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The Spanish Kitchen

Ingredients, Recipes, and Stories from Spain

Illustrated by Peter Cassidy
Published by Interlink Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

Spanish food has been shaped by many influences: among them Roman, Arabic, Jewish, and the products brought back by the Conquistadores from the New World. There are many common threads within the cooking of Spain, from salt cod to saffron, and on the whole, Spanish home cooking throughout the Peninsula is simple, uncomplicated, and direct, with a singular lack of adornment on the plate. This could be austere, were it not for the strong, true flavors of prime ingredients rooted in the local terra (terroir) that need no disguise or affectation. Yet, for both historical and geographical reasons, the sense of regional identity and separatism remains strong in the many provinces (kingdoms) of Spain, and this is also proudly reflected in the cooking. The North-West of Spain, for example, probably has more in common with other Celtic countries than it does with Moorish Andalusia. Centuries of isolation from the rest of Europe has also safeguarded many wonderful ingredients that even now remain unknown both outside their region of origin and outside of the country. Nonetheless, in the last 30 years change has been rapid: the Spanish are fully part of new Europe; they are interested in new modes of eating, new dishes, new lifestyles. Many Spanish kitchens now boast Maldon Salt and Parmesan cheese as status symbols, and magazines offer Spanish takes on Chinese cooking and low-fat recipes for modern Spanish mothers. Although there has been a rush to industrialize food production—TV commercials advertising ready made paellas, for example, are no longer seen as subversive—there has been a parallel growth in Spanish pride in quality products and a determination to safeguard their unique Iberian heritage. Perhaps more than any other country in Europe, the Spanish have one foot in their unique culinary past, one in the global present. The future of Spanish food, cooking, and traditions, remains an open and intriguing question. The book will be divided into 17 chapters, each highlighting a different ingredient or ingredients from a different region of Spain. These introductory narratives will tell the story of each ingredient in terms of culture, history, cultivation, traditions, location, context, and so on, and above all bring the products to life by talking to the producers themselves in situ. Each essay will then be followed by a selection of five recipes using the product. The ingredients have been selected so they represent a cross-section of Spanish produce: some familiar, others less so, some expected, some surprising, some artisan, some larger-scale, and so on.

About The Author

Clarissa Hyman is an award-winning food-travel writer and restaurant reviewer whose work has appeared in the Times, The Telegraph, Country Living, Food and Travel, Manchester Evening News, and Carlton Food Network’s Simply Food. She has twice been nominated for the prestigious Travelex writing award and in 2002 was awarded the title Glenfiddich Food Writer of the Year. Clarissa began her media career as a producer for Granada Television and maintains a TV presence appearing as a food industry commentator on programs such as BBC Watchdog. She is the author of The Jewish Kitchen and Cucina Siciliana, also by Interlink. This is her third book. Peter Cassidy is a leading food photographer whose work appears regularly in major international magazines and newspapers. He photographed Clarissa Hyman’s Cucina Siciliana and The Jewish Kitchen.

About The Illustrator

Product Details

  • Publisher: Interlink Books (January 1, 2006)
  • Length: 160 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781566565998

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