Accounting for 44% of the global production, Spain produces a larger volume of olive oil than Italy and Greece combined! In addition, the quality is increasingly among the finest in the world.
Anyone that knows me well knows that I’m a baker and a sweet tooth at heart! In an era where we are looking to eat healthier, I invariably get questions of how to make baked goods healthier. While I’m not a proponent of using artificial sweeteners or fat substitutes, one way to make baked goods somewhat less “excessive” is to bake them with olive oil rather than butter.
I always say that experiencing food - learning about, preparing and experiencing it - is one my greatest passions and when it brings loved ones together it is joy in its purest form! That is precisely why when I travel to a new destination, I carve out time to take a cooking class.
So what is a cured egg yolk? That is the question I invariably get every time I mention these jewel-like golden spheres to someone, including some very knowledgeable food enthusiasts and professional chefs. Let’s start with defining curing…
When people think of Spanish cheeses, they automatically think of manchego, a rich, golden, semi firm sheep’s milk cheese originating from the central plains of Castilla-La Mancha. However, when I walked to Santiago, I discovered a world of cheese that goes beyond Spain’s most well known cheese. In enjoying these cheeses, I obtained a better understanding of the geography and resources of each region of the Camino Francés. Some cheeses may seem very similar but they all have their own distinctive characteristics because of their provenance or terruño, the Spanish term for the impact that local environmental factors have on the development and production of artisan food products.
If you are going to make Spanish food a part of your entertaining repertoire, you will want to explore and familiarize yourself with the following nine ingredients and food products that are synonymous with Iberian gastronomy and which should be part of any Spanish pantry.
A trip to Morocco can be quite an adventure. Riding camels, sleeping in the desert under the stars, sand boarding, and getting lost in the souks are all experiences not to be missed. Similarly, partaking in the heady and fragrant foods of Morocco can prove equally adventurous. Moroccan cuisine is rich in spices, which is only natural when you consider the ages-old spice trade from Arabia to North Africa. Spices here are used to enhance, not mask, the flavor of food. It is almost as the spices are meant to seduce your senses. To prepare proper Moroccan dishes such as couscous, tagines, and pastillas, it is imperative to understand the role and profile of each key spice.
I lived in the San Francisco Bay area for almost a decade and it was there where my passion for food really blossomed. So, in my first “discovery” post, it seemed very fitting to feature one of my all-time, favorite food destinations in the world: the San Francisco Ferry Building. Timing was such that I was recently in San Francisco for a friend’s wedding and had some spare time to “rediscover” this amazing place!