Spanish cuisine

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Spanish cuisine consists of a variety of dishes, which stem from differences in geography, culture and climate. It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the country, and reflects the country's deep maritime roots. Spain's extensive history with many cultural influences has led to an array of unique cuisines with literally thousands of recipes and flavors. It is also renowned for its health benefits and fresh ingredients.

Contents

History

On The first introduction of a product to the ancient Iberia was that of wheat. Wheat was thought to be brought by Iberians from the south of the peninsula[citation needed]. It was perhaps brought from Aquitaine in the north of the peninsula, due to the difficulty of transporting from the south. In time, the wheat of Iberia came to be considered to be the best in the Roman Empire, and became one of the main commodities of foreign trade. The Romans' early approval of the wheat led to the spread of wheat from Spain to Greece and Egypt.

There were two major kinds of diet in the peninsula. One was found in the northwest part of the peninsula, with more animal fats that correspond to the husbandry of the North. The other could be considered the precursor of the Mediterranean diet and was found in the southerly parts of the peninsula.

Roman cuisine

As early as Roman times one can say that, with the exception of products later imported from the Americas, many modern foods were consumed, although mostly by the aristocracy, not the middle class. Cooking references from that era discuss the eating habits in Rome, where foods from all of the Empire's provinces were brought. So, for an example, it is known that thousands of amphorae of olive oil were sent to Rome from Spain. Nonetheless, and especially in the Celtic areas, consumption of animal products (from lamb, beef, etc.) was more common than consumption of vegetables.

Already in that era, cabbages were well known and appreciated, and considered a panacea for various aliments. Other popular vegetables of that time were thistles (such as artichokes) and onions.

In Roman Spain the hams of Pomeipolis (Pamplona) had great prestige. The export of pork products became the basis of a strong local economy.

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