Spaniards love their food, so the best possible way of knowing and discover Spain is through the culinary experience. Spain’s geographical location is on of the most diverse location in the world as it provides the country with the freshest of everything taking advantage of the vast different regions, the long coastline, rugged mountains, baking plains and rich farming land thus creating a huge variety from region to region. The country is located on the Iberian Peninsula which makes the country almost entirely surrounded by the waters. With 88% of its boundaries touching water, fresh seafood is without a doubt one of the big pillars in Spanish gastronomy, as are the fruits and vegetables from the fertile farmlands, olives and olive oil hailing from groves sprawling across hills, cured meats and cheeses from the mountainous highlands.
As a gateway between Europe and Africa, as well as the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Spain has been much fought over throughout history. Spanish cuisine is heavily influenced by regional cuisines and the historical processes that shaped the culture and society in this country. Spain’s culinary traditions rely on an abundance of locally grown vegetables and fruits as well as meats and poultry. Every region has its own distinct cuisine and specialties. Food is the supporting pillar of the Spanish society and also the pride and joy of the country. Spain is renowned for its olive oil where Spain is a leading producer of olive oil, and olives are grown all over the south of Spain in the region of Andalucia.
Spain is often referred to as a melting pot of cultures, its position at a geographical crossroads having exposed it down the ages to many and varied cultural influences, not least on the culinary front. Spain is a millenary country with a strong food history. The historic events of 1492 would later mark the start of a whole new culinary elements, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, corn, bell peppers, spicy peppers, paprika, vanilla and cocoa or chocolate in Western food history. Many dishes are prepared today using the same cooking methods and ingredients as they were two or three hundred years ago.
The many typical tapas to paella, and taking in popular stews, sausages and cured hams, tortilla omelettes and gazpacho, and delicious desserts are some of the fine illustration of how delicious and healthy food is in Spain. One thing is for sure, food in Spain is fresh, abundant, and full of flavor, and the Spanish love their food dearly. Well if you happen to disagree, then you obviously haven’t made your way to Spain.
Spanish cuisine now leads the culinary world, bringing not just new dishes to the table but entirely new ways of cooking and thinking about food. Spain is now home to an impressive number of Michelin restaurants, top-notch chefs and world-known dishes. As the Spanish say to wish everyone a good meal, “Buen provecho!”