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Iberian Food Tour (High School) 22:08

Created by Rick Steves' Europe Staff

Published by: Gabe (Rick Steves' Europe)

Spain and Portugal are both located on the Iberian Peninsula, and both countries have robust food cultures that reflect their history, geography, and values. Join Rick as he samples food from some of the most iconic markets and restaurants on the Iberian Peninsula!

Refer to the "Notes to Viewers" below for a list of comprehension questions, discussion prompts, and project ideas to guide you through the playlist and further your learning. 
Notes to Viewers

1. What is the market in Porto that Rick visits like? Are there any markets like this in your city? How is it similar or different to where your family shops?

2. What does Porto’s market suggest about its history or geography? 

3. How do men and women in Nazaré both work to provide food for the community in Nazaré? How do men and women work to provide food in your community?

4. What does Rick eat in Nazaré? Do you think you would enjoy this food? Why?

5. What is bacalhao and how is it prepared? Does it look like something you’d like to eat?

6. What is “fast food” like in Portugal? How is it different than fast food in the United States?

7. What is Lisbon’s market hall like? How has it changed over time? How is it similar to or different from Porto’s market that you saw earlier in the playlist?

8. What time do Spaniards eat dinner? What time do Americans generally eat dinner? Why do you think there’s such a difference?

9. What are tapas? Why do you think they are so popular in Spain? Which of the tapas that Rick eats would you most like to try?

10. What is Spain’s unofficial national food? How does it seem similar or different to the food of the same name in the United States?


11. Which of the foods that Rick ate in the playlist would you most like to eat? Which foods would you least like to eat? What do your answers suggest about the culture you grew up in and how it differs from Portuguese and Spanish culture?

12. Find the cities mentioned in this playlist on a map. How do their popular dishes relate to their geography? Do the popular dishes in your city seem related to your city’s geography? Why?

13. What do the cuisines of the Iberian cities suggest about their national heritage, culture, or values? How does the average American diet reflect American values? How does your personal diet reflect your personal values?

14. Rick notes that the pastéis de Belém (or custard pies) in Lisbon are still made by hand. Why is that? What are the advantages and disadvantages of making food by hand? Do people in your community often make meals from scratch or buy pre-prepared meals? What are the impacts of cooking from scratch and preparing food by hand on personal health, personal finance, and the social life of a family?

15. Many people on the Iberian Peninsula shop at markets rather than supermarkets. What are the advantages and disadvantages of shopping at a market rather than a supermarket? What are the effects on personal health, the economy, and the social life of a community?


16. Imagine that you are a chef and have been asked to prepare an Iberian meal for a large dinner party. Write up a menu for the dinner party, including a short description of each dish. The create two lists: one list of ingredients to be picked up at your local market or supermarket and one list of items that will need to be shipped in. (Also consider how the shipping process may affect the quality of the product.)

17. Draw two scenes depicting family dinners—one somewhere on the Iberian Peninsula and one somewhere in the United States. Consider where the family is sitting, what they are eating, and what their home looks like.

18. Find a recipe for one of the dishes the Rick ate in the playlist. Then, prepare the recipe and share it with your family or friends. How was the dish similar or different to things you eat in your daily life? What did your friends and family think of the dish?


19. Read more descriptions of iconic European cuisine from other countries on Rick’s blog, and discuss how each dish reflects the history, geography, and values of the culture that eats it. Use the links below:

WA SOCIAL STUDIES LEARNING STANDARDS: SSS3.9-12.1, E1.9-10.2, E2.9-10.3, G1.9-10.4, G2.9-10.1