Spain is famous for its incredible food culture, with millions of people flocking there every year to experience its wealth of gastronomic delights. From tapas and paella to Gazpacho and tortilla española, the cuisine is varied and delicious. Of course, everyone knows that any good Spanish food should be paired with an equally delectable wine. Spain is one of the most prolific wine-producing countries in the world, with Rioja, Albariño, and Cava some of the most famous varieties of vino.
Food is a big part of life in Spain, with life tending to revolve around mealtimes. Lunch is the biggest and longest meal of the day, with family and friends gathering for this social occasion. Served in the early afternoon, it is a multi-course event with generous portions. Spanish food is rich in flavour, with olive oil and garlic often used heavily in dishes. Here are some of the most famous Spanish foods:
- These small plates of food are quintessential Spanish cuisine. Shared with friends or enjoyed with a drink, these tasty appetizers can be cold (such as olives and cheese) or hot (such as baby squid or patatas bravas).
- This classic Spanish rice dish is originally from Valencia and is one of the best-known dishes in the national cuisine. Ingredients include rice, saffron, chicken, seafood, and vegetables, and served in one pan.
- Jamón ibérico. "Iberian ham" is made from black Iberian pigs and is a famous Spanish delicacy. The meat has a sweet and nutty flavour, and the marbling ensures it melts in the mouth when eaten.
- Resembling a smooth and velvety purée, Salmorejo is made up of tomatoes, bread, cream, and a dash of sherry vinegar. The dish is served cold, sometimes with hard-boiled eggs or diced ham on top.
- Tortilla Española. Otherwise known as a Spanish omelette, this is a traditional dish from Spain. The omelette is made with eggs and potatoes, and onion can be added too. It’s the simplest of comfort foods!
Spanish wines are some of the best in the world. Whilst they’re often eclipsed by wines from France and Italy, Spain is responsible for almost 14% of all global wine production. Spanish wines are popular not just in Spain but internationally too. The best Spanish wines include:
- Rioja (Red). A dry red wine, Rioja has flavours of dark berries and dark cherries. The wine is very food-friendly and pairs well with a range of food, including seafood.
- Priorat (Red). Located in Catalonia, Priorat is one of the stand-out wine regions in Spain, producing a range of powerful and intensely flavoured wines.
- Albariño (White). Albariño is a variety of white wine grape grown in Galicia in northwest Spain. The wine is zesty and fresh on the palate and offers aromas of lime, grapefruit, and nectarine.
- Cava (Sparkling). Cava is one of the world’s best-known sparkling wines. This Spanish wine is made in the Penedès region of Catalonia and can be either white or rosé.
Spain is renowned for its food and drink, bringing many people to the country every year to sample its wonderful cuisines and fine wines.