Just as wine is considered to be a product of terroir – a unique local mixture of geology and climate – the same could be said about food. Spain is a large and diverse peninsula and as such has an immense array of foods at its disposal. We set ourselves an impossible challenge, but a fun one nevertheless, to condense Spain’s food and wine to just six foods and six wines and to try to match them all together.
Looking at the country, one can see that it has an Atlantic coastline and a Mediterranean coastline – two very different types of ocean which give rise to different types of food. Three more types of food come from the three major domestic farm animal groups; pigs, cows and sheep/goats. The southern half of Castile, around the towns of Salamanca and Segovia, have famous pork products, starting with ham; the north coast is green and hilly, providing good pastures for cows, whereas most of Spain’s interior is much more dry and can only provide nourishment for the hardier sheep and goats.
Our final choice for an interesting food from Spain will take us back in time to one of the most basic foods, a dish cooked for and by shepherds in the arid and mountainous regions of south-east Spain. It’s been real fun travelling and trying all of these foods, as well as seeing them made, we hope you get fun and inspiration from reading about them and trying the wines.