A Brief History of Spanish Cuisine

Like Italians and the French, Spaniards vehemently believe their food to be the best in the world. Although highly debated, many international foodies and food critics conquer. Internationally, Spain is most famous for its wine, olives and olive oil, Iberico ham, seafood dishes, and of course, tapas

Spanish cuisine is influenced by Spain’s location, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Seafood is plentiful and popular in traditional Spanish dishes. Spanish cuisine has also been highly influenced by the many international destinations in which Spain once conquered. For instance, Spanish cuisine routinely uses Arabic ingredients such as rice, sugar cane, eggplant, almonds, and lemon in their cooking.

After the discovery of the new world, Spain occupied many areas of South America. From South America, they brought back with them a variety of ingredients such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and chocolate. At that time, Spanish cuisine continued to evolve, utilizing ingredients from various regions of the world. Interestingly, the Spanish were the first to use tomatoes in their cooking. Europeans initially believed tomatoes to be toxic, as they were related to the tobacco plant. However, once Spaniards discovered that tomatoes were not poisonous and that they were, in fact, delicious and nutritious, they began to incorporate the then-unfamiliar “fruit” into their regional cuisines

Today, Spain remains one of most important countries in the world in terms of cuisine. Over time, Spain has truly become one of the world’s first and most important “fusion” cuisines. My personal favorite way to dine in Spain? TAPAS. Read my post about the History of Tapas HERE, or try a couple of my favorite Tapas recipes: Ceviche, Sweet and Spicy Costillas, or Tortilla de Patatas.


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