What’s so Great About Spanish Food?

Answer: Everything!

The Spanish food culture has a very varied ancestry, and even though most Spanish dishes have rather humble origins and are the result of ingredients being mixed together by poor peasants and farmers, often using leftovers or at the very least products from their own farms and orchards, the cuisine in Spain today is one of the best in the world (in our opinion at least!).

So, how is it that Spanish cuisine is so diverse? The answer is simple, and it’s all related to history and location. Situated in central Europe, Spain has had great Roman and Greek influences; think olive oil and wine. On top of this, we then have to consider the Moorish influences in Spanish cooking which has produced marvels such as gazpacho and nougats as well as the Jewish gastronomic traditions which contributed to the preparation of stews known as olla (pot).



However, it was the Christians who began the tradition of one of Spain’s most notorious and sought after products: Spanish ham, which is not only consumed as tapas in bars, but also accompanies many dishes. Unquestionably Spanish pork is par excellence and the locals’ favourite meat: everything is used, nothing is wasted.

Of course there are many other meats served on Spanish tables including lamb, beef and chicken. But Spaniards are not exclusively carnivores, there are many vegetarian stews and other dishes that are enjoyed from North to South, and East to West. Vegetables are grown throughout the country, and the varied climates and terrains in Spain mean that a huge mix of different vegetables are grown.



A few hundred years ago a new continent called America was discovered, which brought not only gold and precious gems, but something that would one day save the Old Continent from famine: potatoes, the main ingredient of Spanish Tortilla, which can also be made using tomatoes, peppers and any other vegetables that tickle your taste buds!

The quality and variety of ingredients is what makes Spanish food so popular t0day.

Romans imported rice to Spain, giving way to the creation of the paella and many other ride dishes. Since then, these dishes have come to form part of the typical, if not iconic, dishes of Spain and are a definite must for any travellers who are planning on visiting and doing a bit of gastronomic tourism.



There is also a great variety of seafood, including fish and shellfish from the coastal areas, which are used in the preparation of many delicious dishes. The fish industry in Spain is extremely important and forms part of the livelihood of many. Spain is a country that is blessed with such a large and varied coastline, including the Bay of Biscay, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. These waters offer a huge number of different species of fish and seafood available for Spanish chefs and an endless range of Spanish seafood dishes!

Many typical Spanish products have designation of origin including certain ham, cheese, fruit and vegetables, seafood and sausages. These are some of the most common ingredients found in Spanish cooking and can add a touch of Spain to any other dishes you may decide to make. Many of them go well by themselves, and as the Spaniards call it; tapas.


When it comes to sweet things, Spain has a very rich dessert tradition. Like so many foods in Spain, many of the country’s desserts are regional. The Moorish influence in southern Spain means many of the desserts there are almond-based. Located just south of the French border, the region of Catalonia serves desserts with a decidedly French flare like the delicious Torrijas. These drunken cinnamon-spiced slices of fried bread are like French toast taken to a whole new level!

No matter where in Spain you are, be sure that your belly will not be disappointed!