Gazpacho — The Andalusian Summer Breeze

Traditional, authentic, and steeped in history, the mesmerizing province of Andalucaí with its mighty Moorish echoes and the mellow rhythms of flamenco boasts a rich varied cuisine deeply-rooted in the early Hispano-Muslim gastronomy.

Probably the most wonderful thing about Spain is its unparalleled variety which lies in the particularity of its regions. And it’s not only the magic of Don Juan de Carmen or the sunny beaches of its coasts that make Andalucía such an enchanting territory, but also the rich culture and the spiritual locals. That’s why Andalucía is the land of great traditions, the realm of fiestas and one of the most authentic provinces in Spain.

Somewhere between a salad and a cold soup, gazpacho, the most popular dish in Andalucía combines the territory’s long history with an amalgam of cultures, traditions, and customs.

Origins:

Although the origin of gazpacho is pretty unclear, the dish has ancient roots. Considering the ingredients used (olive oil, water, onions, garlic, vinegar, tomatoes, cucumber, and bread), one theory says that the tomato-based soup derives from an Arab broth of bread, olive oil, water, and garlic. Another concept, however, states that the presence of vinegar certifies the influence of Romans, well-known for their habit of eating bread soaked in vinegar. Moreover, it casts doubt the fact that gazpacho has always been made with tomatoes, the vegetables being introduced in Spain only after the Spanish Colonization of the Americas.

Overall, it is clear that no matter its origins, gazpacho arrived in Andalucía a long time ago and decided to stay, becoming part of the Spanish cuisine.

Since it became an international dish, chefs from all over the world have started to use their imagination in order to create the most sophisticated recipes of gazpacho. Therefore, they have introduced new ingredients such as avocado, yogurt, or even watermelon, managing to change completely the original gazpacho’s taste and texture.

Even in Spain, gazpacho is prepared in countless ways, so the ingredients, the texture, and the viscosity can vary depending on the region.

The following recipe is for traditional gazpacho:

 

Ingredients:
Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Onions
Garlic
Olive Oil
Wine Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Stale Bread (Croutons)

Recipe:

The vegetable soup or the liquid salad (as they like to call it in Spain) is the perfect dish for the hot summer days. Healthy and refreshing, gazpacho is very easy to make. You’ll only need half an hour and four simple steps to follow.

1. Peel the tomatoes, the onions, and the garlic.

2. Put all the vegetables into a large bowl and pound them using a mortar and pestle or a blender.

3. Add croutons, chill water, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.

4. Garnish with the same vegetables the soup already contains (tomatoes, cucumbers, onion/scallions). These have to be fresh, peeled, seeded, finely-chopped, and served separately in bowls. You can also add freshly-roasted croutons.

Gazpacho is always served cold (sometimes with ice cubes).

Disfrutala!

 

 

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mirunacorneanu

Travel & Food writer.