The Mediterranean By lily Thompson

Development of food production and food culture in the mediterranean

Agriculture in the mediterranean began in 1000 BCE, this occurred when farmers began to cultivate cereals such as wheat, barley and legumes. The colonies in these regions had perfect climates for crop growth. these communities also started domesticating animals such as sheep, goats and pigs.

Regional influences on food production in Spain

Spain is the largest country on the peninsula, it makes up 85% of the land. Throughout time Spain culture and cuisine has been influenced by many invading forces. The phoenicians brought olive trees to spain, the geeks brought efficient grain production, the greeks also brought their knowledge of fishing and collecting shellfish, romans developed methods of food preserving and introduced fruits such as apricots, peaches, lemons and melons.

Geography and Climate

Spain's climate is similar to ours with warm to hot summers and mild to cold winters. The Pyrenees mountains run across the north of the country and divide Spain from France, to the north of these mountains is the bay of Biscay where the soils are rich and are therefore important agriculture in Spain.

Religion

Spain has a significant community of jews, however in the 1400's Christian forces eventually took control. The muslims and jews were forced to convert to catholicism. Today the majority of Spain is catholic, although there are other religions such as islam, Jadaism, Protestantism and hinduism.

Traditional foods of spain

Olive oil is a key ingredient in Spanish foods along with rice, chorizo, sausage, seafood, cheese, eggs, garlic, beans and bread. Calasparra rice, which is a Spanish rice highly appreciated for its plump grains. Paella is one of the most common dishes from Spain, its made from rice, onion, garlic, tomatoes, chorizo, shellfish, peas and beans. Another common dish is gazpacho, which is a cold soup with tomatoes and a garlic base. Spain is also famous for its dry cured ham called jamon serrano. Churros are a dessert or sweet treat, that consists of a batter like dough that is usually deep fried, rolled in cinnamon and sugar and then dipped in chocolate.

Meal Structure

In Spain, lunch is the main meal of the day, they begin the day with a light breakfast of coffee and a pastry. Lunch is much more filling usually eaten around 2pm-4pm, it consists of a range of courses, staring with a light salad or soup then followed by a main meal of fish or meat and a cake or spanish flan finishes off lunch. After lunch the Spanish would usually take a siesta, which is a afternoon nap. They then eat dinner late after 9pm and is just a light meal of salad or perhaps some tapas.

Credits:

Created with images by torbakhopper - "cross the sea : mediterranean food, san francisco (2012)"

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