Spain created by hayley george

Development of food production and food culture in the Mediterranean

It began in the mediterranean region approximately 1000BCE when early farmers began cultivating cereals, particularly wheat and barley, and legumes. They developed colonies in these regions, which had an ideal climate for crop growing, that is, hot summers and cool wet winters. These communities also began domesticating animals like sheep, goats and pigs. Fishing skills soon developed which became important food sources.

Regional influences of food production in spain

Spain is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Spain is the largest country along that Peninsula, making up 85% of landmass. Throughout history, Spain's food culture was influenced by invading forces. Between the 6th and 7th centuries BCE, the Phoenicians arrived on the Iberian Peninsula and were great traders by introducing olive trees to Spain's cuisine. The Greeks introduced great grain production methods of storing grain for a longer period of time. They also brought good fishing skills and collecting shellfish. At the end of 2nd century BCE, the Romans arrived in Spain, who soon expanded into a wider community. The Moors (North African people) arrived in Spain in 711 CE and remained in Spain for almost 700 years. This meant that they had a significant influence of Spain's culture and cuisine. Spainish explorer Christopher Columbus introduced many foods to spain, such as tomatoes, potatoes, maize, peppers, chocolate and vanilla.

Geography and climate

The Mediterranean shares a climate consisting of warm/hot summers and mild/cool winters. If it is too hot, Spain can experience drought, although they can experience high quantities of rainfall during winter. These climatic conditions are perfect for foods like grapes and olives, which are now traditional foods in Spain's cuisine. Sheep and cattle graze over the Pyrenees Mountains. This Mountain is rich in soil which are important for the animals and crops.


During the 800 years the Moors dominated Spain, the Islamic faith was the dominant religion. Spain had a significant community of Sephardi Jews. in the 1400's Christianity took control of the Country. When the Romans came, Muslims and Jews were forced to convert to Catholicism. The Catholic church for the Romans included a 200 day fast, meaning they were banned from types of foods to symbolise their loyalty. A famous dish "Gazpacho" is linked to the Romans and Moors. The Spainish was also knows for their dry-cured ham known as "Jamon Serrano". Other foods include chorizo, seafood, eggs, garlic, beans and bread. Churros is also linked to Spanish cuisine, which are considered to be a sweet desert.

Meal Structure

Lunch in Spain or "almuerzo" is the dominant meal on the day. The Spanish routine of cuisine starts with a light breakfast of coffee and pastry. It then is followed by a range of courses during lunch that starts from 2pm. Their lunch includes salad or soup, and the main meal which consists of fish and/or meat. It ends with cake and sweets. In tradition, the Spanish would take a siesta after lunch that originally allowed farmers to rest out of the summer afternoons. The Spanish eat dinner in the late evening which is normally a light meal.

Traditional foods of Spain

Influenced by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, and the Moors. Olive oil is a key ingredient in Spanish cuisine introduced by the Phoenicians. Rice, introduced by the Moors. Calasparra rice originated by Spain is best for making Paella. Paella, one of Spains famous dishes is thought to be made originally in Valencia on the seashores of Spain.

Ham Croquetas recipe

100g cured Spanish ham, preferably in 1 chunk

2 tbsp olive oil

60g unsalted butter

½ small leek, finely diced

60g plain flour

500ml whole milk, hot

Nutmeg, to grate

2 free-range eggs, beaten

150g panko breadcrumbs

25g manchego or other hard cheese, finely grated

1 litre olive oil, to fry

1. Dice your ham as finely as possible. Heat the oil and butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and, when the butter melts, add the leek and and fry gently for a minute, then add 70g ham and cook until the leek has softened, and the ham fat has begun to melt.

2. Turn the heat down, gradually stir in the flour and cook gently, stirring regularly, until it loses its raw flavour – this should take about 8–10 minutes.

3. Gradually stir in the hot milk, beating it in well, until you have a smooth paste. Cook for another 15 minutes until it has the consistency of smooth mashed potato, then fold through the rest of the ham and season to taste with a grating of nutmeg and some black pepper (you won't need any salt). Put the béchamel in a bowl and allow to cool, then cover, pressing the clingfilm on to the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

4. Put the beaten eggs into a bowl, and the breadcrumbs and cheese into another. With floured hands, roll spoonfuls of the mixture into cylinders and dip these into the egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs until well coated.

5. Heat the olive oil in a large pan to 180C, or until it begins to shimmer. Prepare a plate lined with kitchen roll. Fry the croquetas in batches for a couple of minutes until golden all over, then lift out with a slotted spoon and serve at once.

Fabada (Bean Stew)


Ingredients for 4 people: 400 g of fabes (French beans) 200 g of Asturian spicy sausage 200 g of Asturian black puddings (dry, smoked) 200 g of shoulder of pork 100 g of bacon or streaky bacon 6 sprigs of saffron Salt


Put the beans to soak overnight in cold water. Also place the shoulder of pork and the bacon in another container with warm water. Next day, wash the black pudding and the spicy sausage. Then place the beans in a wide-based earthenware dish with enough water to cover them by a couple of fingers. Boil uncovered on a high flame, removing any scum with a skimming spoon. Add the shoulder of pork and the bacon and simmer with the lid on for 2 hours, moving the dish around from time to time. Season and add the saffron, spicy sausage and the black pudding, leaving it all to cook together for approximately quarter of an hour.Taste the beans to check they are tender and leave to stand for half an hour before serving.

Spanish Garlic Shrimp recipe


1 lb shrimp, 25 count to a pound

10 large cloves of garlic, finely minced (this is a recipe for garlic lovers-- add even more if you dare!)

1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika (optional)

1 tsp red pepper flakes or 2 whole dried cayenne peppers

2-3 oz (60-89 ml) Spanish brandy (or substitute dry sherry) (this is optional)

4 oz (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil

3 tsp chopped fresh parsley

1 lemon for juice

1 fresh baguette, sliced (for sopping up extra sauce!)

In a sauté pan or heavy frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for about one minute or until they just begin to brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic!

Raise the heat to high and immediately add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry or brandy and paprika.

Stir well, then sauté, stirring briskly until the shrimp turn pink and curl – about 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and transfer shrimp with oil and sauce to a warm plate or serve right from the pan. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with fresh bread.


Created with images by cvander - "Paella en Torredembarra" • Sirsnapsalot - "Churros" • Efraimstochter - "spain flag flutter" • tpsdave - "cathedral church faith" • keith ellwood - "tomatoes" • nathanh100 - "Map of Spain and Portugal" • Wow_Pho - "food spanish baked eggs spanish" • userbit - "italian food crocchette di patate potato croquettes" • sedoglia - "Fabada asturiana" • IndyDina with Mr. Wonderful - "Buffalo Shrimp!"

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