Spanish history began with Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian coastal settlements.
Later the Romans and the Moors brought with them elements of their own cooking which is still
present in modern Spanish cooking. Imports included the tomato, potato, sweet potato, vanilla,
chocolate, beans, zucchini, and pepper. Many types of olives can be found, a lot of vineyards and
citrus fruit. Spaniards enjoy garlic, jamon serrano (ham), sweet and hot peppers. Saffron is a
commonly used spice that is used in many foods, especially paella. Spain has many different
wines but the most famous is Sherry. Sherry, both dry and sweet is used to add flavor to entrees
and desserts. Cuisine in Spain has a lot of influences from the Middle East and the Americas. It
is a country that truly enjoys food.
There's no type of specific Spanish cooking. It varies region to region. Spain also has
very good lamb dishes and well prepared fresh fish.
The Northwest region, Galicia, has traces of
Celtic cuisine. Meat and fish pies are found here along with scallops and fine veeal. Asturias, the
northwest, is famous for its bean dish, a strong blue dish and hard cider is the preferred drink.
Basque, which is in the north, features excellent fish dishes. Cataluna, considered to be the most
distinctive and exciting region of Spain, has a cuisine that has such popular dishes like seafood
zarzuela, meats or poultry combined with local fruits. Valencia, which is located near the south
Mediterranean, has rice dishes served in endless varieties. It is home to the most famous Spanish
dish, Paella. Andalucia, located in the south, is home to grape vines and olive trees. Andalucia
has gazpacho as popular dish.
Tapas are eaten everywhere in Spain. It is an important tradition that brings people together.