Food has always been a vital part of Spanish culture and tradition. Families bond over food, and special occasions like weddings, birthdays, graduations and holidays is always dominated by food. Spanish heritage would include century-old recipes, created not only to please the appetite but to maintain the health of the body as well. According to the magazine Hispanic Foodways, Nutrition, and Health, a good appetite is associated with good health. A Spanish mother would observe the foods that could make her children sick and would refrain from cooking that food. Therefore, a history of recipes are made, which is passed on from generation to generation. Some of the most famous Spanish foods and spices nowadays are paella, Iberico ham ( serrano ham ), olive oil, wines, cheeses and chorizo.
Nowadays, Spanish food has been receiving extra attention in the US market. There are several reasons that could be associated with the sudden popularity of Spanish food in the US. First is the increasing number of Hispanics in the US population. Hispanics are known to spend more money on food, and so more and more stores started selling Spanish food products like olive oil, chorizo, paella pads, wines and cheeses to cater to the demand for Spanish foods and spices.
There is also an increase in the number of Spanish restaurants who offer Spanish dishes like paella, salmorejo, gazpacho, or garbanzos con espinacas. There’s The Bazaar in Los Angeles, The Basque Market in Boise, Suba and the Boquería in New York, Mercat a la Planxa in Chicago or the popular Jaleo and Minibar of Jose Andrés in Washington DC. These are just some of the numerous famous Spanish restaurants that offer Spanish cuisines. Because of this, more and more Americans in the US began to notice the richness and exotic taste of Spanish foods.
However, the biggest news that boosted the popularity of Spanish foods is the Spanish Mediterranean Diet. It has been known that Spanish diet is heavily influenced by fish/seafood, olive oil, cheese and wine. This diet has been scientifically proven to be a very healthy weight loss diet, which helps lower blood pressure, increase the body’s antioxidants and promote weight loss. ( for the whole article see: http://www.nutritionj.com/content/7/1/30). The protein and Omega-3 acids found in fish, the antioxidants present in olive oil and red wine, provides a very good cardiovascular diet. Virgin olive oil and wine helps maintain the good cholesterol in the body, making the heart more resistant to cardiovascular diseases. The good thing about Spanish diet is that you do not have to sacrifice your appetite by eating strict diets that taste like charred paper. Spanish diet helps you lose weight in a delicious and fun way.
So what are you waiting for? ¡Buen apetito!