Recipe and photos contributed to Hispanic Kitchen by Veronica Shine
In the aftermath of the Black Plague, sausages gained popularity throughout Spain and the rest of Europe. People learned that smoked sausage could last longer and stretch farther than fresh meat, and the sausage really stepped up to the plate as a food choice.
There are many varieties of sausage in Spain, and fresh sausages made their comeback and are known as “Salchichas.” They are usually found in short links with seasoning that varies from bland to very spicy. Since they are fresh, they must remain refrigerated until their use.
The pineapple is a star in the fruit world not only for its flavor, but its presence in history of being brought to Europe from the New World. On the island, now known as Guadeloupe, on his second voyage of discovery, Christopher Columbus and his crew came upon them in 1493. Columbus brought the first pineapple to Spain and the Spanish thought it resembled a pine cone and named it piña (pine).
On the islands of the Caribbean, the pineapple symbolized hospitality. If a pineapple was placed by the entrance to a village, then strangers were welcomed. This symbolism spread to Europe, then to colonial North America, where it became the custom to carve the shape of a pineapple into the columns at the entrance of a plantation. The fruit found in the mainland of Spain, however, is grown mainly in the Canary Islands.
The Canary Islands add a tropical touch to the repertoire of Spanish cuisine. Located more than 500 miles from Spain and only 70 miles from the coast of northwest Africa, their climate is perpetual springtime.
The Sausage with Pineapple Skewers (Brochetas de salchichas y piña) is a favorite summer tapas dish served with a cold beverage. The tapas can be created by using this recipe or adding in a few ingredient ideas of your own.
Yields 4 servings
8 fresh link sausages (chicken sausage can be used as a sub)
6 cherry tomatoes
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Honey for glazing
1. Cut sausage into 2 or 3 pieces.
2. Mix spices, balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a bowl and place in sausages to marinate for 30 minutes.
3. Peel tomatoes and cut into crescents.
4. Peel the pineapple and cut into bite pieces.
5. Wash and then remove stems of mushrooms.
6. Use skewers, and thread alternating, pineapple, sausage, tomatoes and mushrooms to your liking.
7. Coat each skewer with honey and cook on the grill with a drizzle of olive oil until crispy.