here is much more to Spanish food than just ‘jamon serrano’ and paella. When people visit Spain they only try the most typical dishes and it boasts of it, but they miss a lot !
Discover the 10 most interesting facts about Spanish food:
1. Olive oil is king
Spain is the leader when it comes to olive oil production. It has about 44% of olive oil in the world and is by far the most important producer in this field. For the same reason, locals cannot deny that olive oil is the most essential ingredient in their kitchen.
Paella, croquettes / croquettes, Spanish omelette … all these famous dishes are always made with olive oil , and although it may not be needed, Spaniards prefer to use it.
2. Underestimated Fuet
One of those fun facts about Spanish food has to do with fuetas. Spaniards love fuel, so there are a million ads saying how much spaniards need fuel in their diet, but… Tourists never appreciate it!
Whenever you’ve heard of Spanish food, people mention: Spanish omelette, Jamon Serrano, paella… but they never mention fuel, and that’s the reason why it hasn’t become so popular . However, any person who tries fueta will eventually love it (remember these words).
3. Complicated vegetarian diet
The Spaniards may not admit it, but they are meat lovers and they really make a vegetarian diet difficult. Morcilla, jamón, fuet, chorizo, seafood / chicken paella, octopus … these are just a few of the countless fish or chicken dishes based on these ingredients.
However, if you are a vegetarian, I recommend trying the Spanish omelette and of course the mushroom croquettes.
4. Spanish vineyards produce the best wines
It would be unfair to say that Spanish wines are the best because it is a matter of taste as we also know Italian and French wines. One thing we can say for sure is that Spain is a champion in terms of area occupied by vineyards . It owns 15.55% of the total.
Sherry and Rioja are by far two of the best wines in Spain… Try it!
5. Origin of the fish and chips
Almost everyone in the world knows about the famous Fish and Chips … but we rather associate it with Great Britain. You can’t visit this country and not try it, they literally wouldn’t let you!
Well, although this dish is very popular there, its origin is from the Iberian Peninsula and especially from southern Spain. Historians say the British were inspired by the authentic “Pescaito Frito” from Andalusia.
6. The Spaniards imported many food products into Europe
One of the most interesting facts about Spanish food is that the Spaniards introduced many dishes to Europe after they “discovered” America. Potatoes, tomatoes, cocoa are just a few examples, but there are many more.
Moreover, the Spanish omelette was made only after Columbus returned from America, because they needed potatoes to make it.
After using these ingredients and foods in their own recipes, the rest of Europeans began to do the same.
7. The Spaniards have a strange eating schedule
When you talk about “Spanish Curiosities”, don’t forget their meal schedule. Spaniards eat very late and you may think they spend all day eating.
Their lunchtime doesn’t start until 2:00 PM or 3:00 PM, and in most countries it doesn’t start at 12:00 PM. The same thing happens at dinner, they start at 21:00 . In the summer months, they do it even later.
8. Spanish bars are everywhere
One of the coolest facts about Spanish cuisine is that Spain is ranked second in the top 10 cities with the most bars in the world : Madrid and Barcelona.
Literally in Madrid, you will find a new bar every two steps ! People go to bars and restaurants at any time of the day, whether it’s early in the morning for coffee or very late at night.
This is probably also related to the large tourist load in Barcelona and Madrid.
9. The best country to buy saffron
Did you know that about three-quarters of the world’s saffron is grown in Spain? This is probably the reason why Spaniards use it so often, especially for rice and paella’s signature dish.
Saffron is usually very expensive in most countries, so we recommend that you buy it if you ever visit Spain, right where it’s much cheaper.
10. The seafood paella is not authentic
To conclude my list of the top 10 food facts in Spain, I must mention the popular paella. Tourists love seafood paella because it is usually eaten in an area close to the ocean, and it’s delicious! Well the truth is the seafood paella is not original, the first paella was made from rabbit, chicken or pork . You can still eat it like this, don’t worry, no one will judge you!