Planet Food Spain Barcelona | Travel Food Documentary.
Spanish cuisine as opposed to other national cuisines in Europe, is heavily influenced by regional cuisines and the particular historical processes that shaped culture and society in those territories. Geography and climate, had great influence on cooking methods and available ingredients, and these particularities are still present in the gastronomy of the various regions that make up the country. Spanish cuisine derives from a complex history, where invasions of the country and conquests of new territories modified traditions and made new ingredients available .
There is not much information about diet or culinary culture before historical time. Archeological evidence suggests a hunter-gatherer society that slowly evolved into a more sedentary culture around 7th century BC in the South Western area of the country. This culture, known as Tartessos established trading relations with Phoenician and Greek cities, and used them to develop new agricultural techniques and the adoption of new products, such as olive trees and grapes.
Authors such as Strabo, however, write about aboriginal people using nuts and acorns as staple food.
The discovery of America, in 1492, initiated the advent of new culinary elements, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, corn, bell peppers, spicy peppers, paprika, vanilla and cocoa or chocolate. The latter caused a furor in the Spanish society in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; Spain was where it was first mixed with sugar to remove its natural bitterness. Other ingredients traveled to the Americas, such as rice, grapes, olives and many types of cereals.