Spanish Plants Used For Seasoning

 
20-Oct-2010 by

Spanish cuisine is unique for its mild spicy taste. The spices used in Spanish cooking are obtained from Spanish seasoning plants. They are not very strong in their flavors and hence do not dominate the taste in a dish. They are used to bring out the actual flavor of any dish. If you are a Spanish food buff, these Spanish seasoning plants would come in handy for preparing Spanish cuisines.

 

Saffron

Saffron is azafran in Spanish. Saffron is the stigma of Corcus plant; these stigmas’s are dried and stored for use. It is subtle to taste and imparts a very rich deep yellow color when soaked in warm water or milk. Saffron is mainly used in a traditional Spanish dish named Valencian paella. Mainly added for its flavors and coloring properties.

 

Pimenton

Pimenton is an alternative for paprika in Spain. It is made out of smoked chili peppers or dried chili peppers. Pimenton is available in powdered form and has a deep red color. It is also available in combination with red chili powder for imparting a touch of spice in dishes. This special Spanish seasoning plant is used for coloring chorizo sausages and for spicing up chicken dishes. The popular pulpo a la Gallega recipe also needs Pimenton for garnishing.

 

Garlic

Garlic is known as ajo in Spain. Though it is not an exclusive Spanish seasoning plant, it is extensively used in Spanish recipes. No Spanish dish is complete without a dash of ginger. Pa amb tomaquet contains raw garlic and so does Alioli or mayonnaise. A traditional soup in Spain has garlic as its main and dominating ingredient.

 

Fennel

Fennel is called hinojo in Spain. This Spanish seasoning plant grows in wild and its stem, seeds as well as fronds are used for seasoning Spanish seafood dishes. The flavor of fennel is very similar to that of aniseed.

 

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves is called hoja de laurel in Spain. It’s a staple Spanish seasoning plant mainly used to flavor soups and Spanish stews. Bay leaves are quiet aromatic. Because of its strong flavor they are added at the time of cooking but are removed from the dish before serving. The taste is somewhat bitter and ideal for Spanish Casseroles and chickpea cum bean Spanish stew.

 

Picture Courtesy: flickr.com

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