PICKLES

These sour, salty, sweet and crisp vinegar foods are present in all social events and are widely consumed as tapas, in traditional recipes, and even in some of the country’s most avant-garde cuisine. Its regional variety reflects Spain, diverse and rich gastronomy that reflects a way of life and traditions that are shared by all. In addition, the success of exports of these products has made them true symbols of what seems authentically Spanish with the rest of the world, with a particular emphasis on the United States, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada and Australia. In addition to table olives, which by their importance acquire an individual category, under this name pickles include gherkins, onions, peppers, aubergines, garlic and acidified capers (usually preserved in vinegar). The pickled products are packaged individually or in combinations, this last variant is known in Spanish as banderillas, and they are served in cold like aperitivo or garrison. Capers are a traditional pickle in Spain. They come from an ancient shrub, the Asiatic Capparis Spinosa that grows freely throughout the Mediterranean region. The flower bud (the closed buds) is called the caper and is the most mature fruit, capers. Both are prepared as pickles and are considered from ancient times to possess medicinal properties. Capers are very popular in the Mediterranean, where they are often accompanied by fish, meat, rice and pasta dishes. Another popular product in canned form are the Chilli Peppers, a variety of long and spicy peppers with a mild and slightly spicy flavor. In Spain it is consumed mainly in pickles in wine vinegar. The best known are those grown from an indigenous variety in Ibarra, a small town in the province of Guipúzcoa, in the Basque Country and are often served to accompany soy stews and other abundant dishes. In Almagro, a historic town in the province of Ciudad Real de la Mancha, it gives name to the Eggplants of Almagro, now covered by a I.G.P. Berenguena of Almagro. These use a variety of the region of Campo de Calatrava, with small fruits and with the leaves of the chalice almost covering the fruit. After cooking, they are fermented in a dressing made of vinegar, oil, cumin, garlic and paprika. La Gilda is a tapa that is often served in bars in the north of Spain. It is a combination of gherkin, olive, pepper (sometimes also onion) and canned fish, usually an anchovy, served on a stick. The name derives from the film of the same name – which caused a great stir in the Spain of the sixties – the shape is supposed to be reminiscent of the silhouette of Rita Hayworth’s star. Today the Gildas are available as part of the range of products of the producers of the brine of Spain.
About the author

Montse Gonzalez