Nov 30 2018

Spain in orange: Vitality, Fun and Flavor

The color orange is typically associated with youth and the impulses and enthusiasm of youthful passion. The people who use it the most tend to be lively, fun-loving and extremely social. Can this color also be associated with gastronomy, and particularly Spanish products and wines? Of course it can!

 

The color orange is typically associated with youth and the impulses and enthusiasm of youthful passion. The people who use it the most tend to be lively, fun-loving and extremely social. Can this color also be associated with gastronomy, and particularly Spanish products and wines? Of course it can!

For the past four weeks we've dedicated our Instagram to the meaning of “Spain in red,” featuring products like pimentón de la Vera, Royal apples from Girona, chorizo, tomatoes, Ibérico ham, etc., as well as landscapes like the vineyards tinted red after the grape harvest, and the towns of Basque Country, La Rioja and Navarre, with their balconies draped in drying red peppers.

We are now moving on to a new color: orange. Let’s take in all its brightness and vibrancy while tasting juicy delicacies like Spanish kakis (persimmons) – of which Spain is the main exporter in Europe – exotic fruits like mangoes and papayas, and vegetables like pumpkin, which has played a starring role in Spanish gastronomy since long before the American tradition of Halloween became associated with the night of October 31st.


Orange also casts its hue over the Spanish wine panorama. On the one hand, this is thanks to bold and highly-recognizable wine labels like that of the much-celebrated Verdejo wine from DO Rueda winery Belondrade y Lurton, and The Orange Republic Godello wine made by Casa Rojo.

We can also find it in photographs of the interior of Oremus winery, where Vega Sicilia’s famous Tokaji wine is made in Hungary. And let’s not forget the orange wines from DO Condado de Huelva. These are either made from a wine that has been certified by this region’s Regulatory Board, or from fresh grape must obtained from the DO’s production area, which is then fortified with wine alcohol that has been macerated and aromatized with the peels of bitter oranges. The product is then aged using the traditional criaderas and soleras system for a minimum of two years, in casks or oak barrels that are smaller than 650 liters.

But there is still more orange to be found in Spanish gastronomy: the delicious mandarin or clementine oranges from DO Clementinas de Tierras del Ebro and the oranges DO Cítricos de Valencia; the yellowish-orange color of traditional Spanish rice dishes, or the flavorful fideuá valenciana; the orangey hues of Spanish honey (an extremely high-quality product that is protected with quality designations like those of DO Miel de Galicia, DO Miel de la Alcarria, DO Miel de Tenerife, DO Miel de Granada); and so much more.


And our journey through all things orange in Spain would not be complete without stopping to marvel at two incredibly beautiful things, one physical, and one more celestial. The first of these is part of one of this country’s greatest gastronomic treasures: saffron from La Mancha. This limited-production and top-quality product begins with the brilliant purple of its flowers and the red of its pistons, and ends with the warm orange hue of this spice after toasting. And the last of these is the Spanish sky. There are sunsets here that can take your breath away: the one over the Alhambra at the San Cristóbal overlook in Granada, the sunset over Murcia’s Mar Menor or at the Cova d’on Xonroi in Menorca, or dusk along the vía verde route that winds between Jaén’s olive groves. Pure vitality, pure beauty, pure flavor. 

Text: Rodrigo García / @ICEX

Translate: Adrienne Smith / @ICEX

Photos: @ICEX

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