GASTRONOMIC CURIOSITIES OF SPANISH CUISINE
One of the things Spain stands out for is its gastronomy. Over the years, it has adapted thanks to the influences it has received from different cultures from all over the world, which has made it one of the most envied countries when it comes to food. Whichever autonomous community you go to, you will be able to enjoy one of the most traditional dishes that will leave you open-mouthed, as well as considering the option of making it yourself so that you don't miss the opportunity to continue tasting this delicious delicacy. However, how much do we know about Spanish cuisine? Discover the most amazing gastronomic curiosities that revolve around this cuisine.
Olive oil is the basis of a large part of the dishes belonging to the so-called Mediterranean diet, a fact that is demonstrated by the fact that Spain is the largest producer of olive oil in the world, doubling the production of Italy and quadrupling that of Greece. Whether raw or cooked, olive oil is always present in the kitchen, but be careful, because there is a specific type for each of the dishes we want to make. Thus, hojiblanca oil will enhance the flavour of different dishes such as gazpacho, salmorejo or blue fish, while arbequina oil is perfect for dressing salads, desserts or to accompany any ingredient without saying goodbye to its flavour.
Another of the gastronomic curiosities of our cuisine is related to wine. Spain is the country with the largest wine-growing area, with 15.5% of the world's vineyards in its territory. There is a wide variety of wine on the market, but not all of them are suitable for any food, so it is advisable to know which wine is suitable for each type of food.
For seafood, go for whites in general, even those with sweet and floral touches such as, for example, Albariño. For red meats, you will always be right with a red wine of varieties such as Garnacha, Juan Ibáñez or riojas or riberas from crianza to gran reserva, which will achieve a perfect combination. On the other hand, salads will go very well with rosés, as long as you stay away from those with sweet touches. As you can see, the varieties are immense, so you will never get tired of them. Although Spain's most famous wines are reds, most vineyards are white grape vineyards.
Whenever a Spaniard is going to make paella, he cannot forget this colourful ingredient. Well, we are not revealing anything new with this information, but did you know that approximately 75% of the world's saffron production is produced in Spain?
The chef and culinary advisor at Verdú Cantó Saffron Spain, a company with over 100 years' experience in saffron, María José San Román, says that people don't know that it is "a flavour enhancer comparable to salt". Thus, apart from rice dishes, it can be present in other dishes such as bean stew, bravas, Manchego stew, meat stew, curd, orange or even tea. "It also goes great in cheesecake or cream cheese with little flavour", says the chef.
There is a country that bases a lot of its cuisine on potatoes. No, we are not talking about Spain, but Slovakia. Well, this is thanks to the Spanish, and here lies another of this country's gastronomic curiosities, because once they adopted tomatoes, potatoes and cocoa from America, they helped to import them to Europe. Thanks to this, all over the continent you can enjoy great meals with these foods because, if this had not been the case, what great riches and culinary treasures we would have missed out on!
Not a day goes by, especially at weekends, that Spaniards don't have a few calamari, boquerones or bravas before lunch, accompanied by a beer to train the stomach. In fact, over time, going out for tapas has become a way of life for all Spaniards. Do you know the etymological origin of the word "tapa"? This name comes from the ancient custom of covering wine glasses with pieces of bread or slices of ham to keep out flies, mosquitoes and even dust.