Food and drink in Spain
“Food and drink keep body and soul together.” Or: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” These proverbs surely apply in all countries more or less alike.
However, the further you delve into the European South, the more you realize that food is not just used for ingestion and nutritional supply here.
In fact, food and drink are part of such a distinct lifestyle culture that other areas of life are often subordinated to it. Sports, television and other leisure activities are planned in accordance with the mealtimes. A lot of times, this applies to work as well.
In Spain, excellent food and drink begin with buying high-quality groceries though. Never before have I ever encountered people who choose between different varieties of tomatoes due to the dish they plan to prepare. At least not with such devoted passion for detail 🙂
The science of tomatoes
For one, there is the tomato variety that is used for gazpacho. Yet this variety must not be used for Salmorejo under any circumstances! Northern Europeans, such as us, apparently lack this subtlety for tomatoes. Therefore, we quickly jump to the conclusion that anything red and round has to be a tomato. However, there is a variety of tomatoes that can only be enjoyed with oil and a pinch of salt and is eaten like a gourmet treat, as well as one that is “only” used for hot dishes.
But there’s more. Next, one has to decide WHERE to buy which tomato variety. The “Pera” variety from farmer x, the “Raf” variety on the other hand needs to be from farmer y, and the “Muchamiel” variety has to be purchased only from this one specific market stall, but they are not in season now anyway …
Andalusians really know everything about their groceries and are true experts of food science.
This also applies to ham, cheese, and fresh fish … Never before have I learned so much about the specific products as I did here.
It comes as no surprise that this also pertains to drinks. Which wine goes along best with which dish? Oh, and who believes the British are gin freaks has not been to Spain in a long time. Here, the gin lists are longer than the Bible … and similarly sacred.
In short: because food and drink are such integral parts of our new home, we have created a separate category for them. Here, we summarize everything on the subject.