Spanish Cuisine is varied and flavorful, just like the country itself. It isn’t pretentious in nature, and has a style which has remained free from influence from the other countries of Europe. When dining in Spain, you won’t be served ostentatious offerings, as their food choices are more rustic and hearty instead. Vegetables are highly featured in their cooking style, and wine is a prominent ingredient as well. They are best known for their passion when it comes to food, and this spills over into every area of Spanish life. To learn more about this exciting topic, let’s look at it in more detail below.
As said above, vegetables take a big role in Spanish Cuisine and it has been described as hearty because of this. It usually is heavily influenced by the region you’re in, and each one has its own unique features. Most often the vegetables are cooked very thoroughly, and it is an exception to steam or boil them in Spain. Rather, lightly sauteing them is more typical, with a little water added to keep them from burning. While this may not be the healthiest of ways to prepare vegetables, it is the traditional Spanish method, and one which is still widely used today. This focus on vegetables shouldn’t fool you however, Spanish food includes hearty servings of meat as well. One of their most famous selections is Iberian ham. Also, their cheese is slowly but surely gaining prominence in the gourmet world.
A typical day begins with desayuno, which is a pudding like hot chocolate drink. This might be accompanied with churros, which is a sort of deep fried pastry. If you are out in the country, you will often be served a second breakfast as well. This comes from the tradition of farmers and workmen, who build up an appetite before lunch. This meal between meals can consist of eggs, bread and sausages to help see you through until lunchtime.
When noon comes around, you may have some tapas together with some locally produced wine. Tapas are simply appetizers, and may be either hot or cold. In Spain these have taken on a life all their own, and in some bars in the country, only different tapas make up the entire meal! It is a sort of sampling platter, which goes on until you are happy and full. These offerings can range from simple olives and cheese combinations, to fried baby squid covered in batter which are known as chopitos.
Because the Spanish people stay up until late in the evening, lunch is usually a bit later than other countries in Europe. At around 2pm you will break for a meal, which can be quite involved, consisting of up to three courses. If you are near the coast you may dine on something like fried aubergine slices, with green beans and ham as a side dish.
Finally, you will have a late afternoon snack and then at around 10pm, a light meal of perhaps soup, vegetables and fish. After meals you may enjoy tea or coffee, but these are always separate from the food.
So, now you know, that Spanish Cuisine is hearty, full of life and flavor! This accurately mirrors the people who live there, with their energy and passion for life. If you ever have the chance to try their culinary offerings, you will find that you aren’t disappointed!
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