Synopses & Reviews
The variety of Spanish cuisine matches the size of the country, one of the largest in Europe. In the north, the legacy of wandering shepherds lives on; the south is home to exotic fruits introduced by the Arabs. In Galicia brave men descend on ropes over sea-lashed rocks to gather strangely shaped goose barnacles, Fish and seafood are traded at auction; by firelight, warlocks brew a magic potion handed down from antiquity the queimada. In La Rioja, a winegrowers meal sizzles over a fire of twigs. In Catalonia green onions are grilled, then picked up by hand to be dipped into a piquant almond sauce and eaten; and Catalonian cuisine offers the combination of rabbit and shrimps. Valencian paella is traditionally cooked by the men, while the making of sausages when the pig has been slaughtered is the province of the women. Gin is made according to British tradition in the Balearic Islands. It was Andalusian seafarers on the high seas who discovered how to make sherry.
What can we tell of the diet of Stone Age people in their cave dwellings on the Cantabrian coast? What food was eaten by the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago? How is Manchego cheese made? Which vegetables were brought back to Spain from the New World by the conquistadores? How did the Albariño grape make its way from the Moselle to Galicia, or cannelloni reach Catalonia? Who created mayonnaise? What ceremonies accompanied a meal at the royal court of the Habsburgs in Madrid? What culinary delights have lovers down the ages employed to charm the object of their affections? How is it possible to serve a hot meal on the Sabbath in a Jewish household without making heat in the kitchen? How does a Spanish sausage get its color? And why was it that the Phoenicians used carob seeds to weigh out gold and diamonds?
This book in the Culinaria series awakens the desire to discover Spain with all the senses. In 488 pages and over 1200 illustrations, it depicts the way that landscape, climate and a diversity of cultures have shaped the cuisine of this richly varied country - from Alboraya in the Lenante of eastern Spain to the northern city of Zaragoza, and from the ever-present garlic sauce alioli to the zamburiña mussel. Features and information, and ideas from the brilliant to the bizarre reveal an extensive panorama of cultural and culinary traditions. A total of 202 recipes from every region promises pleasure for the taste buds to accompany the food for thought of an inspiring read. Last but not least, Culinaria Spain contains a survey of all the important wine-producing regions of the country.