When you say Spanish cuisine, you should first think of paella. This very famous dish of the Valencia region almost marked the Spanish cuisine. Paella is an extremely delicious rice dish cooked with chicken meat, fish and seafood. Paella is defined as a meal that combines the food culture of the Romans and Arabs, who have occupied Spain in history.
Gazpacho, which is a type of cold soup that is frequently consumed in Spanish cuisine, is especially common in Andalusia. Derived from an Arabic word meaning “wet bread”, it is also an indicator of interaction with Arabs throughout history. The most common gazpacho dish consists of uncooked mixture of tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, olive oil, bread, onion, cucumber and green pepper and thickened with breadcrumbs. It is served with pieces of bread fried in oil, chopped vegetables and hard eggs. The main ingredient of gazpacho, which is made in Malaga province in Andalusia and has a very unique taste, is almond, and also grapes are put in it.
Different parts of Andalusia, the most populous region of Spain, have its own specialties. For example, seafood varieties along the coast, paella in Seville, and exquisite flavored gazpacho in Cordoba are the most known of these. In almost every region of Andalusia, besides the classic Spanish drink series, “tapas” with hot and cold, large and small are served as sandwiches in the afternoon and as a knight in the evening. The series has four variants. The light and dark one is Fino, the darker and the more viscous is Amontilado, the light sweet dark yellow one is Oloroso, and the dark and sweet one is Cream.
Andalusia, which constitutes the southern part of Spain, has brought unique tastes to Spanish cuisine since it has been in the Arab occupation for many years. The Andalusian cuisine, which is also affected by the cuisines of the North African countries, is composed of carbohydrate-based foods due to this effect, and it also has a great place in the seafood kitchens thanks to its shores to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean. Wheat, grapes and olives form traditional agricultural products. Fries made in olive oil; Cocina de los fritos makes the Andalusian cuisine known all over the world as ”Roast cuisine”. Eggs, tomatoes, garlic, onions, olives and peppers, which are the main ingredients of the Mediterranean type of nutrition, are also abundant in this kitchen.
Tapas and appetizers called Tapas, which enrich Spanish dishes, snack at certain times of the day. These are served in small bars / restaurants called ‘tasca’. Tapas, which are served in small portions in small plates accompanied by a glass of wine or beer, are mostly made from cheese, meat, egg and vegetable dishes. The Spaniards meet their friends in the neighborhood tugs and eat and chat with these delicious products.
Tapas is the original flavor of Andalusia served as a snack and entree. It is customary to eat with a drink in snacks, especially in the evenings, at bars and luxury restaurants. Today, tapas, which are offered to tourists as mini meals, are sometimes replaced by dinner depending on their variety. And it is served with foods such as ham cubes flavored with red pepper, bean puree, omelette, seafood cooked in sauce, kidney saute, fried shrimp, black olives, tuna, cauliflower salad, squid, stuffed peppers, spicy snails, chicken with mushrooms. These foods are served in small earthenware pots and taken from hand to hand, or taken with a toothpick and accompanied by tapas. Wine is often accompanied by this menu.
Olive oil, which is the symbol of Mediterranean cuisine, is used in almost every meal and salad in Spain. Spanish desserts prepared with products such as honey, almond and egg yolk reflect the effects of Arab food culture that lived in these regions for many years.