Andalusian food is cooked in the Andalusia region of Spain. The Romans, Moors, and many other races invaded the region and left behind their cooking influences and Andalucian dishes that created the modern Andalucian cuisine. The Mediterranean influence is predominant in the region and there are many gourmet Andalucian dishes that are now found world-wide.
Classification of Andalucian Cooking Styles
Andalusia is a very arid location. The location can be conventionally divided into four culinary zones according to the dishes and ingredients that are used for cooking them. Sierra Morena located right at the beginning of the Iberica chain is a place where meat and game is cooked and used predominantly. Due to the balmy weather, wine and olives can be easily gown in the Subbéticas region and is found in nearly every dish. Cereals, sugar, and Mediterranean fruits are grown and cultures in the Bética region of the Guadalquivir valley. Fish is the predominant ingredient in all the dishes of the Guadalquivir valley.
Ingredients Commonly Used in Andalucian Cuisine
Andalusian cuisine usually uses locally grown food. Mint is used in a few areas to flavor dishes, but the three major food ingredients that are used include olive oil, meat, garlic and wine. Herbs like thyme, rosemary, fennel, bay leaf, oregano, and parsley are commonly used to flavor meat dishes. Andalucian food follow the same ancient recipes but regional cooking variations and local eating styles may cause slight differences in taste and texture.
Andalucian Recipes Popular in Foreign Culture
- Gazpacho andaluz which is a cold creamy soup of green paprika, tomatoes, cucumber, bread, olive oil and garlic. It is eaten during summer months but the dish is popular as a starter all over the world.
- Tapas are also another regional specialty that has spread all over the world. The dish consists of small portions of meat, or cheese served as snacks before the actual meal. There are thousands of tapas recipes but nowadays two or three tapas recipes are adapted to form meals too.
- Wines from the region are also very popular with finos, muscatel, amontillados, olorosos and aged olorosos being in high demand world wide.
Major Everyday Recipes
- Fried fish which is batter fried in chickpea flour is very popular in the regions of Jaén, Córdoba, Seville, and Granada. Fishes that are commonly used include shrimp, prawns, clams, flounder etc or which are locally available.
- La tortilla Sacromonte is a special omelette made only for festive occasions but which is served at homes
- Jambo ham is a very popular local ham that is made from a special regional pig breed that is bred only on the Island.