sobremesa
Denumirea spune totul. Cuvantul Sobremesa inseamna dupa masa si se refera la
arta conversatiei din timpul mesei. Spaniolii stau adesea la masa de vorba,
savurand compania celuilalt, eventual langa o bautura. Daca acea conversatie
devine interesanta, se va intinde ore in sir.
Siesta
Nu este un mit, faimoasa siesta de care a auzit toata lumea chiar exista. Acest obicei
a inceput cu mult timp in urma si consta in faptul ca fermierii, dupa ce luau pranzul
aveau nevoie de odihna inainte de a-si relua munca pe domeniile lor. In timp ce
aceasta pauza de zi cu zi nu include neaparat si un pui de somn, intreprinderile si
magazinele se inchid pentru aproximativ 2 ore pentru ca angajatii sa se intoarca
acasa si sa serveasca masa cu familiile lor.
Vinul
Fie afara la un restaurant sau in casa cu familia, este foarte tipic sa bea un pahar cu
vin pe timpul mesei. Atat de obisnuit este acest lucru incat restaurantele ofera vinul
inclus in meniul comandat, incluzandu-l in pretul de publicitate.

Buctria spaniol produce mncruri consistente i picante, cu


numeroase mirodenii care fac s se tearg gustul specific al
ingredientelor carnate. Ca exemplu avem ardei cop i cu aluat i
cacaval. Alte mncruri tradiionale sunt paella (orez cu fructe de mare);
tortilla (cartofi, ou i ceap prjite n tigaie sub form de omlet).
Condimentele mediteraneene nu lipsesc niciodat.

Bucataria spaniola este alcatuita dintr-o mare varietate de feluri de


mancare, varietate datorata diferentelor de geografie, cultura si clima
dintre regiunile acestei tari. Istoria bogata a Spaniei, si influentele
culturale au dus la nasterea unei bucatari unice cu litreralmente mii de
retete si arome. Radacinile ei sunt mediteraneene iar pestele si fructele
de mare sunt ingrediente de baza.
Introducere
Bucataria spaniola este alcatuita dintr-o mare varietate de feluri de
mancare, varietate datorata diferentelor de geografie, cultura si clima
dintre regiunile acestei tari. Istoria bogata a Spaniei, si influentele
culturale au dus la nasterea unei bucatari unice cu litreralmente mii de
retete si arome. Radacinile ei sunt mediteraneene iar pestele si fructele
de mare sunt ingrediente de baza.
Peninsula contine doua tipuri culinare majore. Satele din nord si nordvest au o dieta cu multa grasime animala. Celalalt tip este precursor al
dietei mediteraneene si se intalneste in partea iberica a peninsulei.
Istoria bucatariei spaniole
Arheologii au descoperit in timpul excavatiilor diverse tipuri de legume,
ceapa si usturoi. Maslinele au fost aduse de fenicieni, iar graul au fost
adus din Acvitania, in nord. Graul din Iberia era considerat a fi cel mai
bun din Imperiul Roman si era unul din principalele articole de export.
Spania si bucataria romana
Bucataria romana era un compozit de feluri de mancare aduse din toate
colturile imperiului. Spre exemplu, exista documente care mentioneaza
aducerea a mii de amfore cu ulei din Spania la Roma.
In acea era, varza era bine cunoscuta si apreciata, fiind considerata
drept panaceu pentru diverse boli. Alte legume populare erau anghinarea
si ceapa.
In Spania Romana, sunca din Pomeipolis (Pamplona) avea un prestigiu
deosebit. Pe langa grau, exportul de produse de porc a pus bazele unei
economii locale puternice.
Lintea constituia baza hranei soldatilor, fiind usor de conservat si
transportat. Fasolea fava (o fasole verde pastai) era bine cunoscuta din
antichitate si era socotita sacra de romani. In timpul Saturnaliei, festivalul
din cinstea zeului Saturn de la sfarsitul lunii Decembrie, acest tip de
fasole era folosit pentru alegerea regelui festivalului. Se crede ca acest
obicei sta la baza obiceiului din ziua de azi de a ascunde un obiect in
Roscn de Reyes (o prajitura traditionala spaniola cu fructe in forma de
colac). Pana de curand, acel obiect era o boaba de fasole flava.
In partea de nord a tarii, sunt foarte populare ciupercile.
Spaniolii stapaneau arta altoirii pomilor fructiferi. Plinius a vazut la Tibur
(denumirea antica a orasului Tivoli) un copac pe a carui fiecare creanga

crestea un fruct diferit: nuci, mere, cirese, pere, rodii, dar adauga ca
ramurile s-au uscat repede.
Grecii au fost cei ce au raspandit viticultura in regiunea mediteraneana,
iar vinurile iberice erau cele mai populare din imperiu.
Bogatii si nobilii erei mancau intinsi pe canapele (un obicei importat de la
greci), folosindu-si mainile, furculitele nefiind inca inventate. Foloseau
doua farfurii, una plata (platina sau patella) si una adanca (catinus), pe
care o tineau in mana stanga. Cutitele erau cunoscute dar nu si folosite
la masa, deoarece mancarea era taiata in bucatele mici de catre sclavi.
Foloseau insa linguri, care ca si in ziua de astazi aveau marimi diferite in
functie de uzul lor. Primele linguri erau confectionate din valve de
molusca cu manere de argint.
Principalele ingrediente ale bucatariei spaniole
O parte semnificativa a bucatariei spaniole deriva din cea evreiasca si
cea maura. Maurii au fost o influenta puternica in Spania pentru multe
secole si multe din mancarurile lor se consuma inca. Insa carnea de porc
este foarte populara si pentru multe sute de ani, a manca carne de porc
echivala cu o declaratie de nationalitate limpieza de sangre (puritatea
sangelui), deoarece acest aliment nu era consumat de evrei sau
musulmani.
Bucataria spaniola foloseste de asemenea ingrediente aduse din
America, cum ar fi cartofii, rosiile, piperul sau fasolea. Din Spania, aceste
alimente au fost mai apoi raspandite in Europa.
Acestea sunt cateva din influentele principale care deosebesc bucataria
spaniola de bucataria mediteraneeana, cu care are in comun multe
tehnici si ingrediente.
Ingredientul esential este uleiul de masline, iar 50% din productia
mondiala de masline vine din Spania.
Mesele zilnice inca se mai prepara traditional din ingrediente proaspete
cumparate zilnic din piata locala. Acesta practica este mai comuna in
ariile rurale decat in orase, unde supermarketurile au inceput sa
inlocuiasca pietele in aer liber.
Gatitul traditional spaniol graviteaza deseori in jurul gratarului in aer liber,
intr-un cuptor de caramizi sau lut.
Tapas
Cand spaniolii ies in oras, consuma bauturile alcoolice (vinul, berea sau
sherry) cu tapa.
Tapa sunt in esenta gustari usoare, aperitive. In multe regiuni din Spania,
ele se includ in pretul bauturii (bauturi alcoolice, nu racoritoare). In multe
baruri exista 6 pana la 8 feluri diferite de tapa, condimentate cu mult
usturoi, chilli sau paprika, si uneori inotand in ulei de masline. Tapa pot fi
preparate din peste sau fructe de mare cum ar fi ansoa, sardelele sau
scrumbiile in ulei de masline, sau caracatita in sos de rosii, condimentate

cu ardei verzi sau rosii. Tapa includ aproape intotdeauna masline cum ar
fi manzanilla sau arbequina. Unul sau mai multe tipuri de paine sunt de
obicei servite cu gustarile in sos.
Alte tapa sunt: chorizo al vino (carnat gatit incet in vin), gambas (crevete
prajit in sos negru sau usturoi), rajo (carne de porc condimentata cu
usturoi si patrunjel), queso con anchoas (branza castiliana cu ansoa),
ensaladilla (legume fierte cu ton, masline si maioneza), tortilla (de
cartofi), allioli (pasta de usturoi, uneori cu maioneza, pe paine)
Churro
Churro este o alta mancare favorita a spaniolilor. Churro este un produs
de patiserie dulce si prajit in ulei, numit uneori gogoasa spaniola. Se
consuma cu o cana de ciocolata calda densa, in care se inmoaie.
Churro se prajeste pana devine crocant. Aluatul se modeleaza cu
churrera, o seringa cu ciocul in forma de stea. In general au forma
prismatica, si pot fi curbate sau spiralate.
Aroma tipica este cea de scortisoara, si sunt de obicei servite pudrate cu
zahar.
Feluri de mancare traditionale spaniole
Printre multele retete care compun bucataria variata a Spaniei, unele
dintre ele sunt comune pe intreg teritoriul: tortilla de patata (omleta de
cartofi), gazpacho (supa rece de rosii), paella (orez cu sofran), stufatul si
tocana (fabada asturiana - tocana de fasole), migas (paine veche de o zi
cu usturoi si pimenton - paprika afumata, si ulei de masline), carnati
(cum ar fi embutidos - carnat de porc, chorizo - carnat de porc cu
paprika, and morcilla - carnat de sange), mariscos (fructe de mare),
lechazo asado (miel de lapte prajit), chuletillas (cotlet de miel de lapte la
gratar), jamn serrano (sunca sarata uscata), si branzeturi. Se mananca
si multe feluri de mancare bazate pe legume boabe (linte, boabe verzi,
naut), supe si paine, cu numeroase varietati regionale.
Deserturile spaniole difera putin de la regiune la regiune. Sunt preferate
crema din oua si lapte, tartele cu fructe, budinca de orez, torrijas (paine
prajita frantuzeasca), turron (un desert de Craciun cu migdale si miere) si
bineinteles churros.
In ceea ce priveste bucatariile regionale spaniole, desi acestea difera
mult intre ele, au totusi caracteristici comune cum ar fi:
Folosirea uleiului de masline la gatit;
Folosirea sofrito (sos de rosii cu usturoi, ceapa si ulei de masline)
ca baza pentru multe feluri de mancare;
Usturoiul si ceapa sunt condimentele cele mai importante;
Obiceiul de a bea vin in timpul mesei;
Painea acompaniaza cea mai mare majoritate a meselor;
Consumul de salate, in special vara;
Consumul de fructe sau produse lactate drept desert.

Cine a calcat pe pamanturile Spaniei a inteles ce comori se


ascund in bucatariile acesteia. In Spania, fara doar si poate,
bucataria mediteraneana si-a gasit locul, fiind numita si Mecca
bucatariei sanatoase. Gastronomia spaniola este cea mai
diversificata din Europa, imbinand perfect cultura si gusturile,
oferind cele mai rafinate mancaruri, cu o savoare deosebita.
Aceasta este alcatuita dintr-o mare varietate de feluri de
mancare, date de diferenta de geografie, cultura si clima dintre
regiunile acestei tari. Ca de exemplu, in partea de nord si nordvest exista o alimentatie cu multa grasime animala, pe cand in
partea iberica a tarii se gasesc adeptii dietei mediteraneene.

Istoria bogata a Spaniei si influentele culturale au dus la nasterea unei


bucatarii unice cu mii de retete si arome, iar multe dintre acestea sunt
inca preparate ca acum 200 de ani, radacinile ei fiind mediteraneene.
Primele influente culinare au fost date de bucataria romana, aducand
feluri de mancare din toate colturile imperiului. Exista documente in care
se mentioneaza ca au fost aduse mii de amfore cu ulei din Spania la
Roma si se cultivau legume care constituiau baza pentru hrana
soldatilor, de genul linte, fasole, varza si ciuperci.
Din multitudinea de retete spaniole, cateva dintre acestea sunt comune
tuturor zonelor tarii precum: tortilla de patata, paella, carnatii chorizo,
branzeturi si tocanitele delicioase. Exista de asemenea si multe retete de
mancare ce au la baza leguminoase, ca de exemplu: mazare, fasole

uscata sau verde. Spaniolii sunt indragostiti si de supe, dar si de paine,


ambele cunoscand o multime de varietati.
Un punct forte al retetelor spaniole este usturoiul care se combina cu
orice si se poate adauga pana si in supe. De asemenea, la loc de cinste
pe mesele spaniolilor stau maslinele, fie sub forma de ulei, fie marinate
sau crude, servite ca aperitiv. Uleiul de masline si usturoiul sunt printre
putinele alimente din bucataria spaniola care uneori sunt comune pe
mesele oamenilor intre cele doua zone geografice.

Bucataria spaniola foloseste intens cartofii, rosiile, ardeii grasi, fasolea si


ciupercile. Aceasta include bineinteles si multe retete cu carne. Puiul,
iepurele si porcul se pun in mancare sau se folosesc pentru salamuri si
carnati preferatul spaniolilor este chorizo, un carnat afumat picant. In
categoria carne, nu vom uita sa includem pestele si fructele de mare
care sunt ingredientele de baza. Caracatita gatita in propria ei cerneala
este cel mai gustat preparat din fructe de mare, dar acelasi animal marin
se poate regasi si in supele de peste, care se fac dupa retete diferite in
functie de zona. supe. De asemenea, la loc de cinste pe mesele
spaniolilor stau maslinele, fie sub forma de ulei, fie marinate sau crude,
servite ca aperitiv. Uleiul de masline si usturoiul sunt printre putinele
alimente din aceasta bucatarie care uneori sunt comune pe mesele
oamenilor intre cele doua zone geografice.

In ceea ce priveste bauturile, spanioli isi incep diminetile cu cafea, dar


dupa amiaza este stropita din plin cu sangria, un punch facut din vin rosu
si fructe aromate, care se gaseste peste tot in Spania.
De aceea, datorita acestei variatiii de retete si gusturi bine definite, sa
mananci in Spania poate fi o experienta de neuitat.

panish Eating Customs: Tapas


A tradition begun long ago in the southern city of Seville, Spaniards have
since perfected the art of snacking. Going out for tapas consists of
travelling from bar to bar and sharing plates of the bars' specialties with a
small group of friends. Learn more about tapas!

Spanish Eating Customs: Sobremesa


The name says it all. The word sobremesa literally means "over the
table" and refers to the art of conversation after a meal. Instead of taking
the last bite and leaving, Spaniards often stay at the table conversing,
savoring each other's company, and perhaps sharing a drink. If good
conversation ensues, be prepared to stay for hours!

Spanish Eating Customs: Siesta


No, it's not a myth. Yes, the infamous siesta really does exist. It began
long ago as after eating the large mid-day meal farmworkers needed to
rest and digest before going back out to work the fields. While this daily
break doesn't necessarily include a nap, businesses and stores do shut
down for about two hours and many people return home to eat with their
families.

Spanish Eating Customs: Wine


Whether out at a restaurant or in the home with the family, it is very
typical to drink wine along with a meal. So common, in fact, that
restaurants offering a men almost always include wine in the advertised
price.

Spanish Eating Customs: Coffee


Coffee is quite the Spanish phenomenon. Many Spaniards drink several
cups of their favorite caffeinated beverage in the course of a single day.
Coffee also traditionally follows a Spanish meal and is served after the
dessert. To fit in with the locals, ask for a caf con leche (coffee with
milk), a caf solo (coffee without milk), or a caf cortado (coffee with
some milk).

Spanish Eating Customs: Tipping


While its practice is completely voluntary, many restaurant patrons
choose to leave a modest tip of around 5-10% after a meal.

History of Spanish Food


The succession of cultures that one-by-one set foot on the Iberian
peninsula have each left a lasting mark on every facet of Spain's culture:
language, music, art, architecture and, of course, food. In fact, many
people are surprised to learn just how much of a delicious melting pot
Spain really is.

Geography of Spanish Food


The basis of the history of Spanish food of course has to do with its
geographical situation. First of all, the country is located on the Iberian
peninsula and is therefore almost entirely surrounded by the waters.
Naturally, due to this fortunate location, seafood forms one of the pillars
of Spain's gastronomy and categorizes the country as having a
Mediterranean diet. The rest of Spain is a diverse terrain made up of
mountain ranges, lush pastures, fertile farmgrounds, extensive coastlines
and more, which together provide quite the variety of fresh products. For
example, Spain's famous hams are cured high in the mountains,
vineyards and olive groves sprawl across expanses of land, and fresh
fruits and vegetables hail from throughout the country.

Cultures Throughout the History of


Spanish Food
Endless cultures, as they passed through or settled in Spain, have
influenced the history of Spanish food. The Phoenicians left their sauces,
the Greeks introduced Spain to the wonders of olive oil, and Romans,
Carthaginians, and Jews integrated elements of their own cooking into
that of Spain. However it was the Moors who, during their centuries of
reign, most impacted Spanish gastronomy. They introduced fruits and
light seasonings into the Iberian diet, as well as combinations of fruits
and nuts with meats and fish. Rice- a genuine staple of Spanish
gastronomy- and therefore Spain's vast array of rice dishes, come
straight from the Moors, as does the use of saffron, cinnamon, and
nutmeg. As you eat gazpacho on a hot summer day, thank this clearly
gastronomically talented Moorish culture, as it too comes straight from
them. Conclusion? Ironically enough, the foods we consider to be
"typically Spanish" would either not exist or would be extremely different
without the intervention of so many cultures into the history of Spanish
food.

The Americas' Impact on the History of


Spanish Food

Along with its obvious historical impact, the discovery of the Americas
with Christopher Columbus' famous 1492 voyage resulted in the addition
of more important elements to the history of Spanish food. As of 1520,
foods from the new lands arrived in Spain and immediately began to
integrate themselves into the Spanish diet. Amongst the many products
that crossed the Atlantic and arrived on Spanish turf, tomatoes, vanilla,
chocolate, various beans, and potatoes - which surprisingly arrived in
Spain before arriving in Ireland- are all staples of today's Spanish
kitchen.

History of Spanish Food


The cuisine of many countries is
influenced by the additions
introduced by other cultures. This
is especially true with Spanish
cuisine. The influences of other
cultures on the cuisine in Spain go
a long way back and as other
influences were incorporated,
Spain developed a cuisine that is
uniquely its own.
Spain is situated with water around most of it. It connects to France
on the northeast and is just a short distance from Morocco on the
southern tip where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic. This puts
Spain in a good position to be influenced by many cultures that sail
both seas. Much of Spain is considered to have a Mediterranean diet
as many of the cultures that influenced Spains cuisine came from
that part of the world.
Each region of Spain has added it own variations to what these other
cultures have brought. Vegetables as well as meats are consumed
with great pleasure in Spain. With so much of Spain surrounded by
water, fish and seafood are also very much a part of the cuisine.
The Phoenicians sailed the Mediterranean and brought their sauces
to Spain. The Greeks gave the Spanish cuisine the gift of olives and
olive oil though the Romans are at times credited with introducing

the Spanish to these important ingredients. Other cultures that have


contributed to the Spanish cuisine are the Jews and the
Carthaginians. While they left their mark on the cuisine, it is the
Moors who most strongly influenced Spains cuisine.
For over five hundred years, the Moors ruled Spain so it is no
wonder that they indelibly left their mark on the cuisine. The Moors
brought many of the fruits that are eaten in Spain today. Mixing
fruits, nuts, fish and meats with light seasonings was one appetizing
introduction. Rice was brought by the Moors and is a staple of the
Spanish diet. This accounts for the abundance of rice dishes in
Spain, especially Paella. The Moors also brought nutmeg, saffron and
cinnamon to Spain. A cold soup that is catching on around the world
that is typically Spanish is gazpacho and we can thank the Moors for
that, too. If not for the Moors, Spanish cuisine would not be the
gastronomical pleasure it is today.
At one point in the Moorish rule, Christian, Jews and Moors lived
fairly harmoniously and this helped to blend many of the individual
cultures contributions to the cuisine. Pork is eaten a lot in Spain and
is a contribution by Christians, as neither Jews nor Moors would eat
it. However, pork dishes did have seasonings added and methods of
preparation used that were influenced by the Jewish and Moorish
cultures.
There are many things in the Spanish diet that came from a rather
great distance and were enthusiastically adopted and incorporated
into the cuisine before the rest of Europe. After Columbus sailed to
the New World in 1492, other Spanish explorers soon followed and
brought back many delightful additions to the Spanish diet. Among
them were tomatoes, chocolate, vanilla, various types of beans and
potatoes, all of which are now considered basic to the Spanish
cuisine. Though we think of potatoes as an Irish staple, they became
a staple in the Spanish diet before they were even introduced to
Ireland.
So, as you can imagine, Spanish cuisine is influenced by many
cultures. The Spanish food history of this wonderful cuisine was
popular many years ago and is becoming increasingly popular
today.

Agriculture alfalfa, barley, grapes, vegetables, olives, sugar beets, citrus, chickens, pigs,
sheep,
cattle, goats
Natural resources fish, coal, lignite, iron ore, uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, fluorspar,
gypsum, kaolin, potash, hydropower
Industries textiles and apparel, food and beverages, metals, chemicals, shipbuilding,
automobiles,
machine tools, tourism, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment
History Remains of Stone Age populations dating back some 35,000 years have been found in
Spain. Iberians and Basques were settled here when Celtic people arrived in the 9th century
BCE. Spain
was successively ruled by Carthage, Rome, and the Visigoths. In 711 CE Muslims invaded from
North
Africa. Moorish rule ended in 1492, when Christians from the north regained control of the
land.
Roman Catholicism was established as the official state religion, and most Jews were expelled
in 1492
and Muslims in 1502. With Columbuss discovery of America in 1492 and the conquest of
Mexico by
Cortes and of Peru by Pizarro, Spain gained great wealth and a vast colonial empire in the
Americas.
It also controlled the Netherlands and parts of Italy and Germany. The Spanish Hapsburg
monarchy
(15161700) became the worlds most powerful. In 1588, the defeat of the Spanish Armada by
Britain
led to Spains decline. When Hapsburg rule ended in 1700, Philip V became the first Bourbon
king of
Spain. Following his ascendancy, the War of Succession resulted in loss of many European
possessions
and triggered revolutions in most of Spains South American colonies. Spain lost its American
colonies
in wars and revolutions during the 18th and 19th centuries. It lost Cuba, the Philippines, and
Puerto
Rico in the Spanish-American War, 1898. In 1931 Spain became a republic, separating church
and state.
The Spanish Civil War (19361939) ended in victory for the Nationalists under Gen. Francisco
Franco,
who ruled as dictator until his death in 1975. His successor as head of state, King Carlos I,
restored the
monarchy. In 1978 a new constitution provided for a parliamentary monarchy. Spain was
officially
neutral in World War II, although it had friendly relations with fascist countries. Catalonia and
the
Basque country were granted autonomy in 1980, although Basque separatist violence
continued. Spain
joined the UN in 1955, NATO in 1982, and the EU in 1986. In 2004, commuter train bombings
in
Madrid killed at least 191 people; evidence indicated the bombings were caused by Islamic
extremists
angered by Spains having troops in Iraq. The opposition party led by Zapatero won elections
three
days later and removed Spanish troops from Iraq; Prime Minister Zapatero was reelected for a
second
term in 2008. Same-sex marriage became legal in 2005. In 2008 Spain agreed to add troops to
its contingent
in Afghanistan. As the worldwide financial crisis spread, Spain announced in October 2008 it
would spend up to 50 billion euros to buy assets of its troubled banks.
Provinces of Spain: The Balearic Islands, in the west Mediterranean, include Majorca,
Minorca, Cabrera, Ibiza, and Formentera; the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic west of
Morocco,

form two provinces and include the islands of Tenerife, Palma, Gomera, Hierro, Grand
Canary,
Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote. Ceuta and Melilla are small enclaves on Moroccos
Mediterranean
coast that gained limited autonomy in 1994.
Influences on food Spanish food was influenced by the Phoenicians, who founded the city
now
Cadiz in 1100 BCE; the ancient Greeks and Carthaginians, who may have started wine
production in
Spain; and the Romans, who planted olive trees. Now Spain is a leading producer of olives and
olive
oil. The Arab occupation for more than seven centuries brought the use of almonds and
introduced
citrus fruits, sugarcane, many vegetables especially eggplant, many spices, rice cultivation in
the
tidal flatland now Valencia, and the use of saffron in paella, whose origin is Valencia. The Jews
in
Spain called their country Sepharad; thus when they were expelled in 1492 and were
dispersed they
were called the Sephardic Jews, who developed one of the two main branches of Jewish
cookery.
The same year Columbuss voyage to the New World led to the Spanish Conquest and the
spread of
Spanish foodways there and in the Philippines. Foods brought back from the New World, such
as
corn, tomatoes, potatoes, and chocolate, influenced Spains cuisine. Spains long coastlines
provide
seafood, prominent in coastal areas. From Andalusia and Extremadura, in southern and
western
Spain, come prize hams and sausages. The mountains and central plateau are arid and
sparsely populated;
there the food is seasonal, simple, and hearty. Spain includes two other major cuisines,
Basque and Catalan.
Romescu (sauce of ground almonds, garlic, paprika, and tomatoes with vinegar and olive oil),
sometimes mixed with alioli to taste by each diner at the table. Migas (bread chunks fried in
olive
oil with garlic and perhaps bits of ham). Fried eggplant.
National dish Paella (rice cooked with saffron, seafood, chicken, sausage, peas, tomato, and
sweet peppers).
Sweets Honey, sugar. Fresh fruit. Fruit compote. Rice pudding. Flan (sweet egg custard
topped
with caramel). Banana fritters. Fried cylindrical doughnuts (churros). Cake with rum cream
filling.
Almond honey nougat.
Easter Holy Week sweets Tortas de aceite (cakes with olive oil, sesame seeds, and anise).
Yemas
de San Leandro (egg yolks poured through tiny holes into boiling syrup making angel hair.
with
almond paste).
Beverages Coffee with milk (cafe con leche), hot chocolate, cider, wine, sherry, sangria (red
wine,
fruit punch).
Meals Four meals a day plus snacks is typical: early breakfast of bread and coffee or cocoa;
midmorning
breakfast of grilled sausages, bread with tomato, or an omelet; early afternoon main meal
of soup or salad, fish or meat, and dessert, often with fruit and cheese; and late supper of
three
courses such as soup, omelet, and fruit.
Street food and snacks Churros and fritters (fried pastries), sold on streets. Tapas (tidbits,
or

finger foods), such as raw thinly sliced jamon serrano (mountain ham), served with wine or
sherry
in the evening in bars and cafes. The first tapas (lids) were pieces of bread used to cover
wineglasses
to keep out flies.
Balearic Islands A part of Spain, the Balearic Islands (Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza, and
Formentera)
are in the western Mediterranean. Along with Catalonia in northeast Spain, these islands are
where
Catalan cookery survives, although the island cuisine is peasant style and less sophisticated
than
that of Catalonia, especially Barcelona. The islands share many of the same foods with Spain,
such
as rice with rabbit and other game, snails, vegetables, and spices. Typical dishes include bread
and
garlic or cabbage soups. Typical Majorca ingredients include pork, sausages, lard, currants,
pine
nuts, cinnamon, peppercorns, and cloves. Majorca is famous for its apricots and almonds,
often
served as dessert. Minorca and Ibiza specialties include dried figs and plums. Other desserts,
of
Moorish (Arab) influence, are baked goods with almonds, almond ice cream, and a sweet iced
almond milk drink.
Canary Islands These islands are off the northwest coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean.
Called
the fortunate isles by the Romans, they have an agreeable subtropical climate. The first
inhabitants arrived about 2000 BCE, probably from southwestern France. Spain has ruled here
from
the end of the 15th century. The Spanish introduced sugarcane, the main crop for a century.
Then
corn from the New World and wine production superseded sugarcane, followed by bananas,
potatoes, tomatoes, and citrus fruits. Dishes include gofio (bread made from roasted and
ground
wheat, corn, or barley mixed with water), seafood grilled or in fish soup, and jacket potatoes
(papas arrugadas) boiled in salty water and eaten with their jackets, which have a white
deposit
of salt. Mojo, a sauce of oil, vinegar, garlic, and herbs (parsley and coriander in the green
version;
red peppers and saffron in the red version), flavors many foods. Many sweets are based on
corn
or almonds.