|Place of origin||Spain|
|Region or state||Andalusia|
|Main ingredients||Tomato, water, garlic|
Gazpacho (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡaθˈpatʃo]) is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold, usually with a tomato base, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. Gazpacho is widely eaten in Spain and neighbouring Portugal (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɡɐʃˈpaʃu], spelling gaspacho), particularly during the hot summers, as it is refreshing and cool.
Gazpacho has ancient roots. There are a number of theories of its origin, including as an Arab soup of bread, olive oil, water and garlic that arrived in Spain and Portugal with the Moors, or via the Romans with the addition of vinegar. Once in Spain, it became a part of Andalusian cuisine, particularly Córdoba and Seville, using stale bread, garlic, olive oil, salt, and vinegar, similar to ajoblanco.
There are many modern variations of gazpacho, often in different colors and omitting the tomatoes and bread in favor of avocados, cucumbers, parsley, watermelon, grapes, meat stock, seafood, and other ingredients.
Ingredients and preparation
In Andalusia, most gazpacho recipes typically include stale bread, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and garlic, olive oil, wine vinegar, water, and salt.
The following is a typical modern method of preparing gazpacho:
- The vegetables are washed and the tomatoes, garlic and onions are peeled.
- All the vegetables and herbs are chopped and put into a large container (alternatively, the tomatoes may be puréed in a blender or food processor, pounded in a mortar (the traditional method), or strained and de-seeded with a food mill)
- The soaked bread is then added (optional)
- Some of the contents of the container are then blended until liquid, depending on the desired consistency.
- Chilled water, olive oil, vinegar and salt are then added to taste.
- The remaining contents of the container are added to the liquid, then briefly blended, but not to purée, leaving some texture. (optional)
- Garnishes may be made with fresh bell pepper slices, diced tomatoes and cucumber, or other fresh ingredients.
Traditionally, gazpacho was made by pounding the vegetables in a mortar with a pestle; this more laborious method is still sometimes used as it helps keep the gazpacho cool and avoids the foam and the completely smooth consistency created by blenders and food processors. A traditional way of preparation is to pound garlic cloves in a mortar, add a little soaked stale bread, then olive oil and salt, to make a paste. Then very ripe tomatoes and vinegar are added. In the days before refrigeration the gazpacho was left in an unglazed earthenware pot to cool by evaporation, and some water added.
Gazpacho may be served with garnishes, served separately, such as hard boiled eggs and chopped ham (in the salmorejo variety from Córdoba), chopped almonds, cumin crushed with mint, orange segments, finely chopped green pepper, onion, tomato or cucumber. In Extremadura, gazpacho with local ham, added to the gazpacho rather than as a garnish, is called gazpacho extremeño. Andalusian sources say that gazpacho should be slightly chilled, but not iced.
Ingredients, texture, and how thick the gazpacho is made vary regionally and between families.
In the historical description of gazpacho it was remarked[by whom?] that the original recipe uses bread, water, vinegar, oil and salt. This recipe is very old in the Iberian Peninsula, going back to Roman times. Every Andalusian region or comarca has its own variety. The humble gazpacho became a very deeply rooted food for peasants and shepherds in the south of Spain. The basic gazpacho gave rise to many variants, some also called gazpacho, others not; some authors have tried to classify all these variations. Gazpachos may be classified by colour: the most usual red ones (which contain tomato), white ones (which contain no tomato, but include dried fruits), and green ones (which are white but contain some spices that make them green). These variants have their basic ingredients in common, garlic paste which works as an emulsifier, bread, olive oil, vinegar and salt. To the traditional ingredients red fruits such as strawberries, muskmelon, etc., may be added, making the gazpacho a bit sweeter. Gazpacho may be served as a starter, main dish, or tapa.
A popular variation comes from the town of Rota in the province of Cadiz. During times of drought there was not enough water to make gazpacho; arranque has the same ingredients as gazpacho, but uses less water and bread, making it a sort of cream. Some people add more bread until it takes on the consistency of a dip.
In Extremadura, gazpachos are a kind of purée or thick gazpacho known as cojondongo, or cojondongo del gañán, made of breadcrumbs, garlics, oil, vinegar and on the top of that chopped onions, tomato and peppers.
La Mancha variations
Gazpacho manchego, as its name implies, is made in the east region of La Mancha, in Albacete and nearby areas, and is also popular in other areas in the center and southwest of the country. It is not a cold vegetable soup but a meat stew, whose main ingredients are small game animals or birds such as rabbit, hare, quail, or pigeon and flat bread, and may also include garlic, tomatoes, and mushrooms. It is cooked in a cauldron and served hot. Garlic and tomatoes may be added. Another well-known variant in La Mancha is gazpachos de pastor or galianos. Some other hot meat or fish dishes from several regions are also called gazpachos (gazpacho jumillano, gazpacho de Yecla, gazpacho de Requena, etc.).
In popular culture
- Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, in which a drugged gazpacho plays a part.
- "Lisa the Vegetarian", an episode of The Simpsons in which Lisa offers gazpacho as an alternative to meat at the neighborhood barbecue.
- In an episode of the science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf a character thinks that his not knowing that gazpacho is served cold hindered his career.
- Shawn Spencer introduces Carlton Lassiter to gazpacho in the Psych season 6 episode "Heeeeere’s Lassie".
- In the Cartoon Network series Chowder, one of the citizens of Marzipan City, and a recurring character is a woolly mammoth named "Gazpacho", in accordance with the show's culinary motif.
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- González Turmo I. Comida de rico, comida de pobre. Los hábitos alimenticios en el Occidente andaluz (Siglo XX). Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla 1997
- Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd. ed cites R. Ford Hand-bk. Travellers in Spain I. i. 69 (1845) "Gazpacho..is a cold vegetable soup, and is composed of onions, garlic, cucumbers, pepinos, pimientas, all chopped up very small and mixed with crumbs of bread, and then put into a bowl of oil, vinegar, and fresh water."
- Steven Raichlen (30 August 1989). "Gazpacho: Theme And Variations". New York Times.
- Clifford A. Wright's facts about Gazpacho Retrieved 6 July 2007.
- Kate Heyhoe. "Last Blast Gazpacho: Tomato and Watermelon at Summer's End". Kate's Global Kitchen.
- King Gazpacho, Andalucia Magazine. Retrieved 6 July 2007.
- Cojondongo del gañán en la web de Turismo de la provincia de Badajoz.
- Lescure Beruete, Luis Felipe. DICCIONARIO GASTRONÓMICO. Términos, Refranes, Citas y Poemas (2005) p.71
- Gazpacho Manchego
- Wikibooks: recipe for gazpacho morañiego. (Spanish)