Friday, May 29, 2009

Spain: Food & Drink

Here are some really interesting facts about food and drink in Spain. See how Spain is such an important place when you talk about food...

Spain makes 44% of the world's olive oil, more than twice that of Italy and four times that of Greece. More than a quarter of Spain's oil (10% of the total world production) comes from Jaen.

Nearly three-quarters of the world's saffron is grown in Spain.

The original paella was not considered a seafood dish but had chicken, rabbit and pork (and sometimes snails). There is some debate over the origin of the word.

Tapas is not a type of food but a way of eating it. Tapa means cover and was traditionally a slice of cheese or ham placed over a drink.

The Spanish (in particular, the people of Cadiz) claim to have invented fried fish. Great Britain had links to Cadiz in the eighteenth century and it is thought that the British imported the idea of fish 'n' chips from there.

'Dominations of Origin', common in wine labeling, is also used in Spain to guarantee the quality of ham, olive oil and even paprika.

Though Spain is more famous for its red wine than white, the majority of its vineyards have white grapes.

The fortified wine sherry comes from the city of Jerez in Andalusia. 'Sherry' is a corruption of Shariz, the Persian name for the city. In Spanish, sherry is simply called 'vino de Jerez' (Jerez wine).

Tomatoes, potatoes, avocadoes, tobacco, and cacao (for chocolate) were all imported into Europe by Spain.

Spain is one of the top five importers of Scotch whiskey in the world.


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