Gazpacho, the classic cold soup from the south of Spain and Portugal has been a popular staple in households from around the world for centuries.
The origins of its name remains a mystery after thousands of years. Some say the name originated from the word Caspa, which is Latin for pieces of, referring to the parts of bread that they blend in the famous soup.
In the article, we’re going to learn about the rich history of Gazpacho and how this chilled soup became one of Spains most treasured dishes.
What Is Gazpacho?
Gazpacho or otherwise known as Andalusian Gazpacho is a cold soup that uses stale bread, garlic, olive, oil, and raw vegetables or fruit. It gained popularity in the southern Spaniard region of Andalusia.
Today, you can find the Spanish staple throughout the Iberian Peninsula. Some areas in Spain will serve the dish warm during the fall and winter.
The main variety includes using tomatoes. But some recipes call for more modern ingredients that are being used in the dish. Some of these ingredients include avocado, parsley, fruits such as watermelon, and different types of meat stock.
History of Gazpacho
Gazpacho has an incredible history behind the creation of the famous dish. Originating from the Roman Empire, soldiers would carry pieces of stale bread, garlic, and olive oil with them on their journeys.
They would then take the ingredients and make it into a paste with a makeshift mortar so they could quickly turn it into a soup.
The Moors in ancient Morocco, made a similar soup using almonds called Ajo Blanco, which contributed to gazpacho origins. Legend says that Gazpacho had some influences from the Moors of Northern Africa, as well as the ancient Greeks.
The dish had become popular in the Andalusian region of Spain. They began to make several varieties by adding fresh vegetables to the original recipe.
Variations of Gazpacho
Besides Andalusian Gazpacho, several varieties use many different fresh ingredients. These are popular throughout Spain, Portugal, and Morocco.
The original recipe was different from today’s varieties. That’s because the original did not include tomatoes, until after the Spaniards discovered the New World.
Modern cooks are replacing staples like bread and tomatoes that you can find in the original recipe with ingredients like avocado.
Below we are going to list the different types, to help you find a variety of gazpacho dishes for you to enjoy.
Arjamolho – The Portuguese variety of Gazpacho that is served with grilled sardines.
Ajo Blanco – You make the recipe with garlic, bread, almonds, vinegar, olive oil, and grapes. It originated in Morocco.
Salmorejo – It uses tomato, bread, olive oil, and garlic. Top your soup with either hard-boiled eggs or Iberian Ham.
Arranque Roteño – It’s a lot like Salmorejo, but thicker. Use this version as a dip, rather than a soup.
Cojondongo – It’s a very thick soup, though most people would call this a salad. Cojodongo is made with garlic, parsley, tomato, and green peppers.
Gazpacho Manchego – Popular in the southwest and central parts of Spain, it’s a meat stew and is served warm. Recipes include using game meat, such as rabbit or fowl, then add mushrooms, garlic, flatbread, and tomato.
Make a Refreshing Batch of Gazpacho Today
The history of Gazpacho had humble beginnings and shows today’s cook that you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a fantastic dish.
With summer quickly approaching us, have yourself a batch of delicious, cold gazpacho soup today and don’t forget Spain’s most famous dessert!
Our blog is all about sharing our love of Latin American foods & drinks. We will bring you articles and recipes of the very best Latin American & Spanish cuisine. Amigofoods was founded in 2003 and is the largest online grocery store offering a wide variety of hard to find freshly imported foods & drinks from all over Latin America and Spain.