Like other places on the Mediterranean, we like to share culinary sensations with our environment
In Spain and the rest of the Mediterranean, a large part of daily life is spent in the “square”, broadly understood to be a place for meeting and exchange. There, people talk about the weather and health, hardly the two big topics of our culture, but they also talk a lot about food, home cooking and public catering, because our culture always invites us to share and exchange experiences and opinions.
Although our dietary balance has been forged over the millenniums, the rapid evolution of modern societies has endangered its survival in just a few decades. The unstoppable process of globalization has led us to import less healthy food customs and habits which are a far cry from our own culture. These include eating alone or glued to the television when people in Spain have traditionally eaten as a family, with friends or colleagues, whilst discussing the day’s news. As should be the case, by definition, a social activity in which everyone is entitled to have an opinion and enjoy the conversation. ()
In the 18th century, Brillat Savarin dared to say that “the luck of nations depends on how they eat”. According to this criteria, it can be said that we Spaniards deserved something more than what we got, as we have historically savoured cuisine and have been eating better and better.
However, it must be recognised that diet is not everything and it is necessary to have a culinary culture, exchange and socialization. In other words, although its beneficial aspects are clearly evident, particularly in health, this is not the only reason for the increased longevity of our men and women, as other reasons also come into play, such as a more relaxed life, the custom of having a siesta or less stress, all of which lead to a higher life expectancy. As for sociability, which is so important for the enjoyment of food, all of the senses come into force, namely taste, touch and smell but also hearing and most importantly sight, because the pleasure and flavour is divided between all of our sensorial experiences to which the “sixth sense” may also be added, more specifically, common sense.