Spain the Mediterranean

Development of food production and food culture in the Mediterranean


  • evidence shows that agriculture began around 1000 BCE in the Mediterranean
  • They developed colonies and then began domesticating animals
  • They kept sheep, goats and pigs
  • The colonies that lived near the coast developed fishing skills and then fish and shellfish became important food sources.
“With earth’s burgeoning human population to feed we must turn to the sea with understanding and new technology. We need to farm it as we farm the land.” - Jacques Cousteau

Regional influences on food production in Spain


  • Spain is situated on the Iberian Peninsula along with Portugal and Gibraltar
  • Spain is the largest country on the peninsula (85% of the landmass)
  • Spain has mostly been influenced by invading forces


Phoenician carving of a ship...
  • Between the 6th and 7th centuries BCE they arrived on the Iberian Peninsula
  • They brought olive trees to Spain


  • Moved to the costal regions of Spain
  • introduced highly developed skills in grain production
  • helped improve methods of storing grains
  • Their influence allowed increased grain production and therefore allowed the Greeks to export grain back to their home colonies.
  • Not only did they improve grain production, they improved the knowledge of fishing in Spain


  • they improved the Spanish in agricultural production and transportation
  • The romans established villages
  • they developed methods of food preservation (salting and air-drying fish)
  • They introduced stone fruits such as apricots and peaches


The Moors of spain
  • Nomadic people from North Africa
  • Remained in Spain for almost 700 years
  • Introduced honey, citrus fruit, almonds, spices (including cumin and saffron)

Geography and Climate


  • warm to hot summers
  • cool and mild winters
  • often experience drought in summer
  • ideal for growing grapes and olives
  • the interior valleys of spain have rich soils that are important agricultural regions



  • Islam was the predominant religion while the Moors occupied the region
  • While the Moors occupied, Sephardi Jews were also common
  • Christian forces took control in the 1400's
  • The catholic church took over

Traditional foods of Spain


  • Olive oil and rice are key ingredients
  • Paella is one of Spain's most famous dishes
  • Gazpacho, another famous dish is a cold soup with a tomato and garlic base
  • Dry cured ham, jamon serrano
  • Churros are a deep fried dessert

Meal Structure

  • Lunch is the main meal of the day
  • Usually they start their day with a light breakfast consisting of coffee and a pastry
  • Lunch is eaten later in the day (2pm to 4pm)
  • Dinner is usually eaten very late (not past 9pm) and is usually very light


Created with images by Lekies - "fishing at sunset fischer twilight" • martieda - "colosseum rome tourist" • WeVe1 - "SPAIN" • frankbeckerde - "person clinic cross" • kalleboo - "Churros!"

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