Spanish: The World’s Best Cuisine?
Last night, San Pellegrino/Acqua Panna announced the The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Five restaurants from Spain made the list: the top spot went to the Roca brothers for their worshipped El Celler de Can Roca of Girona (Catalunya), three out of the five were awarded to Basque restaurants; Arzak (#8) and Mugaritz (#4) in San Sebastián and Asador Etxebarri (#44) in Atxondo, and another award went to Quique Dacosta in Denia, Spain.
This comes with a flurry of press covering regarding the status of Spanish food in the world. Both CNN and The Independent came out with articles praising the country’s cuisine just last month, while publications like Time, The Huffington Post and The Los Angeles Times broke the news last night that the “Reign of Spain” in the culinary world, is not over.
So, is the praise of Spanish cuisine well-deserved?
Spanish cuisine is multi-dimensional. It’s as much about a simple, home-cooked meal made with fresh vegetables from la huerta as it is about molecular gastronomy made famous by Ferran Adrià, tapas and pintxos shared amongst friends, and gastronomic innovation.
It’s about sobremesa: those late nights gathered around a table with full bellies and a little too much Crianza. It’s about savoring freshly-sliced Jamón Ibérico, sampling your neighbor’s homemade sheep’s milk cheese, plentiful olive oil, and never too much garlic.
It’s about the Basque sociedad; where cooking becomes recreation, a Sagortegia where the apple harvest is celebrated, ferias dedicated to the local specialty and Spanish men and women recreating passed-down recipes in their modern-day kitchens.
Spanish cuisine represents both ends of the spectrum; from simple and traditional, to innovative-creative, has something for all tastes, and is certainly deserving of such a distinguished award.
Congratulations to the restaurants selected!