Common Ingredients in Spanish Cuisine

Being influenced by different nationalities, Spain has a more distinguished history and cultural roots from most European countries. For centuries, many nationalities have left their mark on them. They were once a part of the Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages, the Muslims have dominated the country. And during its rise in the 15th century when Spain conquered the natives in what is now known as Latin America, the culture and produce such as vegetables, fruits, spices and herbs from the Native Americans arrived in the country.

The unique history of Spain makes the country a centre of the gastronomic treat. Almost every region boasts of its distinct cuisine. But most of the Spanish cuisine is made of the following ingredients:

Bread and rice

Just like in most European countries, Spaniards love to eat bread as their staple. It is often served with a little extra virgin olive oil for dipping. Bread and cheese is a usual snack.

Rice is often used in paella, perhaps the most popular Spanish dish outside the country. A native of the Valencia region, this dish is traditionally cooked in open wood fire in a large pan called a paellera. It is prepared with a wide range of ingredients that include seafood, chorizo sausage and chicken, depending on the cooking style paella caterer. It has been spread in different regions in Spain.

Vegetables and fruits

Many vegetables and fruits are used in Spanish cuisines such as bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini that originated from American and brought in the country by the Spanish explorers in the 15th and 16th centuries. Other vegetables commonly used in rice dishes are garlic, onions, eggplant, asparagus, cabbage, spinach, cucumbers, lettuce and mushrooms. Spaniards enjoy eating fruits such as apples, grapes, oranges, dates, cherries and figs.

Olives and olive oil

Being a Mediterranean country, Spanish nationals are voracious consumers of olives and extra virgin olive oil in cooking.

Fish and shellfish

A huge part of Spain is bordered by the ocean. This feature makes fish, shellfish and other seafood abundant. Seafood is usually added to many dishes in such as the well-known paella, depending on the taste of each paella caterer.