/ Spanish Cuisine
uses the most oil among all Western and Central European cuisines.
In Spain it's of course olive oil - one of the best oils
of all; ordinary Thai cooking, on the other hand, is based primarily
on coconut oil. Coconut oil is considered of lower quality
than olive oil as it tastes more lardy.
All the better
Spanish restaurants overseas do prepare food in olive oil. Customarily
the Spanish export quality is chosen which is more refined
than the kind of olive oil common in Spain. However, as the more
original and less refined Spanish olive oil lies rather heavy
on the stomach, the more refined qualities are anyway preferred
by non-Spaniards. A further concession to the non-Spaniards are
the reduced quantities of oil in many dishes as they are
served in the Spanish restaurants abroad.
feature of Spanish cuisine is the wide use of innards or
uncommon cuts of meat like tongue or feet. In Spanish cuisine a
number of innards and uncommon cuts are prepared in an elaborate
manner, and they then are not considered a poor man's dish of minor
quality but a delicacy. Particularly high-ranking among Spanish
specialities is ox tongue (lengua). Other uncommon specialities
are pig knuckles and tripe (callos). Tripe may be served
with ham and sausage as Callos a la Madrilena.
squid is served in its own ink (Calamares en su tinta), as
a separate dish or on paella the rice of which then turns black
- a dish called arroz negro, or "black rice".
consume more rice than any other European people, and that does
make Spanish cuisine more easily adopted by Asians. A very well
known Spanish rice dish is paella. Basically it consists
of spiced saffron colored rice, garnished with shrimp, crab, Spanish
sausage, and pieces of fried pork, beef, chicken, and lamb.
Very much in
contrast to her neighbor in the Mediterranean Sea, Italy, culinary
Spain doesn't know noodles. If it's not rice accompanying a meat
or fish dish, then it's most probably potatoes, and if it's
not potatoes, then it's bread.
lamb is of much more importance than in any other continental
European cuisine. The manner of preparation of lamb is decisively
different from the only other European cuisine consuming much lamb,
the British. There is no such thing as mint sauce in Spanish cooking.
Lamb (cordero) is prepared in Spanish cuisine certainly with
garlic, and lamb chops (chuletas de cordero) often
with tomato sauce, a la Navarra (as the region of Navarra
grows the most tomatoes in Spain).
is one of the most important condiments in Spanish cooking. A very
delicious garlic dish is gambas al ajillo, shrimp with garlic
fried in oil or butter. Some other garlic dishes are: champignon
al ajillo (mushrooms sauteed in garlic), sopa Juliana
(vegetable soup, prepared the Spanish way with garlic).
has a few standard procedures to prepare meats. Meats may be marinated
for a short time before being fried in a sauce of vinegar, oil,
garlic, and onions (adobado). Pureed liver may be added to
the marinate (estofado).
in Spanish cooking has always been on seafood considering
the location of the country but today with the Mediterranean becoming
fished out and more and more polluted Thailand is perhaps a better
place to sample Spanish seafood than Spain herself. Thai waters
are still exceptionally rich in fish as well as in shrimp, shell
fish and other seafood. One of the most famous Spanish seafood dishes
is zarzuela de mariscos, a seafood stew.
sauces, for meats as well as for fish, a dash of wine is
generally added. Most commonly it is Sherry, a very typical
Spanish white wine that is aged 5 to 25 years before consumed. The
Spanish also drink sherry with the meal.
The most common
Spanish red wine is Madeira, a rather sweet heavy wine. It
is found in many Spanish meat sauces. Another Spanish red wine added
to sauces is Marsala. The name should not be confused with
masala, an Indian spice mixture based on cardamom.