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Cuisine of Spain

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Title: Cuisine of Spain  
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Cuisine of Spain

Spanish cuisine consists of a variety of dishes, which stem from differences in geography, culture and climate. It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the country, and reflects the country's deep maritime roots. It is a Mediterranean diet.

Typical dishes

  • Aragon: jamón serrano (cured ham) in Teruel, migas, very typical in small villages. Nuestra Señora del Pilar sweets in Zaragoza. Ternasco con patatas a lo pobre, one of the most popular dishes in Aragon. Borrajas, vegetable typical of this zone and chiretas, very popular in Ribagorza and Somontano de Barbastro. Peaches with red wine (from Calanda, in Teruel). Somontano, Borja and other wines.
  • Asturias: the most famous regional dish is fabada asturiana, a rich stew made with large white beans (fabes). Apple groves foster the production of the traditional alcoholic drink, a natural cider (sidra).[1] Sidra is traditionally poured in by an expert server (or escanciador): the bottle is raised high above his or her head to oxygenate the brew as it moves into the glass below. Asturian cheeses, especially Cabrales, are also famous throughout Spain and beyond; Cabrales is known for its pungent odour and strong flavour. Other major dishes include faba beans with clams, Asturian stew, frixuelos, and rice pudding.
  • Canary Islands: possibly the only region of Spain where spicy food is traditionally eaten (a spicy sauce known as mojo is produced locally. Gofio, a local type of flour, is used as a thickener for stews. Papas arrugadas are perhaps the best-known local dish: - these are potatoes preserved in salt, which causes them to shrivel. Frangollo is a common dessert of the Canary Islands.
  • Castile and León: morcilla from León, Burgos or Valladolid (black pudding made with blood and different spices), judión de la granja, sopa de ajo (garlic soup), Cochinillo asado (little roast pig), lechazo (roast lamb), botillo del Bierzo, hornazo from Salamanca, jamón de Guijuelo (Spanish cured ham from Guijuelo, Salamanca), a great variety of sausages like salchichas de Zaratán and cheeses like Cheese of Serrada or Burgos's Fresh Cheese, and various of the best wines in Spain, Ribera del Duero wines.
  • Cataluña: alongside Valencia, Catalonia has a long tradition of rice-dishes and seafood. In addition, cooked and cured sausages (fuet) from Vic are famous. Perhaps the most well-known dish is the Catalan cream (crema catalana), similar to crème brûlée. Catalan cuisine is rich, pa amb tomàquet and botifarra are typical food of Catalonia.
  • La Rioja: above all its international Rioja wines, as well as its vegetable soups and its pepper and potato dishes.
  • Galicia: caldo gallego; an array of seafoods, especially octopus, cod and goose barnacles; tarta de Santiago, a tart made of almonds and lemon; empanadas; Albariño wine from the Rias Baixas. Polbo á feira (Galician), or pulpo a la gallega (Spanish), an octopus dish where the octopus is boiled, sprinkled with coarse salt and paprika (pemento picante) and drizzled with olive oil.
  • Valencia: the Valencian region, specialises amongst others in the famous paella, and is its birthplace. This dish is very popular, and it's common to cook one each Sunday for family lunch. In fact, in Valencia, during Falles, one of the biggest holidays there, it is quite normal to find big paellas being cooked in the street. The typical Valencian paella contains meat and vegetables, but many other variants of rice-based dishes can be found, with shellfish, meatballs or just covered in egg (arròs amb crost).

Other Spanish foods

  • Salchichón


Today, Spanish cooking is "in fashion", thanks in part to Ferran Adrià who, in the summer of 2003, attained international renown thanks to praise in the Sunday supplement of The New York Times.[4] His restaurant El Bulli, now closed, was located in the province of Girona, near Roses. In a long article, the New York Times declared him the best chef in the world, and postulated the supremacy of Spanish cooking over French cuisine. Three of the ten best restaurants in the world, including the best, are in Spain, according to the 2013 renowned list by the magazine Restaurant. No other country has more than one restaurant in the top ten.

Four other Spanish chefs hold three stars in the prestigious Michelin Guide:

Prominent names in the history of Spanish cuisine include
  • José Andrés, chef/owner of Minibar by José Andrés in Washington D.C., and a disciple of Adrià. Current host of Made in Spain, airing on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Public television
  • Karlos Arguiñano, who over the years has presented cooking programmes on various Spanish television channels, in which he shows his communication skills and sense of humour while cooking.
  • Sergi Arola, chef at La Broché and a disciple of Adrià.
  • Penelope Casas, a New York-born cookbook author credited with introducing Americans to Spanish cuisine, beginning with her first book, "The Foods and Wines of Spain," published in 1982.[5][6]
  • María Mestayer de Echagüe, "Marquesa de Parabere": author of a two-volume cooking encyclopedia (with the second dedicated to the pantry) that is still in print, and that contains a large number of recipes, as well as chapters dedicated to table manners.
  • Ángel Muro: 19th century food expert and author of the book Practicón, which is equivalent to Escoffier's Ma cuisine.
  • Simone Ortega, author of the best-selling cookbook in Spain, 1080 recetas.
  • Manuel Maria Puga and Parga -Picadillo- Early 20th century food expert and author of the best-selling cookbook in Spain, La cocina práctica
Other notable chefs specializing in Spanish cuisine
  • Ilan Hall, winner of Top Chef Season 2, was known for his Spanish-inspired dishes. He has worked at the acclaimed Casa Mono Spanish restaurant in Manhattan.[7]

See also

Food portal


  • This article draws heavily on the corresponding article in the Spanish-language World Heritage Encyclopedia, which was accessed in the version of 9 January 2006.

External links

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