Spain: Recipes and Traditions from the Verdant Hills of the Basque Country to the Coastal Waters of Andaluciaby Jeff Koehler
From the craggy Catalan coastline to the undulating, red-soiled hills of Andalucía, the diversity of the Spanish countryside is without rival. Its cuisine directly reflects this landscape, with each region celebrating its own ingredients and culinary traditions. In Spain, long-time Barcelona resident Jeff Koehler gathers the country's many time-honored dishes… See more details below
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From the craggy Catalan coastline to the undulating, red-soiled hills of Andalucía, the diversity of the Spanish countryside is without rival. Its cuisine directly reflects this landscape, with each region celebrating its own ingredients and culinary traditions. In Spain, long-time Barcelona resident Jeff Koehler gathers the country's many time-honored dishes and age-old culinary customs, and distills the Spanish table down to its essence—food that is prepared simply but full of homemade flavors, and always meant to be shared.
Each chapter is an ode to Spain's delightful kitchen, from gazpachos, salt cod, and poultry, to savory and sweet conserves. The story of the country is told through 200 recipes from classics like Shellfish Paella, Artichoke Egg Tortilla, and creamy Flan to delicacies such as Chilled Melon Soup with Crispy Jamón and Monkfish Steaks with Saffron. Dishes from Spain's leisurely multicourse meals and simple tapas alike celebrate seasonal ingredients: wild mushrooms, asparagus, and local game. Sidebars trace Spain's rich culinary traditions, taking us from ancient Moorish cities to the arid fields of the Castilian countryside, and allow us to meet the people who still, with devotion, cultivate them. Accompanying these are hundreds of evocative photos of the markets, orchards, green hills, and fishing ports from which this delicious cuisine originates.
Add to this a thorough glossary that includes techniques such as preparing snails, using saffron, and making perfect fish stock, as well as a helpful source list. Novices and veterans of the Spanish kitchen alike will gain a deeper understanding not only of Spain's cuisine but of its culture.
Food writer Koehler instructs early on in this hearty collection of over 150 recipes that, “first and foremost, Spanish cuisine is regional.” While the 16 chapters are organized by food type rather than locale, nearly every entry discusses the dishes provenance from within the 200,000 square miles of Spain, be it the seaside, the Sierra Nevada, or the Pyrenees mountains. White gazpacho with grapes belongs to a Mediterranean coastal city, monkfish steaks with saffron are from the deep south and roast shoulder of kid goat is a treat from the area around Madrid. A tasty section on tapas covers classics like dates wrapped in bacon, as well as more intense options, such as Galician octopus with paprika on potatoes. Koehler notes that the country’s cuisine is indeed so diverse that there exists only one dish that is common to all regions: cocido, a soup, pasta, root vegetable and meat concoction served in two courses. In addition to the food itself, Koehler explores a variety of the country’s food-related traditions, the oddest of which must surely be Tio de Nadal, a Christmas log that conceals candy. (Nov.)
A New York Times Sunday Book Review notable cookbook of 2013
- Chronicle Books LLC
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Meet the Author
Jeff Koehler is a culinary journalist and photographer who makes his home in Barcelona, Spain.
Kevin J. Miyazaki is an American photographer specializing in food and travel. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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