Food in Spain is a fiesta of colors and flavors. The fusion of tradition and innovation found now in Spanish cuisine has propelled it to the forefront, pushed into the culinary stratosphere.
Spain has become a center of casual, absolutely modern Mediterranean cooking, superbly simple, yet embedded with a shocking inventiveness. Spanish cuisine is where modern chefs from all over the world look for inspiration these days.
Black rice, squid paella. The black color is due to the squid's ink; delicious, even though it might not look the part.
Spaniards have always been in love with food. They adore eating out. They revel in the light, fresh, artistic and modern style of the restaurants, revolutionary yet solidly grounded in traditional cooking; but they can also walk their way through an array of "tapas" bars, each one boasting their different specialties, or go for a "menú del día" - a traditional Spanish three course meal. A hearty stew or bean soup are appreciated just as much as the latest experiment in nouvelle cuisine.
The country's history, the land, and the varied climate have all contributed to produce an enormous range of food. The Spanish regions have been very isolated, as the hills and streams that separate them were an obstacle to travel until relatively recent times. This is the main reason why food and cooking are so different from one another. Also, some areas in the north have daily rain, while in the south the climate is as hot and parching as a desert; as you travel from north to south, you can find everything in between. Styles of food from one region to another vary as radically as the environment. The variety of food is amazing.
Spanish cooking shows Roman, Arab, Italian, French, Greek, even Caribbean influences, depending where you eat. The delicious diversity of cuisine in Spain is always based in the incredible quality of local products. It doesn't matter where you are, in all the regions only the best, freshest ingredients are used.
Fish and seafood are important in the Spanish diet. Spain is one of the main fish consuming countries in the world, probably only second to Japan. Fish is trucked daily to the central inland spots. Beef is delicious but scarce, chicken and pork are the most popular meat. In many villages, rabbit is still more of a treat than chicken. Vegetables and fruits are eaten daily.
Food in the Spanish regions
Castile-Leon, La Mancha, Extremadura
Basque Country, Asturias and Cantabria, Galicia
|North east interior
Aragon, La Rioja and Navarra.
Lay the table Spanish style, go food shopping in Spain and so be ready to prepare a few Spanish recipes, or let a Spanish Christmas carol take you through all the festivities as Christmas is celebrated in Spain.