Spain has been invaded many times and settled by a multitude of ethnic groups, resulting in each region specialising in its own distinctive cuisine. However, they all have three things in common: olive oil, garlic and big flavours. From the fish stews of Asturias to the tapas of Andalucía, Spain’s vibrant tastes appeal to all palates.
Paella is perhaps the most famous Spanish dish, and it originated in the Coastal City of Valencia. According to legend, the dish was created by the servants of Moorish Kings who mixed the leftovers from royal banquets. There are many different versions which use a myriad of ingredients such as pork, chicken, eel and squid. There are three popular versions: traditional paella Valencina, paella de marisco, which contains seafood and paella mixta, which is the most popular internationally and contains a mix of seafood and traditional ingredients.
Tapas originated in Andalucía where drinkers would cover their glasses of sherry with slices of bread and ham to keep fruit flies away. Modern tapas has evolved through history by incorporating many ingredients from different cultures and can include anything from white anchovies and battered squid to olives, Spanish omelette and meatballs. There are entire zones dedicated to tapas bars in some cities and in many regions it is customary to serve a free tapa when someone orders a drink.
With a wide variety of different dishes, it is impossible to get bored of Spanish cuisine. Discover the culture and tradition behind Spain’s diverse foods by shopping for fresh ingredients in local markets with the help of our experts and learn to cook traditional dishes with top. Get involved in the wine-making process yourself by helping with the harvest, before relaxing on a tropical beach and cooking a tasty paella on an open fire. Dine in the shadow of the Alhambra and admire the Moorish architecture of Grenada whilst experiencing Spain through your taste buds.