Una Historia Breve . . .
Spain has a long and interesting history. It is part of what is called the Iberian Peninsula and dates back to the pre-Roman peoples of the Mediterranean coast. Hispania was the name given to the Iberian Peninsula back in the days of Roman rule. During this era, Hispania provided Rome with food, olive oil, wine and metal. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th Century, parts of Hispania came under the control of Germanic tribes. In the 8th Century, Hispania fell to Muslim conquests. The Muslim state was known as Al-Andalus. This rule lasted almost 800 years. The 12th Century brought about the Christian Reconquista.
In the centuries to follow, monarchs, such as Queen Isabella –famous for her support and funding of Cristóbal Colón- oversaw the final stages of the Reconquista in the Iberian territory, with Spain emerging as a super power, also colonizing the “New World.”
While geography and climate have had a great influence on cooking methods and available ingredients, it goes without saying that, throughout history, Spain has experienced many different influxes of peoples bringing what were certainly different ideas, religions, and traditions, shaping local culture and society in Spain’s various territories, making new ingredients and cooking methods available.
Today, Spain is a constitutional monarchy, comprised of seventeen autonomous communities: Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castile and León, Castile–La Mancha, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Community of Madrid, Region of Murcia, Basque Country, Valencian Community, and Navarre, and 2 autonomous cities, Ceuta and Melilla.
Cooking methods and ingredients that have been ingrained in local cuisine have not been lost. Most gastronomical traditions are still present in the various regions that make up Spain, and regions become famous for certain specialty dishes.
Below are just a few examples, and can be found on Bodega Olé’s menu.
The Cachopo is an Asturian preparation, however, because it is so good, it has managed to leave its borders and acquire a thousand and one nuances and variants. Variations of Cachopo can be found all around the world. Cachopo culture designates this dish as "house food." Traditionally, Cachopo consists of two pounded veal steaks stuffed with ham and cheese, dipped in egg and breadcrumbs, then sautéed to a delicate golden crunch. At bodega, we use pounded organic chicken breasts in place of veal. The rest is according to tradition, and delicious. Olé!
CHURROS Churros are a fried-dough made from choux. Although traditional in Spain and Portugal, where they originated, churros are also consumed and very popular around the world, in parts that have received immigration from Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries. In Spain, churros come in many shapes and sizes; one can find thin churros, knotted churros, or long and thick, and in some regions, churros are known as porras or jeringos. Churros are normally eaten for breakfast, and dipped in champurrado, hot chocolate, dulce de leche or a café con leche. Sugar is often sprinkled on top after fried golden. Here, at Bodega Olé, we deep fry, coat with cinnamon sugar, and serve with a decadent, rich bittersweet chocolate dipping sauce. Muy Bueno. Olé! We consider ourselves your humble servants in this culinary journey, and welcome any questions or comments you may have. While Bodega Olé serves cuisine that is based on traditional Spanish recipes, we do not claim to be solely “authentic” Spanish cuisine. Therefore, enjoy some of the twists and turns you may be surprised to find in a traditionally based dish, as we like to also honor Spain’s culinary influence on other cultures, such as Puerto Rico, Argentina, the Caribbean, and of course, many other Latin American countries.
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