One of the two countries that make the Iberian Peninsula, Spain is truly blessed with natural bounty. It has the longest sea shore line in Europe and is blessed with fertile lands.
The country boasts of a large variety of vegetables and the dry arid climates is just perfect for olives and grapes, all a major part of Spanish traditional cuisine.
Spanish food reflects its history of invasions. The food is influenced by the cuisine of its various invaders. The use of wine, olive and olive oil shows the roman and Greek connection.
The Celtics have left behind the meat and fish pies and the Moorish heritage added the use of citrus fruits, almonds, honey, and spices like saffron and cumin.
Its status as the leading country when it came to exploring and colonizing the world has also added to the rich variety of Spanish food. The Spanish explorers discovered quite a bit of the New World and brought back exotic foods like potatoes, tomatoes, beans, sweet potatoes, corn, vanilla, peppers and the decadent chocolate. All of these are now an integral part of Spanish cuisine.
Spain boasts of a rich variance in its food. Every region has their distinctive cuisine. But they have plenty of ingredients in common. Spanish food hugely uses locally grown fruits and vegetables along with the abundant sea food. Some other Spanish delights include jamon Serrano and chorizo.
The first is a cured ham, the other a seasoned sausage. Popular ingredients include eggs, cheese, rice, nuts (almonds in particular), beans, garlic and freshly baked bread. Olive oil is the preferred fat for all types of cooking including deep frying of fritters.
Wine is also widely used in the cooking of Spanish food. Popular Spanish wines include rjoja, sherry and sangria, the last being a blend of fruit and soda.
One of the most popular Spanish recipes would be the paella. It is a rice dish and its many versions are made across the country. Long grained rice is combined with different ingredients in a combination of choices.
Shellfish like lobster, crab, clams and shrimps are widely used with the rice. Plenty of vegetables may also be another option, or if you are a serious meat person you may prefer rabbit and or chicken.
The entire concoction is stewed in broth along with garlic, onion, pimiento (a rep pepper, sweet) and wine along with saffron.
Other popular recipes from Spanish food include gazpacho, tortilla Espanola – Spanish omelet with potato, flan favorite dessert custard, mazapanes, Spanish hot chocolate, crema de cabrales – a blue cheese, walnut and apple spread, and tartaletas de champinon mushroom tartlets.