“Hearty peasant food,” Amma says. “Solid presentations of uncommon meats. Satisfying to the stomach, but not so much to the tongue.”
I wouldn’t call it bland, exactly. But comida andaluza does, I think, explain the Philippines. The Philippines got the full force of a cuisine that liked to “let the ingredients speak for themselves,” only without the ingredients. Philippine food is, perhaps, Andalucian food before the conquest of Mexico brought the ingredients to the peninsula.
Or not. It’s a hypothesis, anyway.
Anyway, Spanish cuisine is just plain food — alimentos — more than a “cuisine.” Maybe I’m just too used to it, having grown up on a faintly Americanized version of the stuff. Meat-heavy fried food with very light seasoning.
Overcooked venison is actually pretty good once you get used to it, and I’ve already mentioned croquetas.
Plus, tapas are fun, although much better in America (or Catalunya, for that matter) where the substance comes from Mexico and Southeast Asia but the style is español.