Charlotte, North Carolina
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Popular Spanish Food Terms
Spanish cuisine is one of the more popular food choices available in the restaurant industry today. In order to have a better, more comprehensive understanding of the types of Spanish foods and recipes available on the market, it is important to understand the terminology associated with this delicious cuisine. Below are several popular terms to be familiar with when researching authentic foods which originate from Spain and or Latin America.
Chorizo - Chorizo is a kind of highly seasoned pork sausage. It is a popular food found in many Spanish and Latino restaurants and recipes.
Carne Asada - Carne asada literally means roasted beef. It can also refer to a pot roast.
Chipotle - Chipotle is a smoked, dried jalapeño chile, canned in adobo sauce. Adobo is a basic marinade common in Spanish and Latino cuisine.
Tapas - Tapas are light snacks or appetizers, usually eaten with drinks such as wine or beer.
Paella - A Spanish dish prepared by simmering together chicken, seafood, rice, vegetables, saffron and other seasonings.
Churros - A churro is a fried dough snack which originated in Spain.
Empanada - An empanada is a fried or baked pastry stuffed with sweet or savory fillings. Empanadas are also known by a variety of other names, such as pastelito, empanadilla, and pastelillo. Empanadas originated in Spain and Portugal.
Pilon - A pilon is a mortar and pestle used to crush, grind, and mash ingredients, herbs and seasonings prior to cooking.
Caldero - Caldero literally means cauldron in English. A caldero is a cast iron cooking pot, similar to a Dutch oven, with a tight fitting lid.
Spanish food is a cuisine that has its roots within the country of Spain. Many people, of Spanish and non-Spanish decent, enjoy this cuisine in the form of authentic restaurants, international markets and cooking their own recipes. Of course, as this style of food was introduced into the United States, there were some adaptations on traditional dishes, catering to a wider audience. However, authentic restaurants, utilize old family recipes and still maintain some basic elements that tend to define Spanish cooking. These elements include the use of seafood, pork, paella and beans. Some other features, especially when mixed with the Latino or Hispanic cuisines, are tortillas, cheeses and maiz.
Many Spanish restaurants may choose to focus on one aspect of the cuisine, such as serving tapas. Tapas can be anything from a plate of appetizers, to a meal that is made up of several snack courses. In fact, tapas comprise the entire dinner menu in many gourmet Spanish restaurants. Spanish dishes and food were first introduced into the Americas through the conquistadors, who began exploring the new continent as far back as 1492. As culture developed within the United States and Latin America, we retained heavy roots with Spain's food. From desserts to drinks, many dishes are infused with Spanish flavors and spices.
If readers are interested in finding out more about the history of Spanish cuisine or finding more ethnic grocers in the area, try accessing an popular search engine on the internet. They can help readers hunt down Spain themed pastry shops, chorizo vendors and more!