Development of food production and culture in the Mediterranean.
- Archeological evidence shows that farming began in the Mediterranean region around 1000 BCE
- early farmers cultivated cereals such as barley and wheat, and legumes.
- The colonies which developed in that region had ideal climates for crop growing; hot summers and cool, wet winters.
- many people lived on the seashores, so the fishing skills soon developed, causing Fish and shellfish to become important food sources.
Regional influences on food production in Spain
Spain takes up approximately 85% of the landmass of the peninsula. Spain's food culture and cuisine has mainly been influenced by invading forces over the years.
In the 4th century BCE, Greeks began moving into coastal regions of Spain, and brought highly developed grain production and grain storage.
At the end of the 2nd century BCE, the Romans arrived in Spain, bringing their knowledge and expertise in agriculture production and transportation. Romans also brought methods of food preservation, such as drying and salting fish, which boosted the fishing industry a lot. Romans also brought stone fruit into Spain, such as apricots and peaches, as well as lemons and melons
In 711 CE, the Moors arrived in Spain, introducing honey, citrus fruit, almonds, and spices such as cumin and saffron. These heavily influenced Spanish cuisine.
Geography and climate
Spain (and all the Mediterranean countries) share a climate that can include warm to hot summers, and cool and mild winters. Many of the Mediterranean countries experience droughts due to the hot summers, but they apcan also expect high rain-fall in the winter.
Islamic faith was the dominate religion till the 1400s, when Christian forces eventually took control of the country. The Roman Catholic Church became dominant, and forced Muslims and Jews to covert to Catholicism. Today, majority of the population of Spain is Catholic, but Islam, Judaism, Protestantism and Hinduism are also practised.
Traditional Spanish food
Olive oil is a key ingredient in Spanish cuisine, and was introduced by the Phoenicians, who plants the first olive trees in Spain. Rice, which was introduced by The Moors, is also a staple food in Spain. Paella is is one of Spain's most famous dishes, and is made of rice, onion, garlic, tomatoes, chorizo, shellfish, peas and beans. It originated in Valencia, which is a major city along the coastline of Spain. Some historians believe that paella was originally made from the leftovers of banquets held by Moorish kings. Churros, a batter like dough, also originated in Spain, and where originally developed by mountain Shepard who ate them for breakfast as they couldn't get fresh bread. Now days they're eaten as a desert, rolled in cinnamon and sugar.