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What is Gazpacho and Why is it a Famous Dish in Many Restaurants?

Posted October 29, 2015

Gazpacho is traditionally a tomato-based soup that is served chilled. It originated in Spain and has become popular worldwide. There are a wide variety of Gazpacho recipes restaurants use that may vary depending on geographic area. In modern times, Gazpacho may refer to any chilled soup that has a vegetable or even a fruit base.

History of Gazpacho

Original Gazpacho came from the Andalusian area in the south of Spain. It was originally a simple dish, and like most soups, it was a means of using up aging ingredients so they didn’t have to be thrown away. The original recipe was simply stale bread, olive oil, garlic, water or vinegar and whatever vegetables happened to be on hand. Nuts such as almonds were sometimes added. The soup has since expanded greatly in its complexity and taste, and it has been highly influenced by Greek, Italian and Arab cultures. It is now a popular dish served in many fine restaurants.

What Makes Gazpacho Different?

Gazpacho is a distinctive soup. While being served chilled certainly sets it apart from most people’s idea of soup, Gazpacho is not just a chilled tomato soup. Gazpacho tends to be thicker than most soups, and it may even resemble a stew or salsa. It also tends to be a spicy soup with a variety of flavors on account of large amounts of garlic and peppers may be included. True to its traditional roots, Gazpacho may have bread crumbs or croutons included. Finer recipes usually use croutons as a topping. The idea of toppings also tends to define Gazpacho. A drizzle of olive oil is one of the most common toppings, but a variety of toppings including cheese and nuts are also popular. The exact toppings are often what distinguish certain varieties. More seasoned chefs from places like the Lamoraga Restaurant offer a more traditional Andalusian Gazpacho, topped simply with tomato foam and pine nuts. There is also Cheery Gazpacho, infused with fruity cherry notes and topped with feta cheese, anchovy, pistachios and basil oil for a more complex culinary experience.

Sources:

The History of Gazpacho, The Kitchen Project

Your Tomatoes Are Begging You: Don’t Make These Common Gazpacho Mistakes, Bon Apetit

Source URLs:

http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/common-mistakes/article/gazpacho-common-mistakes

http://www.kitchenproject.com/history/Gazpacho/