Spain is a country with an extensive history in the world and so many cultures have a part in its formation. The country is located on the Iberian Peninsula, , it’s surrounded by the water, it has a diverse terrain with mountains, pastures, fertile fairgrounds and extensive coastlines which all together provide fresh food, seafood and a Mediterranean diet.
The extension of Spain is 505,990 square kilometres, it has some territories in Africa, autonomous communities and also two archipelagos: Canary Islands and Balearic Islands. The country borders with the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and Portugal and Francia.
Spain has one of the best climates in the world, a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and mild and rainy winters, the central regions (Madrid) have a more continental influenced climate with hot and dry summers and cold winters and the Basque Country has a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters.
Its population is 47,431,256 and it’s the result of the accumulation of several independent Iberian kingdoms such as León, Navarre, Granada, among others. The country is made up of 85% of Spanish people and the remaining 15% of other nationalities. Its government is a monarchy and Catholicism is the most widely practiced religion.
The history of its wealth comes from the exploration of their own raw materials with Portugal, which will later expand to America through conquest. The industry of textiles, food, metals chemicals and shipbuilding are vey important in the country’s economy followed by tourism.
— SPANISH CUISINE —
Most of the ingredients have been cultivated since ancients times in all the diverse areas of the country and during the colonization of Spain in America tomatoes, potatoes, corn, vanilla, cocoa and others were marketed. Spain and its large cultivation of olive oil make this ingredient the most used one in its cuisine. Its food has been awarded many times for being very tasty and special from its ingredients and way it’s prepared.
During my stay in Spain I discovered Barcelona, It’s a city located on the Mediterranean and it’s the capital of Catalonia, an autonomous community of Spain. The city is famous for its food, art, soccer team and beaches;. Its food it’s characterized by the presence of the coast and the rest of food that are consumed in the country.
Tapas refers to the way to serve food and the term comes from small slices of meat or bread served in bars to accompany the drinks. The dish can be enjoyed cold or hot, with local or international food in the majority of bars in Spain and its the perfect way to have a small bite of all the different options of food. In this time, I had the tapas with a refreshing red wine sangria.
In my stay in Barcelona, I enjoyed of the selection of local tapas of bread with tomato and olive oil dressing accompanied with Iberian ham (a type of cured leg of pork produced in Spain and Portugal from the black Iberian pig) and with manchego cheese (made in La Mancha, a region in Spain, from the the milk of Manchega sheep breed and it’s aged from 60 days up to 2 years).
The squid croquette in its ink is an interesting tapa as it’s the result of the fried bread and condiments cover with the filing of squid and its ink. Padrón peppers, another delightful tapa and not spicy as I thought. The peppers are a variety from Padrón, Galicia and they are fried in olive oil and served with sea salt.
The traditional seafood paella and its ingredients may vary depending of the region where it’s made, the one in Barcelona was very tasteful and it was a mixture of rice, saffron, seafood (in this case as it can be made with chicken) and vegetables like tomatoes, onions and some others cooked on the paella pan and served hot and fresh. I had the dish with cava sangria (white or rosé wine from Cava, a denomination of origen wine in Spain).
Churros, the dish is the result of a fried dough topped with white sugar and they are usually consumed with many siders, but the most known is the warm chocolate. The sweet treat is served as a dessert, its crispy texture and addictive flavor dipped in the warm combination of cornstarch and dark chocolate are perfect to satisfy anyone.
Spanish cuisine and recipes are spreading all over the world, but trying some local dishes in Spain completely changed my idea of them, as they taste fresh and light, different from other parts on the world. You can check @mmmbycata on IG: www.instagram.com/mmmbycata/