regional cooking

regional cooking
   Spanish cooking enjoys a marked regional character although, as in other Mediterranean countries, certain staple ingredients such as olive oil, flat-leafed parsley, garlic, tomatoes, onions, lemons and wine, are found in most Spanish kitchens. Spain's very diverse history, geography and climate, have all contributed to her culinary heritage. Paella, one of the country's national dishes, would not be what it is without the saffron, introduced into Spain by the Phoenicians, the oil and fruit of the olive trees planted by the Greeks and extended by the Romans, and short-grain rice and lemons brought by the Arabs. Also, chickpeas used in the traditional stew cocido owe their appearance in Spain to the Carthaginians.
   Cocido is a dish which, with slight variations, can be found in all corners of the peninsula. Cocido, olla, pote or escudella as it is variously known has its roots in the olla podrida, or rotten pot mentioned in Don Quijote, and was a Christian adaptation of the ancient Jewish dish adafina, in which the hard boiled eggs of the latter were replaced by pork. Cocido consists of meat, sausages, pulses and vegetables—whatever is typical locally. It is usually served in three courses: first the soup, consisting of the strained broth, then the vegetables and pulses, and finally the meat. Chickpeas are generally used in the stews from the areas of Madrid and Andalusia, while alubias (white beans) are preferred in the north, the Galician pote gallego invariably contains turnips, and the Asturian fabada uses local beans called fabes. The cuisines of the northern coastal regions display an abundance of fish and shellfish, and the meat from this area, which has year round green pasture, is of good quality. Galicia is renowned for its empanadas (meat and fish pies), and lacón con grelos (salted ham with turnip tops), often cooked with sausage and potatoes called cachelos, which give the dish a slightly bitter taste. Specialities include nécoras (small orange crabs), and scallops, usually baked and served in the shell—the emblem worn by pilgrims who visited the shrine of St James in Compostela. Fish and shellfish are combined in the Asturian caldereta (casserole), or served independently, usually accompanied by corn bread and cider—the national drink of Asturias. Salmon and the veined cheese, cabrales, are other local favour-ites. A speciality of the Santander area of Cantabria is rice and salmon cooked in milk, and a plate of anchovies in a rich egg and butter sauce is highly regarded. The Basque country is famed for the excellence of its cuisine and gastronomic societies flourish. Food here is generally uncompli-cated and subtly flavoured. The region has many great dishes such as hake Vizcaya style, or bacalao al pilpil (cod cooked with oil, garlic and a little chilli pepper). Baby eel and marmitako (tuna and potato stew) are also of note.
   Aragon, Navarre and Rioja are all watered by the Ebro, Spain's longest river. Trout is plentiful here and that from Pyrenees rivers is excellent, either soaked in wine, stuffed with ham and baked Navarre style, or simply fried. A notable feature of the Ebro Valley area is chilindrón sauce, made with tomatoes, garlic, onions, cured ham and red peppers, in which meat is cooked, particularly chicken and rabbit. Other specialities are partridge in chocolate sauce, and quail cooked in fig leaves. Catalonia is renowned for its sauces such as ali-oli (garlic mayonnaise), romescu (red pepper and almond sauce) and samfaina (a mixture of tomatoes, peppers and aubergine). Rice, fish and local sausages are used in many dishes here, often accompanied by bread rubbed with tomato and sprinkled with olive oil and salt. Habas (broad beans), noodle casserole, cod fritters and the local zarzuela de mariscos (literally operetta of seafood) are all popular.
   The central Castilian plateau area is famed for its meat dishes, particularly suckling pig, and baby lamb roasted in a clay dish. Chickpeas are generally used in stews, and Manchego (sheep's milk cheese) accompanies many meals. Trout and river crabs are delicacies of Castile-León, and the robust Castilian soups containing ham, bread, garlic and, often, a poached egg are common. The central east region of Valencia and its southern neighbour Murcia is the land of rice and oranges. Rice cooked en caldero (blended fish stock), or served with green beans and snails, vegetable stew, or seafood and meats—as in the famous paella-are typical of this area. Oranges, either served as a dessert or used in a sauce for chicken and rabbit are a major feature of Levantine cooking. Andalusia is often called the frying pan of Spain, both for its high temperatures and cooking habits. Typical of this region is pescaíto frito (mixed fried fish), and bienmesabe (marinated fried shark). Anchovies, sardines, grey and red mullet and whiting feature regularly, as does the cold soup gazpacho, made with bread, garlic, oil, water and tomatoes. The excellent local hams and sherry wines are often used in distinctive sauces for fish and meat.
   Extremadura has some of the country's best embutidos (sausages) and pork is a major feature of the local cuisine. This hunting territory offers a profusion of rabbit, quail and partridge, and a speciality is the festive dish la caldereta, in which pieces of fried kid are served in a sauce of chopped liver, garlic and red peppers.
   Fish is a major feature of the cuisine of the Spanish islands. In the Canary Islands this is often accompanied by el mojo (spiced vinaigrette), which is also used with meat and vegetables. The exotic stew of the Canaries contains such ingredients as yam, pumpkin, sweet potato, potato and chickpeas. Pork and soup are a regular feature of meals in the Balearic Islands. The hearty Majorcan cabbage-and-bread soup has the consistency of a light pudding. Pork is often stuffed with liver, fruit, spices and bread and then roasted. A popular vegetable dish is el tumbet: a layered potato and aubergine pie, covered with tomatoes and peppers. The sweet ensaimada, made with a light dough and filled with cream or custard, is another local speciality. Spanish desserts generally consist of fresh fruit, but sweets made with eggs and sugar, usually in the form of rich custards, meringues, fritters or mousse are very popular, as are fruit and almond tarts, pudín (a type of bread pudding), tocino de cielo (literally fatty bacon from heaven, but which is a rich sweet made with egg yolks and sugar), ice cream and ice cream tarts.
   Further reading
   - Ortega, S. (1991) 1080 Recetas de Cocina, Madrid: Alianza Editorial.
   - Passmore, J. (1995) The Complete Spanish Cookbook, Boston, MA and Australia: Little Brown.
   - Serrano, J. and S. (1993) A Spanish Family Cookbook, New York: Hippocrene.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cooking — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ good, gourmet (esp. AmE), great ▪ We enjoyed some of her gourmet cooking. ▪ home ▪ I miss my mother s good home cooking …   Collocations dictionary

  • regional — re|gion|al [ ridʒənl ] adjective usually before noun *** relating to or typical of a particular area of a country or the world: Le Canard serves superb French regional cooking. a regional council/newspaper/accent regional… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • regional */*/*/ — UK [ˈriːdʒ(ə)nəl] / US [ˈrɪdʒən(ə)l] adjective [usually before noun] relating to or typical of a particular area of a country or the world Le Canard serves superb French regional cooking. a regional council/newspaper/accent regional… …   English dictionary

  • regional — adjective connected with a particular region: regional cooking | regional alliances such as Nato …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • Regional variations of barbecue — Barbecue has many regional variations, based on several factors: *the type of meat used *the sauce or other flavoring added to the meat *when the flavoring is added during preparation *the role that smoke plays in preparation *the equipment and… …   Wikipedia

  • Regional cuisines of medieval Europe — The regional cuisines of medieval Europe were the results of differences in climate, political administration and religious customs that varied across the continent. Though sweeping generalizations should be avoided, more or less distinct areas… …   Wikipedia

  • Cooking weights and measures — Metric measuring spoons …   Wikipedia

  • Cooking — This article is about the preparation of food by heating. For food preparation generally, see Food preparation. Modern fruit salad and a Russian cigarette pastry stuffed with cottage cheese Cooking is the process of preparing food by use of heat …   Wikipedia

  • Regional cuisine — Hyderabadi Biryani, an Indian meat and rice dish. Pub grub a pie, a …   Wikipedia

  • regional — adj. Regional is used with these nouns: ↑accent, ↑administration, ↑airline, ↑airport, ↑assembly, ↑association, ↑authority, ↑autonomy, ↑bloc, ↑branch, ↑capital, ↑ …   Collocations dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”