Spain is famous for many things including the afternoon siesta, flamenco dancers, and Picasso. But its food and drink are what truly make it a world-class destination. One of the greatest delights of Spanish food is that it varies so greatly depending on the region, giving visitors a cornucopia of tastes wherever they go. Here are ten of the most iconic dishes of this beautifully diverse country:
Known as the official dish of Spain, paella is a traditional food that can be served up in a variety of ways. Although there are many classic paella variations, the truly adventurous eaters can try the dish prepared with eclectic ingredients such as Spanish squid ink rice.
As the perfect summer dish to enjoy while lounging on the beaches of Spain, gazpacho is a cool and creamy blend of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, bread, peppers, and cucumber.
As the most popular alcoholic beverage of the country, sangria mixes red wine with lemonade or juice, fruit, and spices. A pitcher of this refreshing drink is the perfect way to bring friends together. Those who do not care for red wine can try the variations made with Cava instead.
In a country that is rich in delicious pork products, chorizo is the king. This spicy sausage can be consumed plain and also as an ingredient in many flavorful dishes. It is generally fermented, cured, and then smoked.#5 Churros
When you have washed down your last chorizo and need something sweet, a churro is the perfect ending to any meal. These fried, sugary delectables can be eaten plain or dipped in caramel, but the most popular way to enjoy a churro is with a cup of Spanish hot chocolate.
#6 Manchego cheese:
Made in the La Mancha region of Spain, this cheese gets its name from the milk of Manchego sheep and is aged for up to two years.
This fun sandwich is made from Spanish bread and stuffed with potatoes, cheese, ham, and pork loin.
#8 Patatas Bravas:
No trip to Spain is complete without partaking in the bevy of tapas selections. The patatas bravas is one of the most popular tapas offerings. These fried potatoes vary in preparation depending on the region so be sure to experiment.
#9 Tortilla Espanola
As the Spanish version of an omelet, this dish combines eggs, onion, and potatoes with additional ingredients added per personal taste and preference. After the potatoes and onions are fried in olive oil, the eggs are gently added.
#10 Jamon Iberico
This ham is derived from black Iberian pigs and then cured using a technique that has been around for centuries. This classic Spanish food is not available in the United States and cannot be brought back home, so be sure to enjoy your fill of it when you can.
Whether it be enjoying a leisurely afternoon nibbling on tapas or a multi-course meal on a beach in Catalonia, Spanish food is an explosion of colors and flavors. Viva Espana!