With many a Spanish-style eatery popping up throughout the country, it’s fair to say that Irish people love Spanish food! Instituto Cervantes is starting a new four-week educational workshop: ‘Overview of Modern Spanish Food History’, which explores the evolution of modern Spanish food, including recipes and products of lesser-known Iberian cuisine.
This gastronomic workshop aims to educate attendees on all types of Spanish food from different regions; with fascinating insights into the background of many foods we enjoy from Temple Bar to Barcelona. It’s not all about tapas!
The workshops that place on the last two Tuesdays of May and June, 23rd and 30th May and the 20th and 27th of June, in Instituto Cervantes, on Lincoln Place, and tickets cost €80.
Week 1: Overview of Modern Spanish Food History (23rd May)
Explore the evolution of modern Spanish food including the Basque ‘Nueva Cocina’. Delve into regional differences and discover why the real national dishes of Spain revolve around chickpeas and not tapas and paella! Attendees will find out why Spanish people love to entertain outside the home; why they eat so late and why the city of San Sebastian in the Basque Country has more Michelin stars per capita than any other place in the world, except Kyoto, Japan. The workshop will find out how to make yogurt spheres with oranges: Romesco, ajo blanco and they’ll taste ‘tocino de cielo’, a famous dessert made from egg yolks, among others.
Week 2: Charcuterie and Cheeses (30th May)
In this workshop, attendees will discover the history behind Spain’s most famous cheeses and cold meats, and how to correctly arrange a Spanish charcuterie board – a great skill just in time for the summer! Explore the deep-rooted link between pork consumption and Christianity in Spain. There will be a tasting of Iberico products like chorizo, jamon and lomo along with well-known cheeses like raw milk Manchego and less well-known ones such as Torta del Casar, which is set using a thistle rennet – possibly developed by Spanish Jews looking for a kosher cheese source.
Week 3: Canned fish and other canned foods (20th June)
Did you know that there are tapas bars throughout Spain called ‘laterias’ that serve mostly canned fish and seafood? Did you know that a can of cockles can set you back €30 euro? Travel from the Phoenician and Roman city of Cadiz, where the first manufacturing of salted tuna took place to the modern day. There will be a tasting, and attendees will try their hand at preparing some iconic tapas using canned fish and seafood like cockles and wakame, cherry tomatoes stuffed with ventresca (bonito belly) and gilda pintxo (olive, anchovy, pickled chili).
Week 4: Olive Oil (27th June)
It’s one of the most frequently consumed products of the Mediterranean diet, and Spain is no exception. The history of olive oil in the Iberian Peninsula, its uses and classifications is at the forefront of this workshop. Attendees will learn how to choose the best and freshest olive oil and how to store it. Tastings of monovarietal extra virgin olive oils will take place and the workshop will be guided how to make a simple gazpacho, confit oranges with olive oil and taste a fish ‘escabeche’, and ‘escalivada’, a Catalan salad of eggplant, pepper and onion.
Instituto Cervantes Dublin is the Spanish Cultural institute for the Spanish government in Ireland. The institute provides language courses and cultural events, some of which are free or at reduced rates. These cultural events range from music, art, history, gastronomy to Spanish dance.