In good ol’ hazy, hot ‘n humid summers like the one we’re experiencing
now (Thursday’s high was a muggy 95), recipes for gazpacho seem
to pop up everywhere. The virtues of this tasty and cooling dish are
extolled in magazines and newspapers, on TV and radio food shows,
websites and blogs, and even in cooking segments of local newscasts.
So of course, it was amongst the assortment of soups we made
during the most recent session (entitled “Is it soup yet?”) of my
Fireside Feasts historic cooking program out at Wyckoff. We
used the receipt (recipe) below, from the 18th century book
Arte de reposteria, by Juan de La Mata of Madrid, Spain.
Now you may notice something’s missing. That’s right, there are
NO tomatoes! Ack! How can that be?! Well, gazpacho receipts,
which have been around for literally centuries, initially had none.
The main component was days-old bread, with garlic and a few
spices. Gazpacho was around long before tomatoes entered the
picture (which would’ve been after Spanish explorers discovered
them while plundering Central and South America in the 15th
century.) There’s also not much liquid. In fact, it was apparently
more of what we might consider a salsa (that word is even used),
than a thin, fluid-y soup. It was often served with a vegetable-laden
salad (which we also prepared).
So, the next time you’re hankerin’ for some gazpacho, whip up
this receipt and try the “original.”
GAZPACHOS OF ALL KINDS.
The most common gazpacho is called
Capon de Galera, which is made thus:
grate a pound of crust of a loaf of bread,
toasted and without the soft crumb, soak
in water: then toss it in a salsa, consisting
of anchovies, and a couple of cloves of garlic,
grinding them together, with vinegar, sugar,
salt and olive oil; when everything is well
mixed, leave to soften the bread with the
garlic: after it has been put on the plate,
incorporate all or part of the range and
vegetables from the Royal Salad.