March is Spain
I've never been to Spain, so I am looking forward to learning more about Spanish food and culture during March.
On the tablescape for Spain are
- paella: a popular rice dish mixed with either seafood, or meats, and uses saffron
- gazpacho: a soup made of raw vegetables
- tapas: small dishes-- a wide variety of snacks and appetizers, cold or hot
- sangria: served cold by the pitcher, wine with chopped fruit, a sweetener, and brandy
- papas arrugados: "wrinkled" potatoes with a pepper sauce
- banderillas: no-cook skewers of colorful, pantry items like roasted peppers, cornichons, etc.
- leche frita: a northern Spain dessert of fried cream
- horchata: in Spain, it's made of tigernuts or almonds, sugar and water. In other countries like Mexico, it is cinnamon rice milk.
I am familiar with the first four but had to look up the rest.
The cookbook I am going to use this month is Claudia Roden's The Food of Spain, a 600-pager, filled with recipes and history of the food in Spain. It came out in 2011.
There is an interesting article on her and the cookbook in the U.K.s The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/mar/18/claudia-roden-spanish-food-interview
She says she resisted Spain at first, and that the cookbook took her 5 years to complete.