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La Comida Tradicional de España

Appetizers and Snacks

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Spain's Most Popular Appetizers

Spain has hundreds of wonderful dishes that reflect its culture and heritage; the most famous and popular cuisines can be found in various parts of the country and have many different variations for each dish.  Some of the most popular dishes include tapas, jamon Serrano, paella, tortilla de patatas, olive oil, and wine. 


Tapas are a great part of the Spanish culture.  Originally, tapas were created as little snacks that would be placed over wine glasses to keep the flies and other bugs out of there drinks. Typical tapas are very flat, and helped to keep the glasses covered. Now, tapas come in many different shapes and sizes. The seafood tapas generally look like onion rings.Tapas come in many different varieties such as seafood, cheese, eggs, vegetables, or even pastry type tapas.  There are tapa bars, or Tascas (tapa bars), throughout the country.  Generally, tapas are served as an appetizer, and in most cases are served with Spain’s finest wines and cheeses.   Most people in Spain eat tapas as a small meal between meals when socializing.  In parts of Spain such as Madrid Andalucia, and Extremadura, many bars are specifically tapa bars in which people come together to socialize, eat tapas, and a drink. All in all, tapas have been a part of Spain's culture and cuisine for many years and have changed and grown with Spain. 


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Olive Oil

Spain is very famous for its olives and the oil they produce.  Spain produces more olives than any other country in the entire world.  40% of all olive oil is produced in Spain, 80% of which is produced in Andalucia.  The olive oil that is produced from these olives has intense flavor and is used in a lot of Spanish meals.  The two most popular types of olive oil produced in Spain is virgin olive oil or extra virgen olive oil.  Spain has approximately 4.7 million acres of olive trees, Andalucia has about 3 million acres of olive trees itself.  Harvesting olives and making olive oil is a very long process and Spain takes pride in producing the best olive oil and works very hard to do so.

Like the olive oil and wine, cheese is a necessity in Spanish food.  There are many different kinds of cheeses that is produced in Spain. These cheeses are made from goats, cows, and sheep.  Some of the most popular cheeses include Mahón, which is originated from the Spanish island of Menorca, and it is one few cheeses that are made from cows in Spain.  Mahón is known for pairing very well with red wines such as the Tempranillo wines.  Another popular cheese in Spain is the Tetilla cheese.  Tetilla cheese originated from Galicia.  It is also made from cows milk.  It is known for its odd shape and delicious flavor.  Also, Manchengo cheese is very well known and liked in Spain.  It is made from sheeps milk, typically from La Mancha. It is also complimentary to Tempranillo wines.  Pimenton cheese is a popular cheese made from goats milk from the Carnary Islands.  It is paired best with white wines.  These cheeses and many others are not only served with wine but also are used in various meals including tapas and Tortillas de Patatas.