Traditional Spanish cuisine is typically known to be a humble affair, consisting mostly of locally-grown crops and produce from the region. Incredibly rich and often packed with dense flavours, they boast an incredible range of variety due to vast geological differences.
The warm climate proves to be extremely useful in cultivating olives all year long, so it’s no surprise that olive oil is often used for cooking. Since Spain is right on the coast, fish and shellfish are also a common part of their cuisine. Besides fish, cured meats are one of their more popular options to accompany just about any dish. The Spaniards are also particularly fond of stewing their food, although they also do utilise various methods of cooking such as roasting, frying, and sautéing.
The tapa is essentially a small dish that acts as a snack or an appetiser. There is a wide variety of tapa recipes in Spain, taking any form from pieces of tortilla (pincho de tortilla), fried eggs (huevos estrellados), to breaded fish (pescaíto frito).
Unlike the rest of their Western counterparts, the most important and biggest Spanish meal of the day is lunch. Typically consisting of several courses, the first course is an appetiser (entrantes), usually in the form of a salad, soup, or snack. It is not unusual to have several options served on the dining table. Popular choices include gazpacho (cold vegetable soup), zarangollo (scrambled egg salad), and escalivada (grilled vegetables).
Moving on to the main course (primero), dishes such as paella de marisco (seafood paella), estofado de pollo (Spanish chicken stew), and urta a la roteña (baked snapper a la roteña) are often common choices. As for dessert or postre, flan (custard with caramel sauce) and chocolate churros are well-favoured for a sweet ending to a meal.