Spanish Culture, Food and DietEdit

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Spain is well known for its bullfights, Flamenco music and dance, fantastic beaches and lots of sunshine. With thousands of years of culture, Spain is the one of the most exciting country of Europe.

Spain has produced many extraordinary artists. The dominant figures of the golden age were the Toledo-based artists El Greco and Diego Velasquez. It was Francisco Goya in the 18th century, who with his prolific painting left his mark in the art world.

In 20th century, artists like Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí ruled the world with their fabulous work.

Spain is greatly known for the it's architecture. Prehistoric monuments in Minorca in the Balearic Islands, through to the Roman ruins of Mérida and Tarragona, the decorative Lonja in Seville, Mudéjar buildings, Gothic cathedrals, castles, fantastic modernist monuments and Gaudí's intricate fabulist sculptures are some the great architectural work.

Flamenco is a genuine Southern Spanish art. It can be categorized into three forms Cante, the song, Baile, the dance and Guitarra, guitar playing.

Flamenco was first reported in literature, in 1774, in the "Cartas Marruecas" of Cadalso. The first Flamenco-schools was established in Cádiz, Jerez de la Frontera and Triana (Seville). In early stage, Flamenco was purely vocal with rhythmical clapping of hands, toque de palmas. Guitar was introduces later by Julian Arcas.

With the time, Flamenco dance has changed, with female dancers trying to rather showcase their temperament than artistry. The Flamenco guitar that formerly was just featuring the dancers now seems to be a soloistical art form.

When we say Spain, the first thing that comes in our mind is Bull fight. Bull fighting is certainly one of the best known, although at the same time most polemical Spanish popular customs. Without Toro Bravo we can not think of Bull fight. Toro bravo is the only species of bull of an archaic race that is in Spain. With the bull fight being abandoned in 18th century, the poorer population invented the bullfight by foot. Francisco Romero was a key-figure in laying the rules for that new sports known as La Corrida.

La Corrida is not just a sports. Its an art. It is an archaic tradition that has survived in this country, just like Toro Bravo.

One can find different varieties of food in different regions of Spain. The best-known recipes of Barcelona are stews, as La escudella i carn d'olla, made of vegetables, rice, noodles and potatoes, Cocido con judias blancas, of Butifarra (a typical regional sausage), Pilota (a preparation of beef), bread, eggs and white beans, Faves a la catalana, Botifarra amb monjetes and Arroz a la cazuela, a dish similar to the famous "Paella Valenciana".

Fish specialities are "Zarzuela", a dish made of cuttlefish, mussels and prawn, and "La Opera", its more luxurious version added with lobster.

Typical desserts are Crema Catalana, Mel i mato (of curds and honey), and the Postre del Musico ("dessert of the musician") with pine-kernels and raisins. When it comes to the wines, red wines from Peralda, Alella, Priorat and Tarragona, white wines from Penedés and of course the famous Cava (sparkling wine).

In Santiago, most typical is fish, which is available in extraordinary quality. The Saint Jacob's Shell, Viera and Pulpo á la Gallega, cuttlefish prepared with paprika are the first choice of the visitors. Another well-known dish is Empanada Gallega, a pie of fish, meat or vegetables.

When talking about sweets, Tarta Compostelana, a tart of almonds, is most famous. The wines specially Ribeiro is very young and fresh. Other food one can not forget to try are Fefiñanes, Betanzos, Rosal, Valdeorras, Ulla and Amandi.

In Burgos it is the fresh cheese with slight goat-milk-flavor, called "Queso de Burgos", considered to be most popular food throughout the Spain. Other delicious foods are Roasted lamb, chopped pork, blood pudding, red beans (called Ibeas) and hotpot.

Some of the well known recipe one can enjoy in any of the Spanish restaurant are: A Two Course Rice - (Arroz Abanda), Aceitunas Con Mojo, Aioli Sauce (Spain), Ajoblanco, Albondigas, Albondigas (Meatballs), All-i-Oli with Egg Yolks, All-i-Oli with Mustard, All-i-Oli with Tomatoes Sauces, Almond Cake - (Tarta De Almendras), Almond Cookies i - (Almendrados), Almond Cookies ii - (Almendrados), Almond Spongecake - (Bizcocho De Almendras), Anchovies, Andalusian Chicken or Pollo Andaluz with Rice and Peas, Catalan Peasant Soup - (Escudella De Pages), Catalan Roast - (Rustido a La Catalana), Catalan Salad - (Ensalada Catalana), Catalan Tomato Bread - (Pa Amb Tomaquet) etc.

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