Spanish cuisine is recognized by its great diversity and the clearly visible strong influence of various cultures.
In general, Spanish cuisine is considered very well-balanced. The most common products are all kinds of meat, fish and seafood, rice, dairy products, fruits and vegetables.
Each region is characterized by its own specific culinary traditions but characteristic for all of Spain is the use of a wide range of spices, olive oil instead of oil, seasoning the main courses with wine, as well as putting fresh vegetables in almost every dish.
This is due to the fact that most cities and towns have their own food markets, with the fresh produce showing the highly developed agriculture in the country time and time again. In almost all parts of Spain you'll be able to find fresh and quality vegetables.
Here are some of the characteristic products used in Spanish cuisine:
Vegetables: They are among the favorite products of the Spanish and are put into absolutely everything, even in desserts. They use tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini and onions. Garlic is also especially prized, used to make some of the most popular sauces.
Meat: Spain is the biggest consumer of meats products in Europe. Veal, pork, chicken, game and all kinds of other meat are prepared differently. Sausages made from the Iberian pig are also highly common.
Fish and Seafood: Due to their strategic location, the Spanish have been experienced fishermen for centuries and as well as the #1 consumer of meat they are known as the largest consumer of fish delicacies.
Bread: There is an incredible selection of breads but the most popular are ciabatta and the "Pa amb tomàquet" which comes from the region of Catalonia.
Boiled dishes: Red and white beans are very commonplace, as well as red lentils, which besides for soups and stews are used in many salads as well.
Spices: Here there truly are a great many choices but the most sought after aromas are rosemary, thyme, mint, parsley, bay leaf, basil, oregano and marjoram.
Take a look at several appetizing Spanish recipes: Spanish meatballs with sauce, Spanish fish salad, Spanish-style potatoes, Spanish omelette with potatoes, Spanish salty cake, original Spanish paella, Spanish chocolate cream.