The Mediterranean By connor hardcastle


Traditional Foods

Paella- Rice, onion, garlic, tomatoes, chorizo, shellfish, peas and beans
Gazpacho- A cold soup with a tomato and garlic base
Jamon- A dry-cured ham
Churros- A batter-like dough that is usually deep-fried, often rolled in cinnamon and sugar and sometimes dipped in hot chocolate sauce


Islamic faith was the predominant religion during the 800 years where the Moors dominated Spain. Around the same time the Moors dominated Spain there was also another significant community called the Sephardi Jews. In the 1400's Christian forces eventually took control of the country, the Roman Catholic Church became dominant, and Muslims and Jews were forced to convert to Catholicism.
During this period, the Catholic Church introduced more than 200 days of fasting, as a way to absolve themselves from sin. During the fasting periods meat was replaced by salted cod, and a wide range of other foods were also banned for believers. When converting the Catholicism, the Church required them to eat pork as a symbol of their loyalty to the Church as well as rejection of their previous Muslim or Jewish faith.
Today the majority of Spaniards are Catholic although many other religions still do exist such as Islam, Judaism, Protestantism and Hinduism.

Geography and Climate

Climate- The Mediterranean countries can have warm to hot summers and winters that are cool to mild. Due to this unpredictable climate, the countries will sometimes experience droughts during the summer and high rainfall during the winter. These climatic conditions are perfect for growing olives and grapes.
Geography- The Pyrenees Mountains run across the north of the country and divide Spain from France. These valleys also have the typical Mediterranean climate, but the soils are very rich in this region so it plays an important role in Spain's agriculture.

Meal Structure

Breakfast- The Spanish usually eat a light breakfast which usually consists of coffee and a pastry.
Lunch or almuerzo is the main meal of the day in Spain. It is eaten during 2 to 4 pm. It includes a range of courses usually starting with a light salad or soup. This is then followed by a main meal of meat or fish and ends with a cake or Spanish flan.
Dinner- The Spanish don't usually eat before 9pm. They usually either have a light salad or some tapas.

Regional influences on food production

Spain's food culture has been influenced by a number of invading forces. Between the 6th and 7th centuries BCE the Phoenicians arrived on the Iberian Peninsula. They introduced olive trees into Spain. In the 4th century BCE the Greeks started moving into the coastal regions of Spain bringing with them highly developed skills in grain production and in storage methods of grain for longer periods of time. This allowed for grain production to increase dramatically in the region, which allowed the Greeks to export grain back to their home colonies. The Greeks also brought more knowledge but of fishing and collecting shellfish
At the end of the 2nd century BCE the Romans arrived in Spain. The Romans were well respected due to their knowledge in agricultural production and transportation systems. During their period of occupation the Romans established villages as the production of crops intensified and became more extensive. The Romans also developed food preservation techniques such as salting and air-drying fish, which enabled the fish industry to flourish and grow rapidly. As well as that, the Romans also introduced stone fruits such as apricots, melons, peaches and lemons into Spain.
The Moors who arrived in 711 CE, were a nomadic people from North-Africa. They settled in Spain for almost 700 years and had a significant impact on food culture and cuisine in Spain as well. The Moors introduced honey, citrus fruit, almonds and spices including cumin and saffron into the Spanish food culture. Spanish explorers such as Christopher Columbus also brought back and introduced many new foods into Spanish culture such as tomatoes, potatoes, corn (maize), peppers, chocolate and vanilla from his voyages across the Atlantic to the Americas in the late 1400s.

Development of food production and food culture

Agriculture in the Mediterranean region began approximately 1000 BCE. Early farmers began cultivating cereals, particularly barley, wheat and legumes. they eventually developed colonies in these regions, which had ideal growing climates for crops. These communities then began to domesticate animals such as, sheep, goats and pigs.
Many seafaring people lived very close to the water so fishing skills soon developed, and fish and shellfish became important food sources.


Created with images by PublicDomainPictures - "orthodox greece church" • Efraimstochter - "spain flag flutter" • EstudioWebDoce - "paella lena mixed" • rusvaplauke - "Raw Gazpacho" • Viooltjes18 - "barcelona jamón ham" • kalleboo - "Churros!" • Alex Holyoake - "Religion" • TimothyJ - "Church" • 3dman_eu - "india figures hinduism" • Always Shooting - "Bloody Sunrise" • keijj44 - "mountain peak mountain range" • grenade - "butter pastry" • goodiesfirst - "reds produce beet cabrales salad" • Cris Valencia - "Xoriços" • tripandtravelblog - "Oia, Santorini island, Greece!" • kirkandmimi - "rome pantheon piazza" • ustung - "Spain (Barcelona) Columbus monument-Pointing to the new world" • RyanMcGuire - "calf cow maverick" • Hardrockster - "fish feeding sea" • Hans - "dwarf thumbs up prima"

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