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Spanish cuisine is extraordinarily varied, intertwined as it is with the country's amazing history, and its cultural and geographical diversity. Every Spanish recipe has its own story! But Spanish traditional baking is in a league of its own. Spanish bakery has it all - from flat bread made on campfires by Celtic shepherds to honey fritters from the Moorish Caliphates. We have the favourite pastries of Catherine de Medici, lemon cakes made for fertility rites in rural Aragon, and tarts made for the Habsburg emperors by closed orders of Spanish nuns. The story of Spanish bakery is full of adventure, intrigue and humanity. No other part of Spanish cuisine reflects the story of Spain as well as its traditional bakery and many of Europe's oldest baking traditions come from Spain. Here we present over 250 traditional baking recipes of Spain - but not just that. This book is also a social, historical and cultural journey. We hope you enjoy the journey - we are sure you will enjoy the recipes!
Malcolm Coxall, the author, is the proprietor of the family's 110 acre organic farm in Southern Andaluc a in Spain. The farm produces olives, almonds and culinary herbs. It incorporates a small factory for the packing of organic herbs, dried fruits and nuts. Apart from running the farm, Malcolm also provides consultancy to other organic food producers in the region. He has published several books and articles on traditional Spanish food, sustainable agriculture, organic food production, forest biodiversity, environmental protection, politics and economics. He is active in the European food and environmental movement in defence of European environmental standards. Malcolm is passionate about local food production, culinary diversity, agricultural sustainability and traditional gastronomy. He believes that traditional recipes have much to teach a generation that lives on a largely homogenised processed diet and has forgotten how real food is grown and prepared, that truly good food is local, ethical, organic and slow and that how and what we eat defines who we are as a society. "Societies that knowingly eat chemically adulterated junk foods, produced in heartless factory farms, reveal an intrinsic social, political and health malaise and a deep lack of empathy for the planet. How can such food be good food? It cannot. Such societies reveal a lack of sustainability, an ignorance of the world we share and a disconnection from our natural and social context. Contrast this "care-less" mentality with societies that treasure their land, natural environment, people, their traditional cuisine and the quality of their food. "Spanish traditional food is one of the last bastions of good food in Europe. The Spanish are justifiably proud of their local agricultural produce. Few other culinary traditions in Europe are as vast in range, as imaginative, healthy and delicious as that of Spain. The Spanish love good food, good company, they enjoy life and they love their land and its produce. "Explain to me why we need fast food and how 'industrial agriculture' fits in with the larger concepts of human and environmental well-being? To be sustainable, we need to understand food again - beginning with the basics both on the farm and in the kitchen. To begin, we could do worse than to try to re-discover our own local gastronomic heritage. Not only is this socially worthwhile and important, it is also great fun to make and enjoy real food again!"