Gazpacho Andalú is a Flamenco fusion band, a blend of Andalusian, Hispanic American, Jazz and North African flavors. A New York cultural cross over that reflects the stylistic evolution that it is taking place in today's Flamenco. The result is a contagious musical experience in which Flamenco is the common denominator, no New Age easy listening, watered down flamenkish stuff.
The title of this album is a game of words. It comes from the term "Cantes de ida y vuelta" or Songs of round trip, these are a set of traditional Flamenco songs that were influenced by the music that Flamenco artists heard when they traveled to the Spanish colonies in the Americas. In the late 19th Century styles such as Rumba, Guajiras, Milongas, Colombianas, Vidalitas were incorporated into the Flamenco repertoire. Since Gazpacho Andalú is based in New York City, we reversed the term and created a new and meaningless term to title our album: "Flamenco de vuelta e ida".
Gazpacho is also a cold soup, a wonderful summer dish that comes from Andalusia in southern Spain. It used to be the staple meal of the day laborers in the "cortijos" as the huge farms of the land owners are called over there. Its ingredients are easily found in the Mediterranean vegetable gardens and it is a great aid to surviving the heat of the Andalusian summer.
In the old times it used to be made in a big terracotta bowl where the ingredients were mashed in a particular specific order to create the emulsion that gazpacho actually is. Nowadays we use blenders, which make the job quicker and less tedious although I have tried gazpacho made in the traditional way... that is really something!!
I just hope you enjoy our music and this recipe my mother passed on to me, as did her mother and her mother before her... and back to the time when tomatoes and peppers came from the Americas to Spain and someone began this truly Andalusian culinary tradition.
Warning: What it is sold in some places and restaurants as gazpacho has nothing to do with what we eat in Andalusia, it is a Mexican salsa-like dish that has nothing to do with the original (amigos Mexicanos, no me mal interpreten, no tengo nada en contra de vuestras deliciosas salsas)... and please, no coriander!
Five ripe big tomatoes, the redder the better
Two green peppers
One medium size cucumber
Three cloves of garlic (or more- depending on how garlicky you want it)
One third of a baguette or the equivalent of any other European style wheat bread (traditionally we use in Andalusia stale bread a couple of days old, people used to be so poor they didn't waste anything!)
Sherry vinegar (apart from the ripe tomatoes and the olive oil, this is a key ingredient)
Extra virgin olive oil
Soak the bread in a bowl of water. Chop into coarse pieces the tomatoes, one pepper, half of the cucumber, the garlic and mix in a big bowl with the soaked bread torn up into chunks, salt to taste, add approximately half a cup of the olive oil and two table spoons of sherry vinegar. With a ladle put the mix in the blender and blend until you get a creamy texture, transfer to a serving bowl and continue until you have blended the whole of the mix. If it is too thick add some water to the cream until desired consistency, I personally like it a bit thick.
Chop up the other green pepper and the rest of the cucumber in small cubes, this will be the garnish.
Serve it chilled from the fridge in bowls, sprinkling it with the garnish and some cubes of bread of the same kind we used in the ingredients - but not stale. You can also put in it chopped up hard boiled eggs and little cubes of Serrano Ham.