Spain is among the Mediterranean countries which is why many believe its basis is the 'Mediterranean diet' consisting of vegetables, fruit, rice, grains, greens and, of course, seafood, which allowed Spain to take the lead from Japan in the world list of long-livers. Despite the fact that the common attributes of cuisine for all areas of Spain are the same, yet each region of the country (and there are 17 of them) is different in its own culinary traditions and is distinguished by its own dish.
The North Atlantic coast of Spain is famous for its delicious sauces and interesting soups. Cantabrian cuisine delights travelers with dishes of sardines, trout, clams, as well as 'Santander-style rice' (a dish of rice and salmon). Asturian cuisine is famous for its thick white bean soup with ham and sausage 'Fabada'. The Basque cuisine combines the traditions of French and Spanish cuisine, it is considered the most exquisite in Spain. You will certainly want to taste glass eel fried with chili pepper and garlic (angulas) or sea snails (caracoles) more than once. In Rioja and Navarre you will have to try vegetable sauces and delicious side dishes. Castile and Extremadura are famous for its meat steaks - chuleton. A delicacy of Salamanca you will surely be amazed of - braised veal tail. Try the lamb In Burgos and Soria, and in Segovia try the roasted suckling pig. Southern Spain and Andalusia are famous for olive oil, as most of the country's olive fields are located here and the most popular dishes here are those that are deep-fried. Murcian cuisine is unthinkable without meat pie and various rice dishes. The kitchen of Madrid is famous for its thick pea soup and cicatrix with morcilla (blood sausage), the most popular recipe of which is from Burgos. The uncooked smoked pork sausage with garlic and paprika is also popular. It is called chorizo. But in Mallorca, they love sausage to a collection of dried minced pork. Cheese lovers should go to La Mancha, but for marzipan - to Toledo. Among the favourite snacks are olives - ordinary or stuffed with tuna, lemon or almond.
As you can see, each region will offer you something special, but what unites the Spaniards is love for 'jamon', which you will find in the menu of every bar of any part of Spain.
And of course, Spanish cuisine cannot be imagined without tapas - appetizers that are surely served with beer and wine. There are two versions of the origin of this tradition. According to the first, it is believed that it originated in one of the bars of Seville, where the glass was covered with a piece of ham, which was first served free of charge, but as new varied snacks appeared, for a fee. According to another version, glasses of beer and wine were covered with small plates from annoying flies, which over time began to impose different goodies, mostly spicy, so that drinkers would like to order more. Anyway, the Spaniards are clearly not going to give up such a pleasant tradition as having chilled drinks alongside with tapas.
By the number and variety of desserts, we can conclude that the Spaniards are real sweet teeth, ranging from flan, rice pudding and turon and ending with crispy 'flores' - delicate brushwood in the form of flowers.
The most consumed drink in Spain is, of course, wine. In 2011, it became the third country in the world in the production of wine, and in the area of vineyards - the first. About 90 grape varieties are grown in 60 wine-growing regions. The wines of Spain are valued all over the world. The most famous alcoholic beverages include sherry and sangria (tinto de verano). Also, many Spaniards use many fine original wines in combination with the food of each region.