Hints of colour and flavour
Spanish cuisine is one of the most loved, especially in recent years, since its great chefs have appeared on the international stage and been recognized as among the most important in the world. Barcelona is perhaps the most interesting hothouse for innovation and gastronomy, as Ferran Adrià demonstrates. It is a melting pot of cultural energy, creativity and influence which has brought fame to its most famous sons, one of whom is Gaudì.
The same can be said of its confectionary, which is a true benchmark for professionals in this sector.
Spanish cuisine is the fruit of numerous influences, even its humblest cuisine. The coast and the islands can count on an incredible variety of products from the sea, like seafood, crustaceans, anchovies, tuna, octopus.... which are the basic ingredients for the most well known specialties.
In Ibiza, for example, among the traditional dishes we find “bullit de peix” a tasty dish of fish and potatoes or the “borrida de rajada” skate cooked with egg, bread and garlic.
Once again fish is the main ingredient of “zarzuela de mariscos”, a very spicy fried dish, while “pulpo alla gallega” is a must in Galizia. Excellent fruit and vegetables can be found in the Spanish hinterland as well as a wide selection of excellent cheeses from the north. In the mountainous areas we find prize pig farming where prosciuttos of the inimitable world famous Spanish “jamon” are produced. Each region is often quite different and each has its own special produce and dishes.
Perhaps the most well known dish is “paella Valenciana” whose name derives from the pan in which it is cooked. In fact the paella in the Valencia area is a wide pan with two handles. This national dish is prepared in a variety of ways, according to the geographical area, using fish or meat, vegetables and rice.
Internationally much loved “tapas” should not be overlooked. These are an enormous variety of small antipasti prepared in an infinite number of ways. Nor should we forget ”gazpacho”, a soup of tomatoes and other vegetables which is always served chilled. “Cocido madrileño” is a wonderful dish of ancient Jewish tradition prepared with chick peas. Another famous dish is ”fabada asturiana”, a soup of pork and beans. “Churros” is a fried pastry served with jam or sweet sauces and is very popular as is “roscón de reyes”, a light cake baked in the oven and popular during the Christmas period. The Arab domination was responsible for the introduction of dried fruit and honey. The delicious “turròn” is a product of this, a rich almond and honey nougat..