Food and Drink: Did You Know?
Spain’s location at the intersection of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and its proximity to North Africa has made its cuisine a global melting pot. Many of the cooking styles and flavors that are iconic to Spanish food have foreign origins. Phoenicians spread a tradition of sauces throughout the Mediterranean, and the Greeks introduced olives —and olive oil—to Spanish tables.
Five centuries of Moorish rule introduced rice, saffron, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the Iberian Peninsula, as well as the use of fruit and nuts in meat dishes. Spain’s paella would be unimaginable without the Moors. While Muslim Moors abstained from pork, Christian Spaniards developed a rich variety of pork products. Christopher Columbus further expanded Spanish cuisine when his explorations of the New World introduced tomatoes, chili peppers, vanilla, chocolate, beans, and potatoes to Spain. In the following centuries, Spain developed one of the world’s most diverse cuisines, reflecting its multifaceted history.
Article written for World Trade Press by Christine Kiilerich.
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