Habits & Food in Spain, by Regions

Typical food in Spain, flavors and Influences

Eat, eat, eat! Is there anything better than that? In addition to providing satiety, the habit of feeding offers to experience new flavors and, even more, to know the identity of a people.

Learn more about the food in Spain, the main ingredients used, the best-known dishes and the influence of other people in the culinary.

Paella and Gazpacho is a traditional food in Spain.

The identity of a nation is composed of two essential elements: the language and the food culture. In particular, brings essential markers, such as the types of ingredients used, the symbolic dishes and even the social position of those who consumed them throughout history.

Mediterranean food, with its diversity of ingredients and influences, is one of the best and healthiest cuisines in the world!!

How about knowing more about Spanish cuisine, typical dishes, the differences between regions and the most used articles?

Food in Spain – Influences

Spain is a very diverse country and, like most European nations, it has centuries of history. Over the years, Spain was inhabited by different peoples who brought in and left a little of their customs and culture.

The Greeks, for example, introduced olive and olive oilArabs and Moors contributed rice, nuts, fruits and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and saffron). Therefore, we can say that the varied Spanish cuisine reflects the history of the country and the influence suffered by different cultures.

Many people love Spanish food, and you know why? The Spaniards love to diversify their dishes so that cooking can vary according to the region. However, some techniques and ingredients are common to all, such as olive oil, garlic, onion and bread as an accompaniment.

The different regions of Spain

In addition to the influence of neighboring countries, Spanish cuisine is characterized by its variations among its regions. So to get acquainted with the names and dishes found in the autonomous region, let’s check:

food in Spain by regions

Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Basque Country, Navarra, Andalusia, Canary Islands, Aragon, Castilla y León, Balearic Islands, Castilha La Mancha, La Rioja, Murcia, Extremadura, Cataluña, Valencia and Madrid

Main Spanish food ingredients

The most found ingredients in Spanish dishes are olive oil, garlic and onion, bread, sangria, beer, and wine. In addition, there is usually no shortage of seafood at Spanish tables, chorizo (meat and fat), Serrano ham, sautéed (onion and tomato sauce), and cheeses.

Main Spanish salted dishes

1. Spanish Paella 

food in spain paella
Top Spanish salted dishes-Spanish paella

The best-known dishes in Spain. The paella was created by Valencian peasants who went out to work with the food that held them throughout the day. They mixed rice, olive oil, and salt with leftovers, vegetables, and hunts, preparing everything in a round pot with Paellera.

Its primary ingredients remain the same, only adding saffron, but the popularization has caused the addition of other elements, such as shrimp, squid, octopus and mussels. Gradually, the typical Valencian dish gained territory and reached the coast, spreading throughout the country.

2. Galician Octopus

food in spain galician octopus
Galician octopus-typical Spanish dish

The Galician octopus is a simple recipe originating in Galicia and is therefore found in free fairs. The octopus is cooked whole and then sliced to be sprinkled with salt, peppers and olive oil.

3. Madrid Chickpeas stew

food in spain Madrid Chickpeas stew
Stew-Spanish cooking plate

Madrid stew the most popular dishes in the Spanish capital city. The recipe’s main ingredient is chickpeas, but the dish is well fed and has chard, chicken, sausage, potato, cabbage, pod, broth, and other items.

4. Grilled mushrooms with ham 

One of the most consumed spices in Spain-Mushrooms grilled with ham

As we have already commented, the ham is one of the most consumed spices in Spain. The grilled mushrooms are a kind of entrance that takes grilled mushrooms on the plate, olive oil and ham.

5. Ratatouille

Typical Spanish food-ratatouille

The Ratatouille has its mode of preparation variable according to the region, beyond the time of the year. That’s because your recipe takes several fried vegetables accompanied by a fried egg.

6. Potato omelette 

food in spain potato omelet
Spanish dish very consumed-potato omelet

Another typical Spanish dish that has some variations around the world. The tortilla is made with eggs and potatoes! The Spaniards love to invent, and the recipe changes according to the region where it is prepared. Therefore, do not be surprised if your application is increased with sausage, onion, chili and mushroom.

Typically, the potato is cooked in olive oil in advance, giving the dish an extraordinary flavor. Oh, and being in Madrid, try the tortilla Brava, which gains an intense flavor thanks to the addition of paprika.

7. Cooked pork with garlic and potatoes

A popular dish in Spain-cooked pork with garlic and potatoes

The period is typical of the regions of León and Asturias. The recipe indicates breaking the pork ribs into chunks and then marinating them in white wine, coarse salt and garlic clove. Then cook in the iron pot.

8. Fabada

A typical dish of the region of Asturias-Fabada Asturiana

The typical dish of the Asturian region is usually consumed in winter because it is a little heavier. The preparation begins on the eve when the white beans are cooked for 3 hours with an entire onion and olive oil, saffron, and chili. Then add raw, smoked pork.

Some say that the Asturian fabada must be accompanied by beer, others with cider and good wine. The fact is that the dish is delicious and cannot fail to be tasted.

9. Gazpacho

food in spain gazpacho
Popular food in Spain-gazpacho

Gazpacho is very popular in Spain, especially in the southern region (Murcia, Andalusia and Valencia) and has completed widespread in some regions of Portugal. The cold soup is prepared with simple ingredients such as cucumber, garlic, tomato and others. Once again, the recipe can vary according to the region and has different names, such as the Gazpacho of Andalusia, Extremadura or La Mancha.

10. Galician museel

Spanish dish that is between one of the best in the world-Galician mussel

Created in the region of Galicia, the dish carries mussels caught on the north coast of Spain. The experts commented that they are among the best in the world, and the recommendation is that the restaurants serve them very fresh not to lose the original flavor.

11. Bravas potatoes

Easy Spanish food-Spice Potatoes

The Spice potatoes are nothing more than sliced fries seasoned with hot tomato sauce. The dish is one of the most requested tapas in the Spanish bars.

12. Fideua

food in spain fideuá
Spanish food-Fideua

Fideuá is the typical dish of Catalonia, like the classic rice in paella, but with special thick noodles of the hollow interior that absorbs a large amount of broth. It is also made in a paellera, the flat frying pan that gives the name to the stews prepared in it.

Fideua is a traditional food in Catalonia

The Best Spanish Sweets

1. Turrón de Alicante

Sweets from Spain-Turrón de Alicante

The taste of this typical sweet of the region of Alicante. The nougats are nothing more than a caramel paste made with egg whites and peanuts. You can find them at popular Roma parties.

2. Rice Pudding

Spanish Sweets-Rice pudding

The sweet rice is made with rice cooked in water, milk and cinnamon.

3. Churros (very consumed in Spain-churros)

food in spain churros

Dessert is born in the Iberian region and is made with a dough of fried wheat flour in the oil. The recipe came to South America thanks to colonization and, here, usually takes different fillings, such as sweet milk and chocolate.

4. Polvorón

Cookie widely consumed by the Spaniards-Polvorón

The Polvorón is a sweet cookie and buttery typical of the regions of Andalusia, Sevilla, Castilla Y León. It is much appreciated at Christmas parties; it has a simple recipe made from wheat flour, almonds with shell, refined sugar, pork fat, and cinnamon. But there are more elaborate preparations that take cherry, chocolate and grated coconut.

5. Torrijas de Leche (French Toast)

Food consumed at holy parties in Spain-French toast

The French toasts are for the holy Parties, as it is for Christmas. The sweet has become a food suitable for recovering pregnant women and has a simple recipe – slices of sleeping bread empanadas with eggs, wine or milk and chips in the oil. If you prefer, you can cover the slices with sweet or cinnamon.

When are spanish mealtimes?

Opening Hours

Spanish people eat very late. Usually, they go to restaurants for lunch between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm and for dinner not earlier than 9:00 pm. Restaurants, therefore, mostly open their kitchen at 9:00 pm and close at about 12: 00 am. Nevertheless, due to the vast number of tourists who are not used to eating late, many restaurants in Barcelona start to serve earlier, especially around Las Ramblas and the Barrí Gotic.

Prices

Spanish restaurants often offer three-course lunch menus (menú del día) that include salad, plates and a drink for a low price (8-15 Euro). In the evening, prices are slightly higher, starting at about 15 Euros. You can also find restaurants of all categories. 

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