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Thursday, February 21, 2013 (read 361 times)
 

What is Your Favorite Spanish Flavor?

by Dilek

Colorful Spanish Food

Life in Spain is passionate and entertaining; visitors to Spain would agree that there is never a dull moment. Spanish people are warm and inviting and their food is rich and delicious. The Spanish love fish dishes, mature cheeses and cured meats such as Iberian ham. Spanish food in general is bursting with colors and flavors however recipes differ depending on the region of Spain you choose to visit.

Spaniards that live beside the ocean for example will prepare delicious sea food platters cooked with olive oil. Spaniards that live further inland are more likely to serve some sort of meat accompanied by red wine. If you are interested in Spain and the Spanish cuisine, look no further than this page. Below, you can read about traditional Spanish recipes and secret ingredients to make your food flavorsome.  

Olive oil

The Spanish use olive oil in almost all of their cooking. It’s a healthy ingredient, rich in Vitamin E. There are numerous types of olive oil:
•    Extra Virgin.  An olive oil has to meet certain criteria to be labeled as Extra Virgin: it must be produced through a combination of grinding and low heat (no chemicals or hot water applied), it must have an acidity level of less than 1% and it must taste perfect.
•    Virgin.  Also produced through cold pressing (grinding and low heat) however its acidity level is higher, up to 3.3%.
•    Pure.  This is a mixture of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil. It will be labeled 100% Pure even though refined olive oil only contains a very small amount of vitamin E. For this reason, manufacturers add unrefined virgin olive oil to add some aroma, color and flavor.
•    Lite.  There are some light-colored, light-tasting oils on the market that only contain the tiniest amounts of virgin oils. They are being marketed in such a way that people are being led to believe that they are buying oil with lower calorie content. In truth, lite oils and olive oils have the same number of calories per tbsp.

Potato

The second most popular ingredient after olive oil in Spanish cooking is probably potato, the key ingredient in Tortilla de Patatas. This simple dish is made from olive oil, onion, potato and eggs however it is possible to add vegetables, ham or prawns if you wish.

Cheese

There are more than one hundred different varieties of cheese in Spain, some of which have become world renowned such as Roncal, a hard, creamy sheep milk cheese protected by designation of origin – a legal reference within the EU. It refers to high-class products such as wine, cheese and olives and prevents them from being imitated. It assures quality and authenticity. For example, Champagne is a sparkling wine from a specific region in France; therefore no other sparkling wine can be labeled as Champagne according to EU law.

Rice

Rice is one of the key ingredients in Paella along with saffron and olive oil. There are three well-known types of this traditional Spanish dish:

1.    Valencian Paella:  white rice, green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken or duck) and beans
2.    Seafood Paella:  seafood
3.    Mixed Paella:  meat, seafood, vegetables and beans

Small portions of paella are commonplace in tapas bars and restaurants as is Arroz en Caldero, another rice dish served with a type of garlic mayonnaise called Alioli.  

Saffron

As mentioned above, saffron is an essential ingredient in Paella as it gives the dish its signature yellow color. Unfortunately, it is the most expensive spice in the world. In February 2013, a bottle containing 0.06 ounces could be purchased for $16.26.


Keywords: spanish food,spanish recipes,spanish cuisine,spanish dishes,spanish flavor

Posted In: Spain

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