Green is a star of the Spanish gastronomic landscape. This country is Europe’s top producer and exporter of vegetables (lettuce, cucumbers, green peppers, broccoli, green beans, artichokes, etc.), and it is the global leader in the table-olive market, where green varieties like Manzanilla and Gordal are held in extremely high regard by consumers all over the world.
Who doesn’t like the color green? It’s nearly impossible not to associate the color green with nature, healthy food and organic produce; as well as with concepts like vitality, strength, energy and the spring. Spain has a lot to say with regard to this color, from poems filled with tenderness like, “Green, how I want you green,” by the great poet Federico García Lorca; to fifteen national parks where biodiversity reaches its maximum levels of protection, and the honor of being the second most mountainous country in Europe after Switzerland, etc.
Green is also a star of the Spanish gastronomic landscape. This country is Europe’s top producer and exporter of vegetables (lettuce, cucumbers, green peppers, broccoli, green beans, artichokes, etc.), and it is the global leader in the table-olive market, where varieties like Manzanilla and Gordal are held in extremely high regard by consumers all over the world.
The color green also has a significant presence in some of Spain’s most important beverages. We’re not only referring to the green of wine bottles, and cider bottles from Asturias and the Basque Country, but also the herbaceous aromas found in Spanish white wines, like those made with native Verdejo, Godello or Albariño grapes. These green notes can also be appreciated upon tasting Spanish extra virgin olive oils made with the Picual variety—think green apples, artichokes, grassy meadows, etc.
Spring is the season of the color green. We can see it perfectly when traveling to pasturelands like those in the Basque Country that are used for grazing by Latxa sheep, whose milk is used to make the local Idiazabal or Roncal cheeses. This is also true of the numerous wine-making areas in Spain, as the first green buds appear in the vineyards and the vines are slowly adorned with leaves.
Finally, Spanish haute cuisine is going green thanks to the use of an ingredient that is as innovative as it is natural: marine plankton. The expert and pioneer in its use is Ángel León, the chef of the three Michelin-starred Aponiente restaurant in El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz). What do you think of this rice with plankton and baby squid? Outstanding!
Text: Rodrigo García / @ICEX
Translation: Adrienne Smith / @ICEX