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Arab's influence on Spanish Cuisine - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London – The Spanish cuisine differs among different regions where it gets influenced by local traditions, climate, and historical factors that dominated Spain since the Romanian era till the Arabian Andalusian phase – it’s also influenced by the Moroccan cuisine as a result of the short geographical distance between the two countries.

Arabs fed Spain with different kinds of foods which were unfamiliar in Europe. Therefore, the Andalusian cuisine has been the richest among other Spanish cuisines with new Arab additions like watermelon, orange, banana, and eggplant; its modern plates still enjoy Arabian touches until this day.

The Spanish cuisine was also influenced by the discovery of the American continent in 1492, which provided it with many new elements like vanilla, tomato, paprika, cacao, and many others.

The Spanish people acquired many Arabic foods-related traditions such as launching their meals by having some bread with olive oil, vinegar, and cheese instead of butter. Rice also makes part of the most renowned Spanish plate “the Paella” – they used to say that its name is derived from Arabic especially that this plate is mostly served in Andalusia.

The influence of the Arabian phase in Spain was also emphasized by the use of spices, which they still use in their menus today; these spices include saffron, which gives rice a beautiful gold color along with a special taste.

Spanish also uses hot sauce, parsley, pepper, vinegar, and lemon Juice. All these seasonings, which are extracted from Arab origins, are used to enhance the meals’ taste.

Spanish people have used many vegetables which they’ve captured from the American continent like Zucchini, potato, and tomato – they also eat many kinds of fruits that could be eaten fresh or dried like dates, figs, apple and strawberry.

This country remarkably benefits from seafood in its cuisine as it tops the longest coast in Europe. The production of cheese has been spread especially that Spanish people adores cheese with olive oil and bread.

On the New Year’s Eve, Spain has a very strange tradition; its people eat 12 grapes because they belief that this fruit will bring them luck in their new year.