Gazpacho is a Spanish dish that makes you feel nice inside and look good outside. What are the ingredients of this Spanish food marvel? And what are its benefits for health?
Gazpacho: the Spanish food marvel
Gazpacho originated from Andalusia which is an autonomous community of Spain. It is a cold drinkable soup made out of raw blended vegetables. It is a popular summer drink in Spain and Portugal.
Gazpacho is refreshing and cool and also nutritious. It serves as an appetizer. Further, one can use it as a drink, soup, dip, sauce, seasoning, garnish, appetizer, starter, dessert, or even as a main dish.
It can be had any time of the day and before, during, or after a meal. The usual ingredients are tomatoes, vinegar, water, olive oil, garlic, and cucumber.
Moreover, other vegetables might be added to enrich it. Peppers are added for the spicy flavor.
Probably, the Romans brought it to Spain. The original dish was made of water, olive oil, vinegar, bread, and garlic. Later the Spanish people of the southern region of Spain Incorporated this into their cuisine.
They used stale bread, olive oil, water, vinegar, garlic, and salt. It was in the 18th century that adding tomatoes to this dish picked up. This version gained international fame.
Instead of tomatoes, some add parsley, cucumbers avocados, grapes, strawberries, watermelon, seafood, and meat stock in various combinations and permutations.
There are several variations of gazpacho. The common ones include stale bread, tomato, onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, garlic, wine vinegar, olive oil, water, and salt. In Northern Spain, they also add cumin and smoked sweet paprika.
Nowadays, blenders and food processors are used to blend the ingredients. But the taste is better when it is pounded in a mortar using a pestle. It is refrigerated after preparation.
But in the olden days, it was left for some time with added water in unglazed earthenware pots to cool using evaporation. It can be eaten solo or as a side dish.
Traditionally, to prepare it, pound garlic cloves in a mortar. Then add a little soaked stale bread, followed by olive oil and salt, and make a paste. Next, put very ripe tomatoes and vinegar and blend them well into the paste. Your gazpacho is ready.
Benefits of gazpacho
Gazpacho is a great dish. Consuming it along with a healthy lifestyle guarantees health for years. It prevents diseases. It helps in the prevention of colds and flu.
It is high in vitamins C, A, and E due to pepper and tomatoes. These are good for the respiratory tract and help in keeping away the colds of winter. Gazpacho has substances that induce vasodilation.
This helps to lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension. Since hypertension is a silent killer and can adversely affect the heart, brain, and kidneys, gazpacho can avert diseases of these organs.
The vitamin C and lycopene from tomatoes help skin glow. They reduce wrinkles and slow the aging process. They also minimize the occurrence of skin spots with age. Some gazpacho dishes have garlic in them.
This is a natural antibiotic and can aid in warding off bacteria and viruses. Gazpacho helps in weight loss. It has low calories and more fiber. Additionally, it also improves intestinal transit time.
The dish has minerals and water and hydrates the body. Therefore it overcomes fatigue and is good for digestion.
Gazpacho can protect the skin and gives it a healthy color. However, it is not recommended for children less than 4 or 5 years.