The spicy history of gazpacho

Gazpacho has evolved from a poor man's dinner to a delicacy. Share this article

Asking who invented gazpacho is like asking, "Who created pizza?" You're bound to be met with a barrage of passionate responses, many of which conflict at the confluence of culture and geography. 

Spain's stone soup
However for many people, Spain – namely Andalusia – comes to mind when pondering the origin of the robust, tomato-based soup. According to Kitchen Project's account, gazpacho was influenced by some of the first inhabitants of Spain, who've also left their mark in architectural structures such as the Alhambra.

Originally, gazpacho was nothing to write home about. In the same way that pig ears progressed from a poor man's dinner to a delicacy, gazpacho climbed the ranks from being a bowl of stale bread, olive oil and vinegar to a tasty summer treat served by some of the finest chefs in the world. 

Andalucia is often credited as the birthplace of gazpacho. Andalusia is often credited as the birthplace of gazpacho.

Luckily, the cold soup has become so popular that it no longer requires a 5,000-mile trek to Spain. You can find it in a myriad of restaurants, even ones that aren't true to an authentic Spanish menu.

Americanized gazpacho
Soyka restaurant in Miami, known for comfort dishes crafted from fresh ingredients, was lauded by Foursquare users for having the best gazpacho in the city. An $8 cup of chilled gazpacho composed of a tomato base and fresh veggies is nestled between a Cobb salad and other American dishes on the eatery's menu.

Other places label sundry chilled soups as gazpacho despite a staggering difference in ingredients. Saveur magazine raved about a macadamia-based spin-off made by Brooklyn's very own Chef Elise Kornack of eatery Take Root. She serves hers with a creamy base, a smidgen of honey and trimmed asparagus.

"Gazpacho is typically eaten July 1 to celebrate the feast of San Juan."

The feast of San Juan
You're more likely to see gazpacho creep up in restaurants during the dog days of summer than in stark winter. This is not only because it's refreshing but also because it's seasonal. The Chicago Tribune explained that gazpacho is typically eaten July 1 to celebrate the feast of San Juan.

Giving a nod to southern Spain as the creator of gazpacho, the publication pointed out one flaw that most commit when making the dish: People forget the importance of using raw ingredients to make fresh gazpacho. If you hope to create your own gazpacho, remember that the olive oil is the single most important ingredient. Also, no self-respecting stay-at-home Spanish mother would dare to put hot sauce in her batch. 

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