For the thirteenth day of the Travel Challenge I want to talk about a topic new for me, recipes. To be precise, I want to talk about the origin of some particularly famous recipes. Today I’ll focus on Spain so the three recipes that we will get to know are part of the Spanish culinary tradition and are among the best known and most popular dishes.
There is news of the recipe known as paella from the 18th century. It is born as a dish of popular cuisine of peasant tradition. In ancient times it was used to feed the farmers who needed a rich and complete dish in order to maintain their strength. So to create this dish they used all the ingredients that the place had to offer. In Valencia there was and there is a rich area of vegetable gardens that provided the vegetables, it was also normal to raise chickens and rabbits for family consumption, the rice fields of the surroundings, finally, provided the rice. In the coastal areas you could find the variant with fish and seafood, all seasoned with olive oil of the Mediterranean area. As a curiosity we can add that the name of this dish derives from the container in which it is cooked, in fact the name of the pan in the Valencian language is paella. In different areas of Spain, however, this particular pan is called paellera, although in reality the term paellera refers to the woman who cooks the paella not to the recipient in which it is cooked. In any case, the Royal Academia of the Spanish language admits both terms.
As in all the recipes there isn’t a single version concerning the origin of these sweets. One of these versions attributes its birth to the Spanish nomadic shepherds. In fact it is said that not being able to go down to the city to buy bread the Spanish shepherds invented a food that could replace it and that it was easy to cook in the pan, what would then be called churros. It is thought to be the true origin since there is a breed of sheep called “Navajo-Churro”, which descends from the “Churra” sheep which have horns similar to this fried pasta. The with time the conquerors brought this recipe with them making it known in the South American countries where they have created different alternative versions.
- Tortilla de papas
Various legends are circulating on the birth of the Spanish tortilla. One version sees General Tomás de Zumalacárregui as the one who, during the siege of Bilbao, invented the potato tortilla to overcome the great shortage, being a simple, quick and nutritious dish. The tortilla was then inserted into the diet of the Spanish soldiers as a nutritious and satiating dish and soon it spread even among the peasant families in an era of scarcity and poverty, since it is composed of humble and easy to find ingredients, precisely potatoes and eggs. Another version of the same legend says that it was made known to General de Zumalacárregui by a housewife from Navarre one day that he stopped at her house. This woman didn’t have much to offer him so she arranged something with the little he had, some eggs, onions and potatoes. She created what we now call tortilla de papas. The general liked it so much to spread it around.
I hope you enjoyed the post. Have you ever tried these dishes? I have, all three and I found them very delicious.