What makes a good Gazpacho?
Gazpacho is one of only a few Spanish foods that is known and loved by aficionados all over the world.
International enthusiasm for this refreshing, delicious and nutritional tomato-based drink has gathered momentum in the last 15 years as more of us have discovered the unique attractions of Gazpacho. And, as more and more of us discover the great versatility of this food for all seasons, this enthusiasm continues to grow.
The fundamentals of eating well are universal and simple: quality ingredients + a good recipe = eat well.
For Gazpacho, these fundamentals are particularly important because the freshness of the ingredients and minimal “tinkering” with them in the recipe means that there is nowhere to hide if you get either wrong.
Brindisa decided a year ago that we would try to make a good Gazpacho that combined:
- Respect for centuries of tradition in Andalucía, southern Spain, the cradle of Gazpacho culture. ie being faithful to the family of classic ingredients, with no new ingredient “improvements”.
- Partnership with a Gazpacho-maker who shared our vision – someone with skill in finding great fresh vegetables and the know-how to let the flavour of those ingredients shine through.
- The possibility of addiction. We’ve only had our first batch in London for a week, but it looks like quite a few people have developed a habit already.
The key ingredient in Gazpacho is the tomato – you stand or fall by its flavour. The Brindisa Gazpacho is made with tomatoes from southern Spain and they boast a mix of sweetness and acidity that is just right for Gazpacho. The other ingredients are:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
Garlic, Sherry Vinegar,
Sea Salt and Lemon Juice
The combined flavour of all these ingredients can be like a liquidised version of a favourite salad, but we also like the way you can pick out the flavours of the different ingredients to appreciate their individual roles in making such a satisfying whole. We have also added a few drops of lemon juice, because we like the fresh citrus note in the overall flavour. But we have left out bread, a classic ingredient in many home-made Gazpachos, where it serves a purpose to bulk up the ingredients and thicken the texture – with our excellent ingredients, we just felt that it wasn’t needed.
The people we chose to make the Brindisa Gazpacho work are Arteoliva, a Gazpacho maker in Cordoba province, Andalucía - the heart of Gazpacho culture. Arteoliva has done a great job working with Brindisa through several phases of different recipes to arrive at what we wanted and, with their state-of-the-art installation, have given us a Gazpacho we can feel proud of.
What’s the best way to enjoy Gazpacho?
In Andalucía, it’s unusual to drink Gazpacho until lunchtime which, with Spanish eating hours, means that it doesn’t come out of the fridge until 2.30. By this time, the sun is high in the sky, the temperature is hot and rising, and many will drink it straight from a glass with no garnish – a pure, refreshing draft bursting with flavour. Some will also eat it from a bowl, typically garnished with finely chopped vegetables (often the same as the main ingredients of the Gazpacho itself) and maybe some herbs, such as parsley or mint. Further embellishments loved by some include some drops of extra olive oil and even a tot of very dry chilled sherry. Sometimes extended to 2 tots with the second bowl.
However, there’s no law against enjoying Gazpacho whenever you like and many satisfied customers include it as part of a healthy breakfast or a pre-dinner thirst quencher. It’s also the ideal refreshment on a summer picnic, appealing to all ages and palates.
We’re pleased with the look of the new Brindisa Gazpacho pack too. We love the picture, by Gary Redford, of the vegetables set against the fields and rolling hills of southern Spain, and the strong orange red Gazpacho colour of the carton. A big thank you to Allies Design for creating such a handsome carton.