Mediterranean Aspects in Spanish Food

Posted on September 30th, 2011 by

As part of my program with CIEE, we can take part in different groups of interest throughout the semester. Each group of interest focus on various aspects of the Spanish culture and in the end of the semester, we travel to another city or even country to look at the culture from outside of Sevilla. My group is called “La cultura españolas a través de la gastronomía” or “The Spanish culture through gastronomy,” which as it speaks for itself, focuses on Spanish food.

Our instructors talking about hotel business and food!

Today our group paid a visit to “Escuela de hotelería de Sevilla” – the school of hotel business in Sevilla, during which we was taught about their job of operating hotels, from managing thousands of employees, satisfying clients with different taste from all over the world to important elements of Spanish food. After the introduction to the school and the lecture about Spanish food, we walked around and visit the kitchen as well as dinning rooms in the hotel. The place had five stories underground as part of the kitchen and storage that we were not allowed to come in.


The part that I was most interested in is the food lecture. I might have talked a lot about food, because I love cooking and I love eating and the food culture here is so rich and different that I cannot ignore. Spain is one of the Mediterranean countries and Mediterranean diet is considered the diet for better health and weight control. Even though each of these countries has their own food culture, they do share the main understandings in common. Mediterranean diets emphasizes on a lot of vegetables and fruits, low in red meat and saturated fat. Despite the fact that Spanish pastry is unique and diverse, Spanish people have fruits for desserts. The times that I have had cakes for dessert were only when I went out to eat at restaurants and never at my homestay. Olive oil is the most important element in Mediterranean diet and many studies proved that monounsaturated fat in olive oil could lower LDL cholesterol. Compared to American diet, Mediterranean diet has higher fat content but typically lower saturated fat. Frequent exercise is also recommended as part of the Mediterranean diet.

After the tour, our group sat down and had lunch at the restaurant. The lunch was a typical three-course meal with a soup, entre and then dessert. The entre and dessert was delicious but the cold soup that was made with “jamón” and melon was really different! “Jamón” or ham is a typical Spanish ingredient; some people would even say that it is a treasure of Spain and as I said, Spanish people use a lot of fruits and vegetables to cook. Despite its different taste, the combination is quite interesting and I suppose it is good for your health and would also be an ideal soup during hot summer days.

Ham and melon soup

Chocolate cake in caramel sauce for dessert at the hotel.


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