DEVELOPMENT OF FOOD PRODUCTION AND CULTURE IN THE MEDITERRANEA
Agriculture began in the mediterranean region approximately 1000 BCE when early farmers began cultivating cereals, particularly wheat, barley and legumes. These communities also began domesticating animals, and agricultural finds have shown that they kept sheep, goats and pigs. Many seafaring people lived on the shores of the Mediterranean sea so fishing skills soon developed, also fish and shellfish became important food sources.
REGIONAL INFLUENCES ON FOOD PRODUCTION IN SPAIN
Spanish cuisine is heavily influenced by regional cuisines and the particular historical processes that shaped culture and society in those territories. Geography and climate, had great influence on cooking methods and available ingredients, and these particularities are still present in the gastronomy of the various regions that make up the country. Spanish cuisine derives from a complex history, where invasions of the country and conquests of new territories modified traditions and made new ingredients available.
GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
The countries that surround the Mediterranean sea, including Spain, share a climate that can have warm to hot summers and winters that are cool to mild. As a result of these climatic conditions, many of these countries experience drought in the summer, conversely, they can experience high rainfall in the winter. These climatic conditions are ideal for growing olives and grapes, and these crops became important in the early development of agriculture in Spain. Geography and climate, had great influence on cooking methods and available ingredients, and these particularities are still present in the gastronomy of the various regions that make up the country.
In the 1400's christian forces eventually took control of the country. The roman catholic church became dominate, and muslims and jews were forced to convert to catholicism. Today, the majority of the Spanish population is catholic, although many other religions are also practised, including islam, Judaism, Protestantism and hinduism
TRADITIONAL FOODS OF SPAIN
Spanish cuisine had been shaped by the influence of Phoenicians, the greeks, the romans and the moors, who all brought various ingredients, recipes and cooking techniques in the country. Rice, which was introduced by the moors, another important ingredient used in Spanish cuisine. Calasparra rice, a Spanish rice is highly prized for its lump grains that stay firm during cooking, its also considered to be the best rice for making paella.
In Spain, Lunch is the main meal of the day. The Spanish start their day with a light breakfast with coffee and pastry. Lunch is a much more ravish affair and is eaten between 2 PM and 4 PM, it includes a range of courses, starting with, with a light salad or soup. This is followed by a main meal of fish and ends with a cake or Spanish flan. Traditionally, the Spanish would take a siesta (Nap) following lunch, a tradition that originally allowed farm workers to rest out of the hot afternoon sun. The Spanish eat dinner late in the evening, normally after 9 PM, dinner is normally a light salad or perhaps some tapas.
3 TRADITIONAL RECIPES
A traditional food for entree would be fried Calamari with tartar sauce. A traditional main is paella and a traditional desert is churro's