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Gazpacho With or Without Tomatoes

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Q. Since when are tomatoes used in Gazpacho Soup? When visiting Spain, Gazpacho was the "in thing" to eat there. However, as I remember, the Spanish did not put tomatoes in their Gazpacho. Just like many other dishes that are regionalized, I believe that tomatoes sorta Americanized this soup. Am I correct, or no???

A. This cold soup, sometimes affectionately called a liquid salad, hails from the Andalusia region of southern Spain, and was traditionally based on bread and oil and whatever vegetables were in season at the time. But, it has always made free use of tomatoes.

Of course, there is almost infinite variation in gazpachos. Other authentic Spanish gazpachos include a white gazpacho from Extramadura in west-central Spain based on garlic and grapes (without tomatoes), an almond gazpacho from Malaga, a warm gazpacho from Seville where the tomato is optional but the orange juice is not, and Gazpacho Manchega, which is a stew of different varieties of game eaten on a piece of round, unleavened bread.

And the garnishes to be spooned into your bowl of gazpacho can range from tomatoes, onions, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and bread to chopped egg, diced apple, melon, grapes, mint, olives, ham, figs, raisins, and even peanuts. It is certainly possible that you had gazpacho without tomatoes in Spain, or that you simply overlooked the tomatoes amongst all the peanuts and dates.

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